- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Federal prosecutors are hoping to keep former CIA software engineer and suspected WikiLeaks source Joshua Schulte subjected to strict restrictions while he’s in custody awaiting trial.

In a memorandum filed Monday in Manhattan federal court, attorneys for the Department of Justice defended special administrative measures, or SAMs, imposed on Mr. Schulte, 30, restricting his communications with relatives and isolating him from other inmates being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City.

“If there were ever a case where measures like the SAMs were appropriate,” wrote U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.

Jailed in Manhattan since January 2018, Mr. Schulte has been criminally charged with leaking classified material both before and during his time behind bars. He is accused of being the source of CIA hacking tools published online by WikiLeaks in 2017, and prosecutors allege he used smuggled cellphones while in custody to disclose sensitive details about his court case.

The Justice Department authorized the restrictions special administrative measures October, citing Mr. Schulte’s “continued willingness to disclose classified information, even while incarcerated,” subsequently triggering the legal challenge that led to Mr. Berman’s response this week.

Schulte’s arguments to vacate the SAMs flounder on one unassailable fact: Schulte is a risk of illegally disclosing information from the MCC through unregulated modes of communication because Schulte already has illegally disclosed classified information from the MCC through unregulated modes of communication,” wrote Mr. Berman.

The memorandum was filed alongside a photograph that prosecutors described as showing Mr. Schulte using a cellphone in jail prior to the measures being imposed.

Mr. Schulte “smuggled contraband cellphones into the MCC, created encrypted email accounts and secret social media accounts and drafted misleading ‘articles’ for public dissemination that were not only fraught with misinformation but also contained classified information,” wrote Mr. Berman. “The Court need not speculate whether Schulte would disclose classified information illegally from the MCC because he already has.”

A public defender representing Mr. Schulte in the case did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Mr. Schulte left the CIA in November 2016, around four months before WikiLeaks began publishing the classified agency material he is alleged to have leaked.

“The Leaked Information contained, among other things, highly sensitive information including detailed descriptions of certain tools used by CIA operators,” wrote Mr. Berman. “The Leaks’ impact on the CIA’s intelligence gathering activities and the national security of the United States was catastrophic.”

Prosecutors allege he later used the smuggled cellphones while behind bars to share classified information with a reporter and post online about his case. An internet search for an excerpt of a post cited by prosecutors led to a blog credited to Mr. Schulte inactive since October.

“I will see this through to the very end and fight until the day a jury of my peers finds me guilty and sentences me to 20 years In prison or they find me with 22 self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the back of the head,” its author wrote in one of their last posts.

Implemented weeks later, the special measures imposed by the Bureau of Prisons prohibits Mr. Schulte from being housed or communicating with other inmates and limits his contacts while in custody to only his lawyers and immediate family members. His lawyers have argued they violate his Fifth, Sixth and First Amendment rights.

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