Day 3: Julian Assange extradition hearing -- we expect to hear testimony from Paul Rogers, emeritus professor of peace studies at Bradford University, and possibly Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower #AssangeCase
Professor Rogers is taking the stand. He's been asked to talk about Julian Assange's political views and statements.
Rogers is testifying that he sees Assange's views as in contrast to those of successive US administrations, particularly the Trump admin
Rogers is talking about the Afghan War Diaries, the picture they provided the public in contrast to the way the US government portrayed it as a success
Similarly with the Iraq war and the Iraq War logs, there had before been little evidence that it was going badly wrong, as the US portrayed it as a success story
"Possibly the most important part of the whole thing" was that WikiLeaks' releases showed 15,000 previously uncounted civilian casualties
Bringing to the American public a very disturbing aspect of the whole war
Professor Rogers' statement is here: defend.wikileaks.org/wp-content/upl…

All statements from witnesses who've testified are available here: defend.wikileaks.org/extradition-wi…
Rogers confirmed the importance of the Manning disclosures, there is much greater caution about Western countries entering wars at an early stage, which is due in part to the publications of WikiLeaks.
Now discussing Assange's views, a speech he gave to the UN, an anti-war speech at Trafalgar Square in 2011, as well as Mairead Maguire nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019
Jan 2019: Mairead Maguire Nominates Julian Assange for Nobel Peace Prize worldbeyondwar.org/mairead-maguir…
Oct 2011: Julian Assange Leads Afghanistan Protest in London commondreams.org/news/2011/10/0…
Testifying to Assange's "very clear" political view, anti-war can't be reduced to anti-American, it's a wider view than that
To sum it up, the combination of transparency and accountability make up the core of his beliefs, from what I can see
Does he have a clear political opinion? He does clearly, the problem is it doesn't fit clearly into conservative or liberal, it's a more libertarian view
From Rogers' statement:
"the opinions and views of Mr Assange, demonstrated in his words and actions with the organisation WikiLeaks over many years, can be seen as very clearly placing him in the crosshairs of dispute with the philosophy of the Trump administration"
It is clear that Assange is being opposed because of the success of WikiLeaks in bringing information to the public. This is dangerous to the Trump administration – “the root of it is that Assange and what he stands for represents a threat to normal political endeavor”
In addition to opposing Assange's words and views, to some extent, the fact that Obama didn't prosecute should be considered in why Trump is prosecuting
Rogers: “if you go back to the Refugee Convention in 1951…it is clear, together with religion and nationality, that political opinion is a valid reason to seek refugee status. I think there is no question that Mr Assanage is motivated by his own political opinions”
Defense: "And that has brought him into conflict with a US administration which is targeting journalists and whisteblowers and protecting the US way of life even if it means use of torture?

Rogers: "Yes"
“This whole case has taken a course which is shaped by the changing political circumstances in the US….I think it is in part the political views of President Trump himself – with his views on fake news and considering himself beset by threats by the fourth estate”
James Lewis QC now cross-examining Prof. Rogers for the prosecution. Asks, "what is a political opinion?"
Rogers talking about the history of political opinion back to Greece & Rome. Lewis interrupts him to "try and be much more concise"
Lewis says not to give a speech. The judge says, 'you just asked him what is a political opinion.'
Lewis says Assange also has views on corporations, and on NGOs. Those aren't political opinions do you? Rogers says they wouldn't have previously, but in modern day, the definition has expanded, particularly in last 50 years. Assange has view on transnational elites
Rogers talking about Assange's "anti-war" views come through strongly.

Lewis: does being a journalist mean holding strong political opinions?
Hard to answer succinctly. Lewis: does *simply* being a journalist mean holding strong political opinions? Not necessarily
Lewis asks about Benkler's description of Assange in the 4th estate. Rogers starts to answer, Lewis again angry he's going on too long
Yochai Benkler, A Free Irresponsible Press: Wikileaks and the Battle Over the Soul of the Networked Fourth Estate dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/10900…
Lewis and Rogers talking about political opinions coming into journalism. Rogers saying choosing what to publish and what not to is a political opinion
Lewis: does he believe in publishing secrets at any cost?

