U.S. authorities claim they have found the loophole that will allow them to ignore the First Amendment and nail Julian Assange, according to officials who claim charges are prepared to arrest the WikiLeaks founder.
A case was opened on Assange in 2010, but prosecutors struggled to find a way around the First Amendment, which afforded Assange and WikiLeaks the right to publish and the right to free speech.
However prosecutors now believe they have found a way to get around the First Amendment, arrest Assange, and put WikiLeaks out of business, after investigators found what they believe is proof that WikiLeaks played an “active role” in helping Edward Snowden, a former NSA employee, disclose a massive cache of classified documents.
If WikiLeaks played an “active role” in helping Snowden – rather than simply receiving and publishing the NSA documents – then the authorities may have a case against Assange.
US admits it has charges to arrest Assange according to CNN https://t.co/qopTAaRbPc
Contribute to his defense: https://t.co/77ASQfcNXt
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 20, 2017
CNN reports: During President Barack Obama’s administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the Justice Department determined it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn’t alone in publishing documents stolen by Manning.
Several newspapers, including The New York Times, did as well. The investigation continued, but any possible charges were put on hold, according to US officials involved in the process then.
Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, despite the United Nation’s verdict that he is the victim of arbitrary detainment. In recent months, US officials had focused on the possibility that a new government in Ecuador would expel Assange and he could be arrested. But the left-leaning presidential candidate who won the recent election in the South American nation has promised to continue to harbor Assange.
Last week in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, CIA Director Mike Pompeo went further than any US government official in describing a role by WikiLeaks that went beyond First Amendment activity.
He said WikiLeaks “directed Chelsea Manning to intercept specific secret information, and it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States.”
“It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” Pompeo said.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference Thursday that Assange’s arrest is a “priority.”
“We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” he said. “This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious. So yes, it is a priority. We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.”
You can contribute to Julian Assange’s legal defense fund here.