Update: Assange attorney says he’s not been allowed to meet with his client
London lawyer, Mark Stephens, told Voice of Russia, the Russian government’s international radio broadcasting service, that British officials will not allow him to meet with Julian Assange until the day before a Dec. 14 court hearing.
“The one thing that is slightly frustrating is that we have another court hearing on December 14 and I’ve not been permitted a legal visit until December 13, which, of course, gives me less than 24 hours to prepare his case,” Stephens said.
Second update: Glenn Greenwald notes that if the Department of Justice is successful in prosecuting Assange, it will be the first time a non-government employee is convicted under the Espionage Act.
Original report follows…
Julian Assange’s problems may just be beginning.
Lawyers for the founder of WikiLeaks, the secrets website publishing more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables, told ABC News that the US could be preparing a spying indictment against their client.
“Our position of course is that we don’t believe it applies to Mr. Assange and that in any event he’s entitled to First Amendment protection as publisher of Wikileaks and any prosecution under the espionage act would in my view be unconstitutional and puts at risk all media organizations in the US,” attorney Jennifer Robinson said.
Robinson believes the US indictment will happen soon.
Earlier this week, US Attorney General Eric Holder authorized a criminal investigation into Assange.
“The lives of people who work for the American people has been put at risk; the American people themselves have been put at risk by these actions that are, I believe, arrogant, misguided and ultimately not helpful in any way. We are doing everything that we can,” Holder said at a news conference.
“We have a very serious, active, ongoing investigation that is criminal in nature. I authorized just last week a number of things to be done so that we can hopefully get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable, as they — as they should be,” he said.
Assange is already in custody in London over other allegations of sex crimes. He was arrested Tuesday after British authorities received an arrest warrant from Sweden.
Assange’s two accuser went to the police together because they wanted to have him tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) after both had unprotected sex, several people formerly connected to Assange told Reuters.
One accuser, Anna Ardin, has reportedly stopped cooperating with police and has fled to Palestinian territories.
The 39-year-old former hacker is in solitary confinement in London with no access to a computer and limited access to a phone.
“This means he is under significant surveillance but also means he has more restrictive conditions than other prisoners,” Robinson said. “Considering the circumstances he was incredibly positive and upbeat.”
Assange has vowed to fight extradition to Sweden. He intends “to vindicate himself and clear his good name,” attorney Mark Stephens said.
Following his’s arrest, “hactivists” have taken down websites of organizations acting against WikiLeaks. Distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks were launched against MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and the Swedish prosecutor’s office by the hacker group “Anonymous.”
WikiLeaks has denied any connection to the cyberattacks.
This video is from ABC’s Good Morning America, broadcast Dec. 10, 2010.
Here’s why Trump contradicted his own White House on the Supreme Court rulings
Following the Supreme Court's pair of 7-2 decisions rejecting President Donald Trump's claim to have absolute immunity from subpoenas, he blasted the ruling on Twitter, claiming he being unfairly targeted and the victim of "prosecutorial misconduct." However, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a statement saying that "President Trump is gratified by today’s decision."
‘They deserve it’: Republican strategist tells GOP it’s their own fault for going down with Trump because ‘they know better’
Republican strategist Susan del Percio said that there is no excuse for GOP members who failed to do the right thing and fight back against President Donald Trump when they had the opportunity.
Speaking to MSNBC's Joy Reid Thursday, del Percio called Trump "the anchor" around the GOP's necks, "dragging them down."
"But, you know what, they deserve it," she continued. "There are Republicans out there that deserve this because they know better. They should have been better on impeachment. They should have been holding him accountable all along. Now they are scared and worried about themselves. Well, boohoo, you brought it on. there's no excuse."
‘The monarch has taken a body blow’: Ex-prosecutor explains why Court ruling is devastating for Trump
On MSNBC Thursday, former federal prosecutor John Flannery broke down the implications of the Supreme Court's ruling against President Donald Trump on immunity from subpoenas.
"I think what it says is that the monarch has taken a body blow as a result of what will be an historic decision, as we've indicated," said Flannery. "I think that the position of the DA in New York is very special, because he can speed this up in a way that the House can',t and has a specific strength, I think, in this case, that it is criminal."
"The most significant thing about it is this is the first Supreme Court case in which there's ever been agreed that a prosecutor could subpoena a president," added Flannery. "Prior prosecutions have been federal, that have been treated by the Supreme Court. So this is a big difference. The majority of the court, 7-2, basically said, from 1740 on, the public is entitled to the testimony, to the evidence of any person. They said that the documents — the question is the character documents, not the character of the person. In this case, what we have is a situation which I bet that the DA is going to go to the court as soon as possible, move to compel an appearance to their subpoena, and going to have the discussion as to what if anything may be limited or excluded and get production as quickly as possible."