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US prosecutors oppose request for unsealing possible Assange charges

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Federal prosecutors have told a United States District Court judge that they oppose a request by a journalists’ group for the unsealing of any pending U.S. criminal indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and declined to admit whether such charges exist.

In a filing submitted on Monday to Judge Leonie Brinkema, prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia said a recent disclosure in a court document filed in an unrelated criminal case that prosecutors had obtained a sealed indictment against Assange was an “unintentional error.”

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Prosecutors said the erroneous filing does not constitute a confirmation or denial by them as to whether sealed criminal charges against Assange exist, and argued that neither the U.S. constitution nor U.S. common law “require that the government provide such a confirmation or denial.”

On Tuesday, Judge Brinkema is scheduled to hear arguments in a case brought by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which has applied for the unsealing of court records “including the docket and any criminal complaint, indictment or other charging document” related to any sealed U.S. charges against Assange.

Prosecutors and a federal grand jury based in Alexandria for several years have been investigating Assange, WikiLeaks and other individuals associated with the website, though no public charges have been filed.

The Administration of President Barack Obama decided not to file criminal charges against Assange or WikiLeaks on the grounds that the website was arguably as protected as more traditional media outlets by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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During the 2016 presidential election campaign, Republican candidate Donald Trump praised WikiLeaks for disclosing hacked message traffic embarrassing to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. But later, officials of President Donald Trump’s administration condemned WikiLeaks as a “hostile intelligence service.”

Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Donald Trump is America’s clown prince

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“The problem with political jokes,” Groucho Marx once said, “is that they keep getting elected.” Never has that been more true than today.  We live in a world ruled by clowns.  I mean that both literally and figuratively.  Our century has ushered in the Age of the Clown Politician.

In Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, who played a Ukrainian president on the popular television comedy SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE, was elected to be the real president with over 70 percent of the vote. Zelensky is literally a clown.  In Great Britain, Boris Johnson, who will replace Theresa May as prime minister, is a buffoon who elicits laughter –usually unintended- wherever he goes.  Mr. Johnson is figuratively a clown.

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#MyPalestinianSitty goes viral as Twitter users join Rashida Tlaib in showing love for their grandmothers

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"I am overcome with emotions realizing how we are finally humanizing one of the world's most dehumanized peoples," tweeted Rep. Ilhan Omar

Lawmakers, activists, and ordinary people took to Twitter on Saturday to share their love for their Palestinian grandmothers in a show of solidarity with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who refused to accept Israel's "oppressive" conditions for visiting her 90-year-old sitty—the Arabic name for grandmother—in the occupied West Bank.

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Paranoid Trump thinks ominous economic signals are a conspiracy to derail his re-election: report

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When journalists discuss the state of the U.S. economy and report either good or bad economic news, they view it as doing what they’re getting paid to do. But President Donald Trump takes things personally, including financial reporting — and journalist Maggie Haberman, in an article for the New York Times, describes the ways in which Trump views reports of an economic slowdown as a conspiracy against him.

Haberman reports that according to people who spoken to Trump, the president believes that “forces that do not want him to win” reelection in 2020 “have been overstating the damage his trade war has caused.”

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