Julian Assange Charged With Hacking Conspiracy

Julian Assange has been arrested and removed from the Ecuador Embassy in London, where he has spent the last 7 years, due to the return of an Indictment in the U.S. charging him with conspiring with Chelsea Manning and others to commit conspiracy intrusion. The charge carries up to five years in prison. The Indictment is available here.

Assange, arrested by British police in London and carried out of Ecuador’s embassy, faces up to five years in prison on the American charge, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement. His arrest paved the way for his possible extradition to the United States.

The Indictment was obtained in March 2018 and sealed until today. [More...]

The indictment stated that Manning downloaded four massive U.S. government databases containing some 90,000 Afghanistan war reports, 400,000 Iraq war reports, 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs and 250,000 State Department cables. U.S. officials said the leaks endangered the lives of American troops.

The Press Association reports this is not Assange's only problem.

Julian Assange has been found guilty of breaching his bail at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and faces a jail sentence of up to 12 months when he is sentenced at Crown Court.

The U.S. has lodged an extradition request. The Justice Department announcement is here.

The case is in the Eastern District of Virginia.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Tr*mp has nothing to worry about... (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by vml68 on Thu Apr 11, 2019 at 02:44:56 PM EST
    he knows nothing about Wikileaks.

    He can repeat this all day long when his tangerine a$$ is in jail.

    So there (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 11, 2019 at 02:15:51 PM EST
    actually were sealed indictments.

    This is bad news for Trump.

    The existence of this sealed indictment (none / 0) (#10)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 11, 2019 at 10:41:49 PM EST
    was inadvertently disclosed during the Manafort case, as I recall. I don't think it has anything to do with the imagined Mueller-team "sealed indictments."
       BTW, contrary to what some of the press is saying today, under the international criminal law of extradition, if Sweden or the UK agrees to extradite Assange (as they surely will), additional and different charges, such as espionage, cannot be added once he is received in the U.S. The foreign government's consent to extradition is specific and limited to the charges presented by the "demanding country" (here, the USA) in support of the request for extradition. This is known as the "rule of specialty."

    However (none / 0) (#11)
    by FlJoe on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 06:11:18 AM EST
    there are exceptions  
    1. A person extradited under this Treaty may not be detained, tried, or punished in the Requesting State except for:
    (a) any offense for which extradition was granted, or a differently denominated offense based on the same facts as the offense on which extradition was granted, provided such offense is extraditable, or is a lesser included offense;
    (b) any offense committed after the extradition of the person; or
    (c) any offense for which the executive authority of the Requested State waives the rule of specialty and thereby consents to the person's detention, trial, or punishment.

    Remember, there is one more major act in this play, the Roger Stone trial. I imagine prosecutors are still digging into his association with Assange, Andrew Miller might be forced to testify, Stone may flip.


    I would be happier (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 11, 2019 at 05:37:31 PM EST
    If it was anyone but the Trump justice department.

    As slimy as he is we need leakers now more than ever.

    The Trump DOJ. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Thu Apr 11, 2019 at 06:04:54 PM EST
    The media, with a few exceptions, (e.g. Lawrence), is working overtime to try to understand just what is gong on with that distinguished attorney, William Barr.

     If his history of being a Republican operative during the Daddy Bush Administration escaped them, or they neglected to notice his audition letter, or missed the barely four-page summary of Mueller's two-year investigation, maybe they could have opened their eyes and ears and listened to his testimony at the Congressional hearings.

     It is not that hard to see that he is now the captain of the cover-up team. Investigating the "oranges" of the investigation will be part of the defense---no obstruction, no obstruction, you're the obstruction---Trump is just fighting off the coup by Comey et. al.

    Barr is not only a political hack, but a right wing, Opus Dei extremist.  Mrs. Pelosi says she does not trust Barr (yep) but does trust Mueller.

     I hope she is right, although I am less in Mueller's corner in the trust department. Barr and Mueller are dear friends, Mueller having attended Barr's daughter's weddings and the wives attend Bible study together. Of course, professionals are able to reconcile differences between business and the personal. And, this, we all hope, is the case.

     But, I don't see Mueller, himself, releasing the report without a subpoena, nor do I see him going against testifying if executive privilege is invoked.

    Lawrence mentioned, last night, that if all else fails in terms of getting the Mueller Report, owing to Court delays, it will surely come out if a Democratic president is elected in 2020.  Another incentive and motivation for vote for a Democrat.

