Late post for a Friday but I am sure there will be a lot of interest in this.
And I am sure the debate will be vigorous. Because it appears that Julian Assange of Wikileaks fame has been charged with so far unknown offences.
I noticed this when I saw this tweet:
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) November 16, 2018
The information links to this Wall Street Journal article which strangely does not specifically refer to the court document. The article says this:
The Justice Department is preparing to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is increasingly optimistic it will be able to get him into a U.S. courtroom, according to people in Washington familiar with the matter.
Over the past year, U.S. prosecutors have discussed several types of charges they could potentially bring against Mr. Assange, the people said. Mr. Assange has lived in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since receiving political asylum from the South American country in 2012.
The people familiar with the case wouldn’t describe whether discussions were under way with the U.K. or Ecuador about Mr. Assange, but said they were encouraged by recent developments.
Ecuador’s relationship with Mr. Assange has deteriorated sharply since last year’s election of President Lenin Moreno, who has described him as a “stone in our shoe” and said his continued presence at the embassy is unsustainable.
And Mueller seems to have Assange in his sights:
An indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller that portrayed WikiLeaks as a tool of Russian intelligence for releasing thousands of hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential campaign has made it more difficult for Mr. Assange to mount a defense as a journalist. Public opinion of Mr. Assange in the U.S. has dropped since the campaign.
Prosecutors have considered publicly indicting Mr. Assange to try to trigger his removal from the embassy, the people said, because a detailed explanation of the evidence against Mr. Assange could give Ecuadorean authorities a reason to turn him over.
The exact charges Justice Department might pursue remain unclear, but they may involve the Espionage Act, which criminalizes the disclosure of national defense-related information.
Other media have picked up on the news of the charge. For instance there is this from the Guardian:
Julian Assange, a major target of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election, has been criminally charged in secret, an apparent mistake in a court filing has indicated.
The court filing, submitted by US authorities in an unrelated case, mentioned the existence of criminal charges against someone named “Assange” even though that was not the name of the defendant.
Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London since seeking asylum in 2012, is considered a wanted man by US law enforcement agencies after his controversial publication of classified diplomatic cablesand other secret US government documents.
“The news that criminal charges have apparently been filed against Mr. Assange is even more troubling than the haphazard manner in which that information has been revealed,” Pollack said in an email.
I am not so sure. Releasing state secrets tends to attract the attention of the state innvolved and the accuracy of the release does not affect liability.
The disappearance of Wikileaks and Fox News from the twittersphere over the past five days has intensified speculation about the cause. Maybe this is it.
And Donald Trump has been in a particularly foul mood lately. It appears he is aware of what is coming up:
The only “Collusion” is that of the Democrats with Russia and many others. Why didn’t the FBI take the Server from the DNC? They still don’t have it. Check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats. That’s the real Collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2018
I am aware this topic causes all sorts of angst amongst lefties. I am of the Hillary would have been a poor choice but this should not have happened variety. Please keep your comments respectful.