- Former CIA software engineer, Joshua Schulte, convicted of leaking classified data to WikiLeaks, has been found guilty of possessing over 3,000 child pornography images and videos.
- Schulte’s previous conviction, known as the Vault 7 leak, exposed sensitive CIA operations, leading to major security concerns.
- Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams commented on the gravity of both Schulte’s espionage and child pornography convictions, underscoring the threats to national security and the safety of children.
Joshua Schulte, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) software engineer previously known for leaking top-secret CIA data to WikiLeaks, finds himself once again in the spotlight. This time, for deeply unsettling reasons.
On Wednesday, Schulte was convicted for possessing more than 3,000 images and videos of child pornography, some featuring abuse of children as young as two years old.
Prosecutors at the Manhattan federal court meticulously presented evidence of Schulte’s disturbing stash. It was revealed that after relocating from Washington, D.C., to New York for a position at a financial firm, Schulte transported these horrific files with him. His approach to the organization of the media was chilling, categorizing it based on the identities and distinct traits of the victims.
Moreover, these files were intricately hidden behind multiple layers of coded encryption on his personal computer. Another protected file containing supplementary materials surfaced during the investigation into his CIA leaks.
BREAKING: Ex-CIA software engineer Joshua Schulte who was convicted of biggest leak of classified information now faces trial on child porn charges.
In 2022, Schulte was convicted on all charges of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks in 2017.
Now he stands trial over… pic.twitter.com/77L9XpMLFe— I Meme Therefore I Am 🇺🇸 (@ImMeme0) September 12, 2023
This recent conviction adds to Schulte’s growing list of felonies. Having resigned from the CIA in November 2016, he was found guilty in July 2022 related to the release of classified CIA data, infamously referred to as the Vault 7 leak. This leak revealed sensitive CIA operations, including hacks into Apple and Android smartphones and the conversion of internet-connected TVs into eavesdropping devices.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) posited that Schulte’s motive for the leak stemmed from workplace grievances and dissatisfaction with CIA management.
During his 2022 trial, Schulte defended himself saying, “Hundreds of people could have stolen it. The government’s case is riddled with reasonable doubt. There’s simply no motive here.”
Yet, his leak’s gravity was palpable, as evidenced by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams’ comments, labeling it as one of the “most brazen and damaging acts of espionage in American history.”
Williams didn’t stop at the espionage charges when commenting on Schulte’s recent child pornography conviction, stating, “Joshua Schulte has already been held accountable for endangering our nation’s security, and today’s verdict holds him accountable for endangering our nation’s children as well.”
As the January 10th, 2024 sentencing approaches, Schulte stands at the precipice of potentially facing decades in prison. His lawyer, César de Castro, has remained silent on the matter, offering no comments when approached.
We want to know what you think! Share your thoughts in the comments below.