    Hopefully, we will have it long before that, but all Democratic presidential candidates should be asked if they would release it, if not released prior to their inauguration.  There could be an argument, as the one Obama made, that we need to look ahead not back, regarding Bush/Cheney et al.---in the interest of bringing the country together.  As with the Obama decision, that, too, would be wrong.  


    I begin to wonder if we (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 11, 2019 at 06:21:13 PM EST
    Will have it before that.  Trump thinks he's got this.  And so far he's been right.  We are entering very perilous times I think.  

    I think Trump believes he's safe as long as he is in charge.  Or as long as someone from the Pence, Barr wing of the party is in charge.  He might be right.

    One thing seems clear we need to use our imagination in ways we never expected if we are going to win because IMO there is literally nothing Trump won't do to win.

    Lawerence was also talking about what waits for Trump the day he leaves office last night.

    I'm sure Trump is as aware of this as anyone.


    I can't imagine (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Apr 11, 2019 at 06:32:42 PM EST
    what we can do but there must be a way other than hoping a patriot in the DOJ releases the report. Perhaps one of Mueller's lawyers kept a copy of their summary. They are leaving DOJ and can tell everything they know. I'm tired of waiting on SDNY to do something and the NY AG. Things have gotten downright dangerous now.

    It might come down (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Apr 11, 2019 at 06:37:33 PM EST
    To winning in 20

    How does the Trump White House ... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Apr 11, 2019 at 07:35:26 PM EST
    ... invoke executive privilege on a counterintelligence and criminal inquiry in which: (a) The majority of the conduct in question took place prior to Trump's election; and (b) The president himself was one of the subjects? Executive privilege only applies to administration officials after Jan. 20, 2017, and not to any activities or communications of Trump campaign officials during the 2016 election. Robert Mueller as Special Counsel is not part of the Trump administration.

    And speaking of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, today she and five other top congressional Democrats have sent a formal letter to Attorney General Barr once again demanding that the Mueller report be released to them immediately in unredacted form:

    "First, as a matter of law, Congress is entitled to the full report -- without redactions -- as well as the underlying evidence. We require that information in order to discharge our constitutional obligations: to develop and pass legislation and to conduct thorough oversight of the Executive Branch. These responsibilities are most acute where they involve the alleged misconduct of the President of the United States. Indeed, because you have told us on several occasions that you will not indict the President for obstruction of justice and related crimes, it now falls to Congress to examine the President's conduct and, if necessary, to hold him accountable.

    "Second, the Department of Justice has an obligation to work with the relevant committees of the House and Senate to reach an accommodation on the full report and the underlying materials. Since your March 22 letter announcing the end of the Mueller investigation, our senior Members have written to you on numerous occasions. We have asked reasonable questions and raised legitimate concerns about your handling of this report. So far, we have received no direct response, and you have made no effort to work with us to accommodate our concerns. This work should not wait until after you have provided a redacted report. It should start now."

    If Barr refuses to comply with their latest request, as expected, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler will likely issue DOJ a subpoena for the documents. His committee has already authorized him to do so.

    And if Barr still refuses to cooperate and releases only the redacted version of the Mueller report, then Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff, et al., should curtly inform him and the general public that due to Barr's own intransigent behavior and baseless public statements, he is now the target of an official congressional inquiry for contempt of Congress -- and oh, by the way, they will now require the unredacted Mueller report in order to compare it with Barr's redacted version, so as to determine whether or not the U.S. Attorney General should further be the subject of impeachment proceedings for obstruction of justice.

    At that point, Barr would be compelled to recuse himself from any oversight considerations over the Mueller report.

    Now, THAT would be hardball, which frankly is what congressional Democrats are going to have to play here. Bill Barr really climbed out on a limb yesterday with his nonsensical and baseless statements about U.S. intelligence agencies spying on the Trump campaign. He's basically telling congressional Democrats, "If you want to get Trump, you'll have to go through me first."

    Democrats ought to take Barr up on that. He is on a lot less firm ground than he and other administration officials apparently believe. And by defying the Constitution so brazenly, he may have unintentionally made himself Trump's soft underbelly.



    Yeah (none / 0) (#4)
    by FlJoe on Thu Apr 11, 2019 at 05:55:05 PM EST
    Barr has gone full witch hunt, massive cover ups and spygate diversions coming up.

    Julian Assange... (none / 0) (#12)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 09:32:21 AM EST
    ... will be kept in a cold dark place for a long time, just like this guy.

