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Feds accuse ex-CIA employee of continuing leaks from prison

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors beefed up charges against a former CIA employee Wednesday, saying he has leaked classified national defense materials while incarcerated.

The new charges against Joshua Adam Schulte were contained in a rewritten indictment filed in Manhattan federal court.

Prosecutors said Schulte, 30, of New York City, was charged with the unlawful transmission and attempted unlawful transmission of national defense secrets from prison, along with a contempt violation.

An earlier indictment had charged him with transmitting classified national defense information that he stole from a CIA computer system in 2016 when he worked in the Eastern District of Virginia. Some of the information emerged publicly in March 2017 when WikiLeaks began releasing some of the CIA’s hacking tools.

The previous indictment also alleged child pornography crimes. He has pleaded not guilty.

A lawyer for Schulte declined comment.

Schulte has told a judge that evidence against him is “nearly non-existent.”

Prosecutors requested a new arraignment on the rewritten indictment which they said outlined “his continued, brazen disclosure of classified information while incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.” The center is next to Manhattan federal court.

In a letter to Judge Paul A. Crotty, prosecutors said they learned in May that Schulte had distributed search warrant materials that were supposed to remain secret to family members so that they could be distributed to others, including members of the media.

They said they also learned that Schulte provided materials containing classified information to his family members as well.

Prosecutors wrote that the government learned earlier this month that Schulte has been using one or more smuggled cellphones to communicate clandestinely with individuals outside the federal lockup.

An FBI search found multiple contraband cellphones including at least one with significant encryption, about 13 email and social media accounts and other electronic devices, prosecutors said.

The investigation revealed that he had sent classified information to third parties, including through an encrypted email account, they said.

Prosecutors said Schulte was placed in more restrictive detention conditions on Oct. 1 during the latest probe.

In a handwritten submission to Crotty on Tuesday that has since been removed from the public record, Schulte complained that he was moved on Oct. 1 to an isolated part of the correctional center.

“This entire case is a lie,” he wrote. “As you peel back lie after lie, nothing remains but a bare search warrant affidavit without probable cause.”

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