A former CIA employee was charged Monday with stealing classified national defense information from the agency that emerged publicly in March 2017, when WikiLeaks began releasing some of the CIA's hacking tools. Joshua Adam Schulte of Manhattan was charged in a 13-count superseding indictment returned by a grand jury, the AP reports. He was expected to be arraigned on the charges Wednesday. According to the indictment, Schulte stole the classified information in 2016 in the Eastern District of Virginia and elsewhere and then transmitted it to an organization that purports to publicly distribute classified, sensitive, and confidential information. The organization wasn't identified in court papers. The indictment also charged Schulte, 29, with the receipt, possession, and transportation of child pornography. Schulte already was detained on the child porn charges.
The indictment said Schulte in March and June of 2016 altered a computer system operated by the US Intelligence Agency to grant himself access to the system, enabling him to delete records of his activities and deny others access to the system. In January, a prosecutor said Schulte was the target of an ongoing investigation into the theft of tools used by the CIA to spy overseas. William F. Sweeney Jr., head of the New York FBI office, says Schulte "utterly betrayed this nation and downright violated his victims." Prosecutors said last month they expected to bring charges by July. Schulte faces various new charges, including illegal gathering of national defense information, illegal transmission of lawfully possessed national defense information, theft of government property, and unauthorized access to a computer to obtain classified information. If convicted, he could face decades in prison.
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