Man who allegedly leaked CIA hacking tools says he's been tortured and is owed $50 billion

Schulte leaked hacking tools he developed for the CIA to WikiLeaks. (CIA)

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A former CIA computer engineer compared himself to a victim of the Nazis and said the government has caused him to lose more than $50 billion in income in a new court filing that accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of violating his civil rights.

Joshua Schulte has filed a preliminary complaint seeking immediate release from federal detention, according to court documents filed earlier this month. Schulte was arrested in 2017, accused of crimes including sexual assault, possessing child pornography and, later, providing documents detailing CIA hacking capabilities to WikiLeaks.

Schulte now argues that he has suffered “irreparable harm from torture imposed by the Federal Terrorists” and that he needs to be released in order to prepare a legal defense.

The complaint was first noticed by independent journalist Marcy Wheeler.

His argument asserts that there is no difference between pretrial detention and federal incarceration. It then goes on to compare U.S. authorities to Nazis and to claim that his Second Amendment rights are violated because he is prohibited from carrying a firearm behind bars.

“I lost time mentoring and teaching my youngest brother programming as he attends college and most likely learns the wrong way to align braces and indent (the correct answer of tabs v. spaces is actually to use tabs but have the tabs insert spaces instead of /t),” Schulte said. “I’m also a huge movie buff and I’ve already missed major blockbuster releases that I would have reserved in advance at Alamo Drafthouse and enjoyed with family and friends.”

Schulte accused the government of lying to judges to revoke his bail, using child pornography allegations to coerce him into confessing to espionage and retaliating against him for reading criminal justice reform literature, among other allegations.

“What if Bill Gates’ life was similarly destroyed by government malfeasance prior to Microsoft?” he goes on. “Would he have been reimbursed the $80 billion he’s worth today? The problem is you can’t ever know what someone would have accomplished with the time of what invented would have been born.”

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This complaint is the latest complication in a case that has grown increasingly convoluted since Schulte first was charged with storing child pornography in 2017. He was accused last year of violating the Espionage Act for allegedly providing classified materials, which later became known as the Vault 7 files, to WikiLeaks. Since then, Schulte and his defense team have complained that government prosecutors have delayed providing the evidence they require to mount a sufficient defense.

A trial date has been set for Nov. 4 in the Southern District of New York.

A copy of Schulte’s full complaint is available below.

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joshua schulte, Southern District of New York, Vault 7, WikiLeaks
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