Giuliani: Assange Arrest May Expose Ukraine Plot to Frame Russia, Trump

Giuliani: Assange Arrest May Expose Ukraine Plot to Frame Russia, Trump

Here's the interesting and, perhaps, optimistic part for freedom of the press advocates: The U.S. did not charge Assange for publishing classified material under the Espionage Act, but instead under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. One was involved in organizing an event for Sweden's center-left Social Democratic Party and offered to host Assange at her apartment.

But Assange refused to leave the building, claiming that American authorities would use any arrest to request his extradition to the U.S.to face hacking charges. She told CNN yesterday that Assange had successfully "informed the American people about actions that were taking place that they should be aware of" and that his prosecution by US law enforcement is "some form of retaliation".

"The act of coaching" someone how to steal information, as alleged in the indictment, "is a step too far", said Ryan Fayhee, a former Justice Department prosecutor who specialised in counterintelligence cases.

Assuming he is eventually brought to the US, Assange would face charges in the Eastern District of Virginia, just outside Washington.

For years, Assange's publications have been a thorn in the side of governments around the world, embarrassing them by his online posting of sensitive material obtained by computer hackers. Manning was jailed last month after she refused to testify before a grand jury in Virginia, suggesting that prosecutors' work related to Assange is not done.

Assange's lawyer has previously said he planned to fight any USA charges against him.

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Those charges do not carry the death penalty, however.

The Ecuadorian government blamed WikiLeaks for the leaked documents, dubbed the INA Papers, an allegation that WikiLeaks denies.

On its face, the charges have nothing to do with Mueller's probe. After a week of warnings from WikiLeaks and Assange's attorneys, Ecuador revoked the journalist and publisher's asylum protection and allowed British police into the embassy to arrest him-decisions that were widely condemned by political leaders, whistleblowers, journalists, and human rights advocates worldwide.

Foreign Minister José Valencia and Interior Minister María Paula Romo accused Assange of riding scooters around the cramped embassy hallways, insulting staff and smearing feces on the walls. "The bottom line is he has to answer for what he has done, at least as it's been charged".

But Trump's first reaction was dismissive, telling reporters "I know nothing about WikiLeaks". Asked yesterday about Assange's arrest, Trump said at the White House: "It's not my thing".

This raised eyebrows because during his 2016 presidential campaign Trump repeatedly lauded and encouraged the hacking and information-dumping platform, which six years earlier had caused a massive scandal by publishing thousands of secret United States military and diplomatic documents.

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