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In CIA Leak Trial of Schulte CIPA Arguments Nixed Before Sealed Courtroom Press Opposes

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 13 – On the day jury selection was to begin in the retrial of accused CIA Vault 7 leaker Joshua Schulte, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jesse M. Furman shot down several of Schulte's arguments under the Classified Information Procedures Act. Order on Inner City Press' DocumentCloud, here.

  Inner City Press has filed opposing the sealing of the courtroom for CIA witnesses, and once the witnesses begin anticipates making other filings.

 Here's from Judge Furman June 13 Order: "as discussed on the record at the classified hearing held  on June 8, 2022, the Court concludes that the particular statement Defendant seeks to admit is  admissible. The Court further concludes that the information should likely be admitted as a  stipulation, which would give Defendant “substantially the same ability to make his defense as  would disclosure of ” a portion of the document itself, pursuant to CIPA Section 6(c). See 18.  U.S.C. app. 3 § 6(c). Accordingly, the parties shall propose an agreed upon stipulation or  competing stipulations for the Court’s approval no later than June 17, 2022."

Previously, in the conclusion of the month long trial of accused CIA leaker Joshua Schulte, on the morning of March 9, 2020 the jury returned guilty verdicts on Counts 8 and 10, with mistrial granted on all other counts. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Crotty set March 26 for the next date. 

Then it was moved to April 22 (then May 18). March 9 thread here. Song here.

  On November 9, 2021, a status conference was held before Judge Jesse M. Furman to whom the case has been reassigned. Inner City Press live tweeted it here - the upshot was a May 23, 2022 trial date was set. Vlog here.

 That has since been moved to June, with the admonition that it will not be further moved. Schulte has raised issues of how his right to represent himself is possible with law library, turned off computers and printer paper issues in the MDC.

  This was was one of the issues at a May 18 pre-trial conference held on Courtroom 15A of 500 Pearl Street, where Judge Furman has been overseeing a drug trial Inner City Press is also covering, along with other criminal and civil trials. It stepped out - then found that a window had been opened to oppose courtroom sealing. It wrote in to Judge Furman, see below and The New Yorker of June 16: "Matthew Russell Lee, an independent journalist who covered the first trial, recently filed an objection to the government’s motion to seal the courtroom during testimony from C.I.A. officers, but it appears that that condition will again apply."

On June 8 there was a final pre-trial conference, also in courtroom 15A; Inner City Press live tweeted:

OK- at #CIA #Vault7 leak case of US v. Schulte, Inner City Press which has opposed sealing is here, with half dozen gov't reps.

Now US wants to quash subpoena on a witness.

Judge: I would like to avoid sidebars... esp due to Mr Schulte's US Marshals issue. [He has 2 Marshals sitting behind him]

 AUSA: When we move to sealed witnesses... Judge: We'll have the jury leave too, to make no one is in the courtroom who shouldn't be. Openings at earliest Tuesday [and probably later]. Four alternates.

 Judge: 10 peremptories for the defense.  6 for the US. I'll tell jurors Mr Schulte is charged with 9 crimes [incl with] Wikileaks. 

Schulte: Stress that I am presumed innocent.

 Judge: I intend to ask jurors if they are vaccinated and boosted.

AUSA: We want our experts and former case agent in the court during other witnesses' testimony. Judge: Experts yes, case agent no.

Judge: Witnesses cannot read transcripts or media. A/V dry run, you can do it when in the courtroom, Mr Schulte.

Schulte: I'll be here til 4 on my Friday SCIF day.

 Judge: We'll take up the rest in our classified setting. Adjourned.

 Then the prosecutors and Marshals stood around Schulte as he tried to charge his laptop. The continued session would be elsewhere in the courthouse, sealed.

On May 19, this Order: "ORDER as to Joshua Adam Schulte. In its CIPA Section 6(a) Motion, the Government asked the Court to adopt the witness security measures that were used in the first trial before Judge Crotty, which included a partial courtroom closure for certain witnesses from the Central Intelligence Agency. See ECF No. 293; see also ECF Nos. 260, 263. The Court provided public notice of the motion; set a deadline for any members of the press or public to submit written comments or objections by May 13, 2022; and provided an opportunity for any member of the press or public to be heard at the May 18, 2022 conference. See ECF No. 786. No comments or objections were timely made. Matthew Russell Lee, representing Inner City Press, submitted the attached objection to the Court after the conference on May 18, 2022. The objection asks the Court to "provide the specifics of the proposed courtroom sealing. But as noted in the Court's April 26, 2022 Order, see ECF No. 786, those specifics are already on the docket, see ECF No. 263, and indeed, were already implemented by Judge Crotty during the first trial. Despite the lateness of Mr. Lee's objection, and his failure to address the specifics of the Governments proposal, the Court will take his objection under advisement in deciding the Governments motion. No further submissions on the issue will be considered. SO ORDERED (Signed by Judge Jesse M. Furman on 5/19/22)."