He doesn't say publish everything, but pushes transparency much further than is the norm
Would he say transparency is OK even at the expense of harm to others?

I wouldn't say that
Rogers again says he can't give short, yes/no answers to these complex questions
Lewis wants Rogers to talk about Assange's comments on WW2. Rogers apologizes that he can't view the documents referenced due to technical difficulties. Lewis says 'well you had no problem when the defense was asking'
Rogers apologizes for not coming in person, says there's a family issue
Lewis asks Rogers about Assange's statement, "German invasion of Poland was based on carefully constructed lies", what political opinion does that evidence? Political opinion, others may not agree with

"Journalists are war criminals", what political opinion does that evidence?
Lewis talking about the GUE/NGL Award given to Assange -- says it was based in part on "need" and the fact that they want to see him released. Rogers: I don't see why you're connecting this to 'political opinion', I don't agree with every view he has, but he has them
April 2019, Assange, Motarjemi & Rui Pinto win GUE/NGL whistleblower prize guengl.eu/assange-montar…
Lewis and Rogers talking about Assange's views again on politics, autocratic regimes. Rogers' answer concludes 'it's an interesting view, not necessarily traditional political science, but it's an opinion.' Lewis not pleased with answer, is moving on
Lewis now turning to Rogers' credibility as an expert witness. 'You understand you're to be unbiased?' Yes
Lewis wants to take Rogers through the prosecution's supporting evidence for the indictment
'So you know Gordon Kromberg has specifically said this is not a politically motivated prosecution' yes
Why don't you mention Kromberg in any part of your expert report? I was asked to deal with specific aspects of the case. But there is abundant evidence that this is politically motivated by the change in administration in the US
I can take you through those reasons more if you like. Lewis: no I want to talk about you as an expert. Your duty is not to the defense, it's to the court
Rogers: I agree with that. I'm not a lawyer, I'm approaching this-

Lewis interrupts - but you've adopted what Chomsky, Feldstein, Shenkman, Andy Worthington say, but not one iota contrary to what the defense says
Can you explain? Yes, I see the reasons for political motivation far more important. I take it as read that the US govt would say it isn't
Defense rises to say Rogers' statement includes the caveat,
"if the view of the above defence experts is correct"
(Gordon Kromberg is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia na.eventscloud.com/ereg/popups/sp…)
Rogers says he took the view this is politically motivated, says what Lewis is bringing up is anomalous
You've specifically been dealing with whether the prosecution is based on criminal justice concerns or whether it's unfairly prosecuting for political reasons - you gave an unequivocal answer. I want to understand why you didn't add in or explain the other side of the coin
To the view that this is not a politically motivated prosecution, what about the evidence? Have you seen the evidence underlying the charges against Assange? I'm not a lawyer

Lewis asks again, have you seen the evidence? Yes

That's not true. Rogers misunderstood
The evidence hasn't been given yet, still hasn't been tried. Rogers thought he meant Kromberg's submission.

So have you seen the evidence against MR Assange? Not the evidence the US is reserving for its trial.

So you haven't? you just said I can't have seen it
Hypothetically, if the evidence is overwhelmingly strong that a person has committed a crime, how can you say the prosecution is brought on a politically motivated basis?

Rogers: we are talking about a change in political attitudes
Rogers: I must return to the fact that this is charged after the previous administration didn't bring the prosecution, this is years later
Prosecution's Lewis going over rules for federal prosecutors, must be unbiased.

Rogers: may be true in theory but in practice, but a rather large number of prosecutors are appointed from the center, there is a risk of direction coming from above
What evidence do you have that this is coming from prosecutors' political motivation?

Rogers: Do you mean the people at the top? At the Dept of Justice they are essentially politically appointees
Rogers: I would like to explore that this prosecution is brought after 8 years, this is why it's political prosecution, but I understand you wouldn't like me to talk about that.

Lewis: no we'll get to that in due course
Rogers: I'll take it as read that the staff of the dept of justice will do as they ought to, unbiased etc. But that is in the context of the political situation which I've talked about
Lewis again: federal prosecutors are forbidden from taking politically motivated cases?

