, 16 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I already did a thread on what's in the Assange indictment. Link below. But the Twitterverse is trippin' about how this is a Barr chess move to help Trump. That's BS.
Admittedly, this isn't the WORST possible Assange indictment for Trump. That will be when he and his kids and henchmen all get rung up for criminal conspiracy during the 2016 election.
This is also not the worst possible indictment for Assange. Which means the prosecutors are still holding out the possibility that Assange decides to cooperate to lessen the penalties. TRUMP DOES NOT WANT ASSANGE TO COOPERATE. See above.
The basic charges in the indictment are for ESPIONAGE. There are two levels under US law: Section 794, "delivering defense information to a foreign government" or 793 "gathering transmitting or losing defense information."
British law does not allow a defendant to be extradited if he faces the death penalty. Under Section 794, leaking national secrets to a foreign government " shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life" So to extradite, that must be off table.
The penalty under the lower level, is PER COUNT, "fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both." It includes forfeiture of property. Assange, as charges, faces 180 years in prison and forfeiture of assets, but NOT the death penalty.
I can think of no scenario where Trump is better off with Assange on trial for espionage in the United States than he would be with Assange in Britain or Sweden or Russia.
I also can't think of how this indictment decreases the changes of extradition to the US. Sweden's claim is for rape, which is a very serious crime, but at least arguably it is less serious than an 18 count indictment for espionage against Britain's oldest and closest ally.
THIS IS NOT an attack on the Press. Assange is charged under a statute that is specific to stealing and leaking DEFENSE INFORMATION. And it requires that information be obtained "with intent or reason to believe the information will be used to the injury of the United States"
Section (a) deals with sneaking onto defense installations or taking pictures of defense equipment in order to hurt the US. law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18…
Section (b) makes it criminal, with intent to hurt US, to obtain "sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing, or note of anything connected with the national defense."
Section (c) STRAIGHT UP SAYS its a crime to "obtain or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain" defense information. If you have a problem with that, talk to Congress. It's not a matter of interpretation by the DOJ.
Section (d) makes it a crime for people that have access to give to the unauthorized. This is completely normal stuff. That's what Manning did.
Section (e) makes it a crime for an unauthorized person to transmit the documents, etc., It's not a crime to write about them, it is a crime to release them. Like Assange did.
If you dig this kind of thing, I'd be honored if you'd give me a follow. I operate no botnets; it's all real in here.
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