The CIA has had a bad couple of weeks with developments in its two biggest treason cases since the 1990s. Last week I told you about the former CIA agent now in custody who spied for China. Now, another is in custody – the man suspected of passing top-secret CIA computer hacking secrets to WikiLeaks last year.
Twenty-nine-year-old Joshua Adam Schulte used to work for the CIA's Engineering Development Group, which created computer code for overseas spy operations. Authorities believe he may have given the code to WikiLeaks, who then released the blueprints to the world in March 2017. WikiLeaks named the code 'Vault 7' – perhaps inspired by Julian Assange's cozy Ecuadorian Embassy home (just a guess).
It was one of the biggest, and potentially harmful leaks in CIA history. Suddenly, the world had access to some of America's most sensitive cyber-espionage techniques.
Immediately after WikiLeaks released the CIA code last year, suspicion primarily focused on CIA contractors. But according to a former federal prosecutor, the fact that the government disclosed during a hearing that Schulte is a suspect, likely indicates they think he worked alone in giving the code to WikiLeaks.
The fact that the government disclosed during a hearing that Schulte is a suspect, likely indicates they think he worked alone in giving the code to WikiLeaks.
Schulte was apparently good at computer spy stuff because he first worked for the NSA before moving to the CIA. He says he joined the intelligence field because he felt it was his patriotic duty after the September 11th attacks. I guess those patriotic feelings faded. He left the CIA in 2016, claiming that he reported “incompetent management and bureaucracy." He says that caused him to be painted as a disgruntled employee and put him under suspicion regarding 'Vault 7.'
The government is still building its case against Schulte, but ironically, he is currently in jail for possession and transmission of child pornography. Prosecutors say they found a large stash of child porn on a server that he built. He has pled not guilty, claiming that lots of people had access to his server. No word yet on whether that server also held any Hillary Clinton emails, but we'll keep you posted.