Court Battles

Jury fails to decide whether former CIA engineer leaked secrets in WikiLeaks case

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A Manhattan federal judge declared a mistrial Monday after a jury was unable to decide whether to convict computer engineer Joshua Schulte on charges of leaking CIA materials to WikiLeaks.

While the jury was hung on eight counts, including illegal gathering and transmission of national defense information, jurors convicted him on charges of contempt of court and making false statements to the FBI, The New York Times reported.

The jury reportedly deliberated for six days, with one juror replaced after researching the case against the judge’s orders. She was never replaced, leaving 11 people to determine the final verdict.

Jurors also raised concerns about a second juror’s “attitude” in a note, saying she was not participating in discussions, the Times reported.

Prosecutors said Schulte, who resigned in November 2016, was motivated by resentment over his belief that the agency was disregarding his workplace complaints.

The government may retry Schulte, who also faces a separate federal trial over thousands of images and videos of child pornography allegedly discovered on electronic devices during a search of his home.

Schulte’s attorneys argued the vulnerabilities in the CIA’s computer network were widely known, and that it could have been breached by other sources, pointing in particular to a CIA employee identified as Michael who was close friends with Schulte and left the office with him on the night of the alleged theft.

The government placed Michael on administrative leave for refusing to cooperate with the investigation, but it did not notify Schulte’s defense of the action until six months later before Michael served as a witness for the government, according to the Times.

“It shows their doubt about the case against Mr. Schulte,” Schulte’s lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, said in her closing argument.


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