NEW YORK and LUBBOCK, Texas — A former CIA software engineer, originally from Lubbock, was convicted Wednesday in the “biggest theft of classified information in CIA history.”
Joshua Adam Schulte, 33, who chose to represent himself, was found guilty of nine counts by a jury in Manhattan. Schulte portrayed himself as a scapegoat for the release of CIA secrets, the so-called Vault 7 leak, by WikiLeaks in 2017.
In his closing argument, Schulte claimed he was singled out even though “hundreds of people had access to [the information].”
“Hundreds of people could have stolen it,” Schulte said.
“The government’s case is riddled with reasonable doubt,” he added. “There’s simply no motive here.”
But a federal prosecutor told the jury Schulte was motivated by resentment toward the CIA, and leaked to both the public and to U.S. adversaries some of the nation’s “most valuable intelligence-gathering cyber tools used to battle terrorist organizations and other malign influences around the globe.”
Vault 7 revealed how the CIA hacked Apple and Android smartphones in overseas spying operations.
“Mr. Schulte, that was impressively done,” the federal judge told Schule during jury deliberations. “Depending on what happens here, you may have a future as a defense lawyer.”
Federal prosecutors also accused Schulte of charges related to child pornography.
The Associated Press described Schulte as formerly from Lubbock and Texas Driver License records listed his address as near 105th Street and Indiana Avenue.
It’s not clear when Schulte left Lubbock but various documents in court records seemed to indicate it was prior to 2009.
Sentencing in the case was not yet scheduled.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)