Ex-CIA Employee Gets 40 Years In Prison For Wikileak

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York announced on Thursday that a federal court has sentenced a former CIA employee to 40 years in prison for the worst data leak in the agency’s history as well as possessing and transporting child exploitation photos.

A jury convicted Joshua Schulte of illegally obtaining and transmitting national security information and obstruction of a criminal investigation in 2022. Then in 2023, a jury found him guilty of possessing and transporting media of child exploitation of a heinous nature.

Authorities first arrested Schulte for charges related to child exploitation materials in August 2017. The government then indicted him for the unauthorized disclosure to Wikileaks months later.

“Joshua Schulte betrayed his country by committing some of the most brazen, heinous crimes of espionage in American history,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. “He caused untold damage to our national security in his quest for revenge against the CIA for its response to Schulte’s security breaches while employed there.”

His arrest did not stop Schulte from leaking more sensitive national security information. “When the FBI caught him, Schulte doubled down and tried to cause even more harm to this nation by waging what he described as an ‘information war’ of publishing top secret information from behind bars,” Williams said in the press release.

“Mr. Schulte severely harmed U.S. national security and directly risked the lives of CIA personnel, persisting in his efforts even after his arrest,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen.

“And all the while, Schulte collected thousands upon thousands of videos and images of children being subjected to sickening abuse for his own personal gratification,” Williams added.

“The outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the career prosecutors in this Office unmasked Schulte for the traitor and predator that he is and made sure that he will spend 40 years behind bars – right where he belongs,” wrote Williams.

Australian computer programmer Julian Assange founded Wikileaks on October 4, 2006. Assange is currently in detention in Belmarsh Prison in London for publishing anonymously-submitted classified government documents on the website.