Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Tracking & Law Enforcement

Judge Rejects Ex-CIA Worker’s Try to Dismiss Hacking Charges

A former CIA employee cannot get espionage charges against him dismissed on the grounds that there weren’t enough Hispanic or Black individuals on the grand jury that indicted him, a judge ruled Wednesday.

A former CIA employee cannot get espionage charges against him dismissed on the grounds that there weren’t enough Hispanic or Black individuals on the grand jury that indicted him, a judge ruled Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty issued his ruling in the case against Joshua Schulte, finding that there was nothing illegal about a suburban grand jury in White Plains returning the indictment during the coronavirus pandemic rather than a grand jury in Manhattan that normally would have done so.

Schulte faces an October trial on charges that he leaked a massive trove of CIA hacking tools to WikiLeaks.

Schulte, 32, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Schulte’s lawyers had argued that nine criminal charges alleging that Schulte leaked national defense information to WikiLeaks should be dismissed because the grand jury did not reflect a fair cross-section of the Black and Hispanic populations in the community.

Crotty, though, said the reliance on a White Plains grand jury rather than one seated in Manhattan was necessitated by an “external force,” the pandemic, rather than an effort to exclude certain segments of the population from being empaneled.

He called the decision by prosecutors to seek indictment in White Plains “entirely proper.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

A lawyer for Schultz did not immediately comment.

Prosecutors say the 2017 release of secrets by WikiLeaks resulted from the largest leak of classified information in CIA history.

Schulte worked as a coder at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where some of the CIA’s digital sleuths design computer code to spy on foreign adversaries.

A jury last year deadlocked on espionage charges, though it convicted Schulte of less serious charges of contempt of court and making false statements. Prosecutors sought a retrial.

Wednesday’s ruling may foreshadow the outcome of a similar request to toss out charges in the case against Ghislaine Maxwell, the ex-girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein charged with procuring teenage girls in the 1990s for him to sexually abuse.

Lawyers for Maxwell, who has pleaded not guilty in a case presided over by a different judge, argued in pretrial motions earlier this year that the White Plains grand jury that returned an indictment against her after her July arrest did not include enough Hispanic and Black grand jurors.

Maxwell, 59, faces a July trial.

RelatedEx-CIA Employee Suspected in WikiLeaks ‘Vault7’ Leak

Related: Ex-CIA Employee Charged With Leaking Agency’s Hacking Tools

Written By

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join security experts as they discuss ZTNA’s untapped potential to both reduce cyber risk and empower the business.


Join Microsoft and Finite State for a webinar that will introduce a new strategy for securing the software supply chain.


Expert Insights

Related Content


No one combatting cybercrime knows everything, but everyone in the battle has some intelligence to contribute to the larger knowledge base.


The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.


The Hive ransomware website has been seized as part of an operation that involved law enforcement in 10 countries.


Daniel Kelley was just 18 years old when he was arrested and charged on thirty counts – most infamously for the 2015 hack of...


Employees of Chinese tech giant ByteDance improperly accessed data from social media platform TikTok to track journalists in a bid to identify the source...


Spanish Court agreed to extradite Joseph James O’Connor to he U.S., who allegedly took part in the July 2020 hacking of Twitter accounts of...


US government reminds the public that a reward of up to $10 million is offered for information on cybercriminals, including members of the Hive...

Application Security

Virtualization technology giant Citrix on Tuesday scrambled out an emergency patch to cover a zero-day flaw in its networking product line and warned that...