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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Federal prosecutors have charged former CIA computer engineer Joshua Schulte, 29, with stealing classified information, damaging agency computers, theft of government property, and lying to the FBI, the Justice Department announced Monday.

Why it matters: Investigators believe Schulte, who has been the main suspect in what appears to be the worst leak in CIA history, provided WikiLeaks with a series of stolen documents detailing the government's hacking tools, which the organization then posted online in March 2017. The massive breach, known as "Vault 7," set off a hunt to identify the individual behind the leak.

The backdrop: Investigators had long suspected that Schulte was the man behind the breach, but until Monday, he was being held on separate charges for the possession of child pornography.

Take note: The DOJ's press release did not mention WikiLeaks by name. Instead, federal court documents say Schulte illegally obtained classified information in 2016, then provided it to an organization, which is believed to be WikiLeaks. Politico's Josh Gerstein says the omission signals "that [WikiLeaks] has not been charged in the case."

The impact: "Added together, the charges against him carry a statutory maximum penalty of 135 years in prison," the Washington Post's Matt Zapotosky writes. He adds that some officials have compared the leak to that of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
13 mins ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.

Mike Allen, author of AM
45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.