(Ezekiel Loseke, Headline USA) Joshua Schulte, an ex-CIA engineer, was convicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court of federal charges accusing him of orchestrating one of the most significant thefts of classified information in the CIA’s history.
The hacked data and trove of government secrets was released in the 2017 “Vault 7” leak, which demonstrated how the CIA used smartphones, smart TVs and almost any device that had a computer chip and was connected to the internet as listening devices, reported ABC News.
According to Politico, Schulte had helped create the devices in question before leaking the technology.
Schulte attempted to defend himself in court. He apparently impressed the federal judge, who, after the trial, told him, “Depending on what happens here, you may have a future as a defense lawyer.”
Unfortunately for Schulte and his legal career, he was convicted by a jury of engaging in espionage. The trial that convicted Schulte was his second trial, as a 2020 jury was deadlocked and declared a mistrial, according to Politico.
Schulte, as a consequence of the mistrial and lengthy process to prepare for this trial, has been incarcerated since 2018.
He filed a formal complaint in January 2021, explaining to a federal judge that his living conditions were “below that of impoverished persons living in third world countries.”
“It is barbaric and inhumane to lock human beings into boxes for years and years — it is a punishment worse than death,” he wrote.
Schulte, who did not deny his role in the development of the program, said that he was simply the scapegoat for the CIA and FBI, taking the blame for their embarrassing leak and invasive searching procedures, according to Politico.