(BrightPress.org) – A CIA programmer was slammed with a 40-year sentence on Thursday, February 1st, for his part in leaking classified information and possession of a huge collection of child sexual abuse material.
Joshua Schulte, 35, released a huge cache of classified material to Wikileaks in 2016 which was released in 2017 as part of their “Vault 7” release. The material revealed information about how the CIA can hack computers, phones, and other devices with ease using specific tools that exploit pre-programmed backdoors.
U.S. Attorney David William Denton Jr. requested the maximum penalty, a life sentence, suggesting Schulte’s crimes were the “most damaging” release of classified material in the entirety of American history.
Speaking in open court, Schulte suggested the conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center were equivalent to a “torture cage.” He also highlighted how he’d previously been offered a 10-year plea deal which he rejected at the time since it would have required him sacrificing his right to an appeal. Schulte said it wasn’t justice that the government was after, but revenge.
The judge commented that Schulte’s remarks were astounding, suggesting he betrayed a complete lack of remorse or any responsibility. He further highlighted that Schulte himself was motivated by revenge and petty grievances, as the prosecution had shared evidence suggesting a reassignment and a conflict with a coworker was what drove his actions.
The judge ultimately handed down a 40-year sentence with most of the time due to his espionage activities. Just under seven years of the sentence came from his conviction for child abuse material. The judge highlighted how Schulte’s lack of remorse was so complete that he continued to view child abuse material he had stored on a secret computer from jail.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said that he continued to release classified material from behind bars as well. In a statement published after the sentence, Williams suggested Schulte was so irate that he continued to lash out against him even after he was caught.
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