  Amid  mea culpas, there may be a better way for public advanced notice of courtroom closures and sealing generally. Some courts provide a separate list of such requests with a timeline to oppose them. We'll have more on all this.

On January 18, 2022 - docketed on January 20 -- Schulte wrote to Judge Furman that he wants to relieve his current stand-by counsel (one of whom represented him on the multiple mistrial counts) and replace them, "based on my intent to call my attorneys as fact witnesses at trial and ongoing issues."

  On May 4, Judge Furman denied Schulte's request for information about his polygraph, and other requests: "ORDER as to Joshua Adam Schulte: As discussed on the record during the sealed conference on May 3, 2022: The portion of Defendant's omnibus motion seeking to compel production of additional information related to Defendant's CIA polygraph examination is DENIED. The portion of Defendant's omnibus motion seeking to compel production of CIA emails and chat messages, to the extent they have not already been disclosed, see ECF No. 785, is DENIED without prejudice to renewal on a showing that the metadata Defendant seeks exists and would be material to his defense. By May 6, 2022, the Government shall produce information in the record relevant to Judge Crotty's January 31, 2020 decision regarding Defendant's testimony on the issue discussed during today's sealed hearing. By May 6, 2022, the Government shall file a letter with the Court stating whether it has any objection to providing Defendant and the Court with the specific language used by Wall Counsel to contact CIA witnesses on Defendant's behalf."

 Back on April 13, 2022, Judge Furman held a conference with Schulte present. Inner City Press live tweeted it here:

Judge Furman denies Schulte's request to delay re-trial. Says it was Schulte's decision to represent himself.

Judge Furman declines to order MDC to let him leave law library in less than 30 minutes - but asks MDC lawyer why not is prepared to explain today. Letter in a week.

AUSA: We'll address in our motions in limine the charts Mr Schulte says he's preparing on his laptop. Plus, in late Feb we got audio of interviews conducted overseas, from an investigation by another Office...

 AUSA Denton: We had to review the trove to pull out classified info. It took time.

 Schulte: Due to the law library issue I am not able to file on this. Judge: You haven't been back to the law library since April 6? You get 10 hours a week. Judge Furman: What about the CIPA hearing?

 AUSA: On courtroom sealing, Judge Crotty held a public hearing, your Honor may want to hold another. [Inner City Press advocated before Judge Crotty against sealing, and stands ready to do so again.]

 Schulte seeks to subpoena some CIA witnesses. Judge Furman: If you have any applications, file them.

 Schulte: Info they won't bring to the SCIF, they should take me to the CIA to see. Judge Furman: You are not going to the CIA.

 Judge Furman proposes a next conference for a Wednesday -- Schulte: That's the day of my social calls. Judge Furman: It'll be that day. Adjourned.

 Back on December 28, Schulte wrote two letters to Judge Furman. In the first, he disagreed with the position that his stand-by counsel do not have to help him with his appeals to the Second Circuit.

 In the second letter, he complained among other things that he is not being allowed to buy stamps in the MDC, to send his own appeals to the 2d Circuit. He asked Judge Furman to oper to the MDC to allow SAMs inmates to purchase stamps like general population inmates, or allow his family to mail him stamps.

On January 19, the US Attorney's Office replied that, among other things, "the defendant should again be able to purchase stamps." They add that Schulte between November 1, 2021 and January 11, 2022 receive more than 50 pieces of legal mail. They said they'll be calling Schulte on January 20. Watch this site.

 On December 20 in large courtroom 26B, Judge Furman held another conference with Schulte and his stand-by counsel. Earlier on, Judge Furman said that Schulte is not free to treat his stand-by counsel like "potted plants." He urged the defense and prosecutors to talk and work things out without so frequently requesting judicial intervention.

  Schulte complained of delays in getting in and out of the MDC, citing the US v. Ghislaine Maxwell case. Judge Furman noted that the case was in closing arguments - actually, jury charge by then. Inner City Press went back to it but will remain on both cases. Watch this site.


Back on September 15, Judge Crotty held another proceeding with Schulte and his stand-by counsel. It was said  that the MCC will *not* be fully shut down. Inner City Press live tweeted it. But now, after Schulte's trial has been postpone "sin die," he has been moved to the MDC: "JOSHUA ADAM SCHULTE Register Number: 79471-054 Age:     33 Race:     White Sex:     Male Located at: Brooklyn MDC Release Date: UNKNOWN." [And see its Oct 15 MCC video here]

  On March 2 were the closing arguments, which Inner City Press tweeted, thread here

 More on Patreon here.

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 (Furman).


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