- The Washington Times - Friday, January 31, 2020

Attorneys for Julian Assange have their eyes on the looming criminal trial of a former CIA employee accused of providing his WikiLeaks website with classified information.

Barry J. Pollack, a lawyer for Mr. Assange, told The Washington Times that the WikiLeaks publisher’s legal team is interested in the outcome of the trial of Joshua Adam Schulte scheduled to start Monday.

Mr. Schulte, a former CIA software engineer, has been charged in connection with allegedly supplying WikiLeaks with agency hacking tools released by the website in 2017 under the name “Vault 7.”

Mr. Assange has not been charged with any crimes involving Vault 7, but rather he faces 18 criminal counts related to the soliciting and publication of classified U.S. military and diplomatic documents released by WikiLeaks nearly a decade earlier.

Nonetheless, Mr. Pollack indicated the Assange team is curious about the outcome of Mr. Schulte’s trial as it unfolds amid efforts by the Department of Justice to extradite his client from London to the U.S.

“It shouldn’t have any impact on the case against Assange,” Mr. Pollack said. “The [Assange] indictment has absolutely nothing to do with Vault 7 so there’s really no overlap actually in the two cases.”

“There aren’t any charges about Vault 7; there haven’t been any extradition requests related to Vault 7,” he added. “So certainly we’re interested in seeing what happens with that case, but it’s not directly related to any of the charges.”

Mr. Pollack also acknowledged the possibility of Mr. Assange facing further charges down the road.

“Certainly, there is always the threat that additional charges will be brought against Assange,” Mr. Pollack told The Times on Thursday following an event held in D.C. involving his client’s case.

Mr. Assange, a 48-year-old Australian native, was arrested in April and subsequently charged him with violations of federal computer hacking and espionage laws stemming from the publication of classified material provided to WikiLeaks in 2010 by Chelsea Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst. His extradition trial is currently scheduled to start Feb. 24.

Mr. Schulte, 31, is accused of criminal conduct involving the alleged theft and transmission of national defense information. He has been held pending trial at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

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