Ex-CIA engineer convicted in massive theft of secret info

FILE - In this courtroom sketch, Joshua Schulte, center, is seated at the defense table flanked by his attorneys during jury deliberations, Wednesday March 4, 2020, in New York. Schulte, the former CIA software engineer accused of causing the biggest theft of classified information in CIA history, has been convicted at a New York City retrial. A jury reached the guilty verdict against Joshua Schulte on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 in federal court in Manhattan. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
FILE – In this courtroom sketch, Joshua Schulte, center, is seated at the defense table flanked by his attorneys during jury deliberations, Wednesday March 4, 2020, in New York.
Schulte, the former CIA software engineer accused of causing the biggest theft of classified information in CIA history, has been convicted at a New York City retrial. A jury reached the guilty verdict against Joshua Schulte on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 in federal court in Manhattan. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — A former CIA software engineer was convicted Wednesday of federal charges accusing him of the biggest theft of classified information in CIA history.

Joshua Schulte, who chose to defend himself at a New York City retrial, had told jurors in closing arguments that the CIA and FBI made him a scapegoat for an embarrassing public release of a trove of CIA secrets by WikiLeaks in 2017.

Schulte watched without visibly reacting as U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman announced the guilty verdict on nine counts, which was reached in mid-afternoon by a jury that had deliberated since Friday.

The so-called Vault 7 leak revealed how the CIA hacked Apple and Android smartphones in overseas spying operations, and efforts to turn internet-connected televisions into listening devices. Prior to his arrest, Schulte had helped create the hacking tools as a coder at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

A sentencing date was not immediately set because Schulte still awaits trial on charges of possessing and transporting child pornography. He has pleaded not guilty.

Attorney Sabrina Shroff, who advised Schulte during the trial, told Schulte’s mother after the verdict that the outcome was a “kick to the gut, the brain and heart.” It was unclear if Shroff was expressing her own sentiments or Schulte’s.

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