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Fri May 24, 2019, 05:58 PM

Some federal prosecutors disagreed with decision to charge Assange under Espionage Act

Source: Washington Post

Two prosecutors involved in the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange argued against the Justice Departmentís decision to accuse him of violating the Espionage Act because of fear such charges posed serious risks for First Amendment protections and other concerns, according to people familiar with the matter.

The previously undisclosed disagreement inside the Justice Department underscores the fraught, high-stakes nature of the governmentís years-long effort to counter Assange, an Internet-age publisher who has repeatedly declared his hostility to U.S. foreign policy and military operations. The Assange case also illustrates how the Trump administration is willing to go further than its predecessors in pursuit of leakers ó and those who publish official secrets.

The internal Justice Department debate over how, or whether, to prosecute Assange stretched back to the Obama administration, which ultimately decided that such charges were a bad idea but did not formally close the case.

The case was dormant when the Trump administration began, but in 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, eager to demonstrate his zeal for pursuing anti-leak investigations, urged the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia to take a second look at prosecuting Assange.

-snip-

By Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky and Rachel Weiner May 24 at 5:48 PM


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/some-federal-prosecutors-disagreed-with-decision-to-charge-assange-under-espionage-act/2019/05/24/ce9271bc-7e4d-11e9-8bb7-0fc796cf2ec0_story.html

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Reply Some federal prosecutors disagreed with decision to charge Assange under Espionage Act (Original post)
Eugene May 24 OP
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 24 #1
PSPS May 24 #2
okaawhatever May 25 #3
Trueblue Texan May 26 #4

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2019, 09:00 PM

1. Kick

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Fri May 24, 2019, 09:19 PM

2. Significant differences between this and Ellsberg

Assange likes to say his actions were the same as any journalist. This is ridiculous for several reasons, some of which are:

1. A legitimate news organization would vet the information. Assange did not and may have falsified some of it.

2. A legitimate news organization would remove information that would put people in peril before publishing it. Assange did not and, in fact, some sources were killed because of it.

3. A legitimate news organization would seek comments from the parties involved before publishing. Assange didn't do this at all and merely dumped whatever he deemed useful for his political goals without any filter at all.

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Response to PSPS (Reply #2)

Sat May 25, 2019, 12:56 AM

3. Exactly. Not to mention, the claim behind the Espionage charge is because he actively helped

Chelsea Manning steal the information. You can be a reporter or a co-conspirator, but you can't be both. Also this article is a joke. "Some prosecutors....." it was 2 and they never mention out of how many. This clearly is a propaganda piece.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2019, 10:54 AM

4. See Chis Hayes' comments on Thursday night.

It depends on what they are charging him with.

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