    Trumps greatest Wikileaks video.

    pardon? (none / 0) (#13)
    by thomas rogan on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 09:45:06 AM EST
    If Julian Assange is such a crusader for press freedom, then maybe the Democratic candidates for president can run on a platform promising a full and complete pardon if he were to be convicted of any crimes.

    Why would Democrats do that? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 06:39:10 PM EST
    Julian Assange is a political provocateur, not a journalist. There's nothing wrong with being the former, provided you don't masquerade as the latter and hide behind the First Amendment while acting as the former. As far as Assange is concerned, the bloom's long since fallen off the rose bush. I couldn't care any less about what ultimately happens to him.

    Lets keep in mind the charges against (none / 0) (#14)
    by ragebot on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 12:13:11 PM EST
    Assange relate to helping Manning obtain information about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has nothing to do with the 2016 election.

    As Peter has pointed out adding charges after extradition is not a given.

    Yes, the charges (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 12:55:20 PM EST
    are not espionage-related.  Nor has the government charged Julian Assange with publishing classified information, but, rather, with stealing it.

    The charge alleges that Assange helped then Army Private Chelsea Manning, in 2010, to steal sensitive and classified information.  The single charge, at this point, is carefully and narrowly drawn.  In its course the Assange case could constructively discern between journalism and cybercrime as well as address Trump's assaults on the free press as "enemies of the people."

    However, with Trump there is always the possibility that, despite his repeated expressions of love for Wikileaks, he will take this opportunity to not only add charges to Assange, but also, add assaults on the free press--his bete noire.  


    More than not a given as I understand (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 12:43:06 PM EST
    Not allowed.  Unless he commits further crimes he can only be charged with what the extraditing country was informed of prior to extradition.

    According to Rachel and Lawerence


    I guess we (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 12:44:46 PM EST
    could add more charges before extradition though I'm sure it's not likely. I'm not sure when he is going to be extradited.

    See (none / 0) (#19)
    by FlJoe on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 01:46:09 PM EST
    my comment (#11) the rule of specialty can be waived, so more charges are not out of the question.

    Ah (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 01:50:05 PM EST
    A dump truck sized loop hole

    What a surprise


    Not really a loophole, since the doctrine (none / 0) (#26)
    by Peter G on Sun Apr 14, 2019 at 08:28:54 PM EST
    does not exist for the protection of the accused, but rather for the maintenance of the authority of the two sovereign nations, under the terms of a treaty between the two.

    While not out of the question (none / 0) (#21)
    by ragebot on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 04:35:53 PM EST
    they are highly unlikely.

    No doubt there will be a long drawn out extradition fight in the courts with the topic of any additional charges being addressed.

    The current charge is that Assange helped Manning crack a password on a system Manning worked on as I understand it.  Reading the charges it may be that Manning provided the details of what happened and will testify at the trial.  Manning copied the entire computer disk and provided Assange with a copy along with a partial password (not clear if he had the entire password or need help to crack it) and then Assange got the files and posted them.  

    Problem is that in the Pentagon Papers case the govt lost because only the person who actually steals stuff gets punished, not the person who publishes it.  It is easy to make an argument that Assange is a publisher; not a thief.

    Not defending Assange; just saying this does not look like a good case; especially if it requires Manning to testify.


    Nope. "Stealing stuff" is the charge (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Towanda on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 07:46:44 PM EST
    against Assange, not the publishing of the "stuff."

    I'm (none / 0) (#23)
    by FlJoe on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 06:57:39 PM EST
    not optimistic on further indictments either, but I wouldn't rate it as highly unlikely either. Please show your work.

    On the counter-intel side the Brits know as much as we do and they probably have a dim view of Assange, if we have or get some court-worthy evidence of further crimes I can very well see them saying go for it.


    Nor is it a given (none / 0) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 12:43:13 PM EST
    that other charges will not be added but given the GOP's love of Assange I would certainly not put any money on any more charges being added since Barr has proven himself to have been corrupted by Trump. Conservatives are willing to go to jail in the service of a carnival barker. It's simply amazing. Barr should be visited by the Ghost of John Mitchell to let him know about how being a toady can work out for you.

    Just when you thought (none / 0) (#25)
    by ragebot on Fri Apr 12, 2019 at 11:03:33 PM EST
    Brexit was fading away for a time it turns out that after Assange exhausts all possible appeals in GB he could try to have his case heard at the European Court of Human Rights -- unless Britain has left the European Union by that time.