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In Vault 7 Leaks Trial Schulte Lawyers Want US Forensic Expert Leedom Precluded

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Feb 10 – 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.

  On February 10, after testimony that the CIA Agents called in for damage control were not allowed to visit Wikileaks' site on the Internet, Schulte's lawyers asked to preclude an expert witness: "Dear Judge Crotty: The defense respectfully moves to preclude any testimony from the government’s forensic expert, Patrick Leedom, regarding supposed access to a March 3, 2016 back-up file at the CIA on April 20, 2016. The government’s expert notice, dated October 18, 2019, did not indicate, as it must, see Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(a)(1)(G) (expert notice “must describe the witness’s opinions, the bases and reasons for those opinions, and the witness’s qualifications”), that Mr. Leedom would testify about any access to a March 3 file, much less what his opinions about the access would be. The notice described Mr. Leedom’s expected testimony regarding April 20, 2016, as follows: (U) Access to the ESXi Server on April 20, 2016. Mr. Leedom will testify that on April 20, 2016, Schulte’s workstation again accessed the ESXi server as a Server Administrator using the Schulte Administrative Key. Schulte’s workstation was then used to create a snapshot of Confluence, which was titled “bkup” (the “April 20 Snapshot”). At approximately 5:35 p.m., Schulte's workstation was used to revert Confluence to the snapshot titled “bkup 4-16-2016.” At approximately 6:51, p.m., Schulte’s workstation was used to revert Confluence back to the April 20 Snapshot. After doing so, Schulte's workstation was used to delete the April 20 Snapshot, and then delete various logs of activity from the prior hour. The deletion of the log files caused the system to stop creating certain log files going forward. During the time Confluence was reverted, the user of Schulte's workstation would have had access to the Altabackups and the ability to download from the workstation to removable electronic devices, such as USB devices or a hard drive.

Gov’t Expert Notice, at 4–5.  The government also described this expected testimony from Mr. Leedom: (U) Other Activities in April 2016. Mr. Leedom will testify concerning certain USB activity on Schulte’s workstation including that on April 20, at approximately 5:30 p.m., a San Disk USB device was detected by VMWare on Schulte’s workstation. Mr. Leedom will also testify that on April 15, Schulte’s workstation was used to attempt to create a new path to the backups in the NetApp. Id. at 5. Nothing in these disclosures mentions any testimony about access to a March 3, 2016 file. And, so far as we can tell, the government never supplemented its expert notice to describe Mr. Leedom’s opinions on this subject or the bases and reasons for such opinions. Accordingly, given the government’s failure to comply with its obligations under Fed. R. Crim. P. 16(a)(1)(G), any expert testimony by Mr. Leedom about access to a March 3, 2016 file should be barred." Inner City Press will stay on the case - 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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