The Trump administration may have confirmed the authenticity of a portion of the WikiLeaks documents it claims were stolen from the CIA's secret hacking program.
According to a Motherboard report on Wednesday, the Justice Department, not the CIA, may have revealed that the classified documents are real due to an unrelated case in which the defendant tried to admit some of the WikiLeaks documents to make a case.
"In response, the government requested that the proposed exhibits be excluded from trial because of their classified content," a federal judge wrote in a court filing.
Bradley Moss, a national security attorney, told Motherboard that "based solely on the language in the court's order, I would argue that the government (whether deliberately or unwittingly) confirmed the authenticity of the specific documents produced by the defendants."
Motherboard also reported that the Justice Department is now attempting to retroavtively seal the court documents for this case and two others because they may "reference matters discussed in a portion of a transcript that is already shut-off from public view."
The CIA has not confirmed or denied whether the WikiLeaks documents are real, and would not confirm reports that it is investigating any leaks.
The agency did warn in a statement that any time WikiLeaks publishes something that could hurt the CIA's ability to do its job is a problem.
"The American public should be deeply troubled by any WikiLeaks disclosure designed to damage the intelligence community's ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries," a CIA spokesperson said in a statement. "Such disclosures not only jeopardize U.S. personnel and operations, but also equip our adversaries with tools and information that do us harm."
According to a report from Reuters, U.S. prosecutors are expanding an ongoing grand-jury investigation into WikiLeaks to include the CIA document leak.