SDNY COURTHOUSE, Feb 24 – A week before the trial of accused CIA leaker Joshua Schulte, set to begin February 3, a public hearing was held on January 27 about the US Attorney's requests to seal the courtroom for some witness and limited media attendance to a single pool reporter banned from reporting any physical characteristics of the CIA witnesses.
On this issue, Inner City Press before the public hearing filed three one-page letters in opposition, the last one here. At the end U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Crotty asked Assistant US Attorney Matthew Laroche if his Office objected to live video feed to the SDNY Press Room, not showing the witnesses' faces. AUSA Laroche said no objection - which should mean feeds for this all other proceedings, when requested. On February 4, Inner City Press live-tweeted the opening arguments, here. And here a song.
On February 24, while an FBI agent testified about ham-handed interview of Schulte, Inner City Press live tweeted thread here, the US Attorney's Office as it is required made available some exhibits, which we'll make available without paywall here on Patreon. But it still did NOT provide the audio files it played the jury. This violated Judge Crotty's order. We'll have more on this.
On February 22 Schulte's lawyers have pressed harder for a mistrial based on the government's withholding information. On February 23, the US Attorney's Office responded: "Dear Judge Crotty: The Government writes respectfully to address certain inaccuracies in the affidavit of Steven M. Bellovin, submitted on February 22, 2020 (the “Bellovin Affidavit”) regarding the Government’s discovery productions in this case. The Bellovin Affidavit asserts that the log files from the ESXi server produced by the Government in discovery were “demonstrably damaged” as a “result of prior forensic examination.” However, on or about June 14, 2019, in response to the defense’s request, the Government produced unmodified copies in their original format of both log files and unallocated space from the ESXi server. The Bellovin Affidavit also asserts that the Government only provided “heavily redacted” versions of the Confluence databases, and not “a full copy of the SQL file.” On or about November 5, 2019, the Government provided defense counsel and the defendant’s expert access to a standalone computer at the CCI Office containing, among other things, (1) complete, unredacted copies of the March 2 and 3, 2016 Confluence databases (i.e., a “full copy of the SQL file”) and all of the Confluence data points used by Michael Berger, one of the Government’s expert witnesses, to conduct his timing analysis; (2) complete, unredacted copies of the Stash repositories for the tools for which source code had been released by WikiLeaks; (3) complete, unredacted copies of all Stash documentation released by WikiLeaks; and (4) all commit logs for all projects released by WikiLeaks, redacting only usernames. The Government understands that Dr. Bellovin examined the standalone computer at the CCI Office in December 2019. Copies of the relevant discovery letters are attached as classified enclosures. Finally, the Government does not address Dr. Bellovin’s incorrect assertions regarding Michael’s access to the Altabackups in this letter." And here again, the song, with a stanza about Michael, suspect and witness. Watch this site.
But it's not enough. On February 20 the government played extensive audio to the jury, and these are exhibits. They are the type of exhibits released in the Avenatti and even the first part of the OneCoin / Mark Scott trial. But despite Inner City Press politely contacting the Office on February 21, and some written exhibits in response being provided, none of the audio files were.
Judge Crotty on January 29 ruled that "[t]he Government is directed to make transcripts and exhibits available no later that the evening after the day of testimony." Even read as allowing a one-day delay, this is written on the evening of February 21 after the February 20 playing of audio files. Where are they? Where is Judge Crotty on this? Watch this site.
Now Schulte has moved for a mistrial, based on the government withholding material information until the middle of the trial: "Dear Judge Crotty: Defendant Joshua Adam Schulte respectfully moves for a mistrial because the government has improperly withheld critical discovery and trial materials, including exculpatory information, in violation of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. First, the government failed to disclose an internal August 2019 memorandum from the Deputy Director of the CIA for Counterintelligence to the Director of Security requesting that one of its employees, known to the jury as "Michael," be placed on enforced administrative leave because of suspicion, inter alia, that he was involved in the theft and disclosure of the Vault 7 and Vault 8 information (the "CIA Memorandum"). The request was granted and Michael has been on paid leave ever since. This information and any related documents should have been disclosed to the defense pursuant to Brady v. Maryland and Fed. R. Crim. P. 16 promptly in Augl,lst 2019-not in the middle of Michael's crossexamination six months later. See Tr. 1333. Second, despite repeated requests, the government improperly refused to permit the defense to inspect or copy the "mirror images"1 of the CIA's ESXi Server and FS0I Server (also known as the "NetApp" Server) (collectively, the "CIA Servers")." We'll have more on this.
On February 19, Schulte's lawyer Sabrina Shroff during cross examination asked the CIA witness, Do you know how many people died in Pearl Harbor? Yes. And how many in Vault 7 or Vault 8? No answer. How many CIA personnel put at risk? No answer. But didn't you compare them? And so it went. Feb 19 thread here.
On February 18, Schulte's lawyer Sabrina Shroff during cross examination of one of his many supervisors got at least two admissions of interest: that the CIA "typically" does not use offensive cyber tools against friendly foreign nations - what does it? - and that he considered contractors to be the same as the CIA. Inner City Press live-tweeted thread here. We will continue on this case.
Previously, AUSA David Denton said Schulte committed this most damaging leak because he was angry that his false accusation against a co-worker was rejected by the CIA.
Schulte's lawyer Sabrina Shroff in her opening emphasized that the CIA had not idea information had been taken, and still doesn't know who did it, or when. Instead, she said, the prosecution will focus on Schulte's time in the MCC. But she asked the jurors to consider if they too wouldn't be desperate if in the MCC, to reach out and prove their innocence.
The government put forward as a proposed first witness and expert Paul Rosenzweig of GWU Law School among other affiliations. Shroff objected to him being deemed an expert. And the trial was off - Inner City Press will live tweet it as much as possible. Watch this site.
More on Patreon here.
On transcripts, Inner City Press raised the issue of the high cost, for less corporate media. AUSA Laroche, seemingly contrary to his letter, said that transcript will be made available on some undefined delay, for redaction. But what about the costs? The Daily News noted no closures for El Chapo in the EDNY; the New York Post noted that a written description like blond or bald could hardly identify a witness and the AP correctly noted that in-house journalists in the SDNY do not seek to put anyone in danger.
Judge Crotty said he will issue an order soon; the request for US v. Schulte feeds has already been made. Watch this site.
Back on January 24, for which a feed was denied, an issue that arose was Schulte's letters complaining that his assigned counsel James M. Branden is not providing assistance of counsel. Now in the docket is a letter from Branden, dated January 24, stating that because of a hearing in White Plains he could not attend the final pre-trial conference for Schulte. Something is very wrong with this. And this:
A basic PACER search by Inner City Press finds that Schulte in April 2019 filed a civil lawsuit against the US Attorney General. There is a docket number: 19-cv-3346. Photo here.
But even on the SDNY Press Room PACER terminal when Inner City Press clicked on the Complaint, it replied, "You do not have permission to view this document." So who does? And is this a public court system? We will have more on this.
Assistant US Attorney Matthew Laroche argued that while prospective jurors will be shown witnesses real names, it will only by in hard copy and thereafter some 17 of them will be referred to by pseudonyms.
Schulte's lawyer Sabrina Shroff, still with the Federal Defenders for purposes of this case, insisted on calling these "fake names," and complained about the difficulties imposed in conducting basic research on potential witnesses.
US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman is asking to have the public excluded from the courtroom during the testimony of several of these CIA witnesses: ten called by the prosecution, and seven the defense seeks to call.
See Inner City Press filing into the docket on Big Cases Bot, here. Watch this site. The case is US v. Schulte, 17-cr-548 (Crotty).