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In Vault 7 Leaks Trial Schulte Lawyers Want Month Continuance or No More CIA Witnesses

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Thread
BBC - Decrypt - LightRead - Honduras - Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Feb 9 – 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.

  Now on Sunday, February 9 Schulte's lawyers have asked for a 30-day continuance, or that the remaining CIA witnesses past Weber be precluded: "Dear Judge Crotty: In light of the Court’s order of February 6, 2020 (Dkt. 304), the defense respectfully requests an order granting a 30-day continuance of the trial or, alternatively, precluding the remaining CIA witnesses from testifying. The basis for this request is as follows. On February 6, 2020, after the first week of trial was finished, and after the first CIA witness completed his entire testimony, the government finally relented to the defense’s repeated requests for the CIA witnesses’ home addresses and permission to conduct a basic out-of-court investigation into those witnesses. Accordingly, the Court entered its February 6 order granting the defense such permission. We immediately began investigating (to the extent we are able) and are continuing our efforts. But there is no way the defense can be expected to perform a reasonable investigation of so many CIA witnesses (about 15 of them) in the middle of trial. The government has been able to investigate these witnesses for nearly three years. We have not. Instead, we are being forced to conduct our investigation at the same time, literally, that we are trying this extraordinarily complicated case. This is not a fair fight. The Court should grant a 30-day trial continuance. Alternatively, the Court should preclude the remaining CIA witnesses from testifying." Inner City Press will stay on the case - watch this site.

  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).


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