Hello! THREAD! 1/ I'm getting a lot of questions about why I don't like some of the Assange charges. Please allow me to explain. Let's start with some immutable facts: FACT 1: I hate Assange. He's a POS probable rapist Russian hat dillweed. FACT 2: Trump hates the press.
2/ FACT 3: Assange is being charged with assisting in document theft, but he is also being charged with 9 counts of disclosing those documents (counts 9-17). Here's the indictment for you to peruse. documentcloud.org/documents/6024…
3/ FACT 4: it is not illegal - generally - for a media outlet to publish documents, even if they're stolen. FACT 5: Wikileaks could be classified as a media outlet whether we like it or not. There are no well defined terms within the law for what constitutes a media outlet.
4/ So let's remember back to the Pentagon Papers and how the public got to see those. This story was recently told in the movie The Post. The Pentagon Papers were stolen from the Rand corporation and leaked to the NYT and subsequently, the Washington Post.
5/ The White House filed suit and lost in the Supreme Court. GOOD. Now, the person who stole the documents from Rand committed a crime, but the media outlets that published the Pentagon Papers did not.
6/ Now let's say someone working at a German Bank stumbles across round two of the Panama Papers, and the Trumps are named in them. This bank employee leaks the stolen documents to the New York Times, and the Times publishes them.
7/ Sure, the bank employee that stole the shit committed a crime and should be charged (assuming there is no whistleblower protection or that he didn't follow that protocol). But if Assange is convicted for publishing stolen documents and not just for stealing the documents...
8/ Trump's DoJ could charge the Times with a crime citing a successful conviction of Assange for distributing stolen documents as precedent, and arguing that Wikileaks and the New York Times are both media outlets under legal definitions.
9/ Again, if the evidence is there, I think Assange should go to jail for stealing documents. But not for distributing them. Obama's administration did NOT charge Assange for these crimes because of the first amendment implications. Think about why Trump IS charging him. END
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