Rogers: I understand that, but who decides which cases are brought? especially 8 years later?
Rogers: not saying fed prosecutors are acting in bad faith, I'm saying that at a different level a political decision was taken to take this case up after 8 years
Lewis: what difference does that make? If someone says, let's have another look at that, does that make it politically motivated?

Rogers: no, I'm saying what else has changed. Has any evidence been brought since? Why wasn't this prosecuted earlier?
Lewis wants to talk about Rogers' work on the army and Northern Ireland and political prosecutions
Moving on. Tell us what you understand the indictment is prosecuting Assange as doing?

Rogers: From the view of prosecutors? breaking US laws
Is he being prosecuted for publishing the Collateral Murder video? I doubt specifically that, I imagine the indictment is more narrow, but the publication of that video is viewed as damaging by multiple political admins
Lewis: if this were political, wouldn't he be charged for publishing that video? Before full answer, Lewis goes back to indictment -- reads about conspiring with Manning to crack password, 'that's got nothing to do with publishing on the internet does it?'
Rogers: I understand that will be contested, including by Assange, but again we go back to the wider context in which this is brought
Lewis arguing the charges are limited to publication about named sources. So the charge against Mr Assange is 'narrowly limited' where the publications included unredacted names at risk of grave harm? Do you understand that?

I understand that is what the prosecution says.
Rogers: again this is brought to a higher level than this. I take it that the prosecutors are acting in good faith. No issue with the way it is being done within the Dept of Justice. but my concern is to take an overview of the context of when this is brought.
We also need a wider view of the war and information surrounding it
We'll take a 10 minute recess now. #AssangeCase
Court back in session. Lewis: so you don't think federal prosecutors are acting in bad faith? Rogers: that's correct
Rogers: I don't doubt they believe there is a case to be made.

Your position is that at a high level, a political level, a decision has been made to bring this prosecution? Rogers: yes but this requires a longer answer than a yes/no.
Rogers: the question is why is it that Obama admin decided not to and the Trump admin did? Major political changes in the US, particularly 2017 to now
Lewis: you'll have read what Mr Kromberg says about that?

Rogers: Yes - he basically disputes that. I can tell you why the evidence supports that this is a political prosecution, if you'd let me I'd be happy to do so.
Again to 2013 WaPo article on Obama admin deciding not to prosecute (washingtonpost.com/world/national…)
Lewis interrupts Rogers attempting to explain political motivation yet again
Lewis again quoting this paragraph, wants to stress the investigation was ongoing
again quotes @wikileaks' @khrafnsson saying they didn't expect prosecution, Rogers says that's what you'd expect from that organization
Lewis: was it possible to arrest Mr Assange in 2013?

Rogers: is it necessary to be able to arrest someone to bring a prosecution?

Lewis: what would be the point if he's hiding in the embassy?

Rogers: well to put pressure on him
Rogers: it would have made very good sense to bring it at that time, to show a standing attempt to bring Mr Asange to justice
Lewis quoting same things as he did to Feldstein yesterday, including Barry Pollack in the US.

Rogers: again that's exactly what I'd expect from his lawyer in Washington
Again and again Rogers saying there was no decision taken to prosecute Assange under Obama, and there has been a change, essential to consider this
Lewis wants Rogers to be specific that there was no decision to prosecute under Obama, not that there was a decision *not* to prosecute
Lewis going back to WikiLeaks tweet from Sept 2016 saying Assange would accept prison for Manning pardon. So they believed there was still the possibility of prosecution?

Rogers: again, what you'd expect, they cannot be sure there'd be no charges, perfectly reasonable
Lewis: so we've moved from "decision not to prosecute" to "no decision taken to prosecute" is that right?

Rogers: yes that's where we've gotten to. I accept at the lower level some investigation still going on
Lewis: so your statement relies on defense experts being correct, is that right? Yes

And if they're not correct, or the court takes the opinion they're not correct, your opinion would change?

Rogers: Not necessarily, depends on the nature of the change and evidence brought
Prosecution's Lewis: You read the evidence of defense witness Eric Lewis - want to see if you agree with it or how it affects your opinion. What he says is Trump's motivation for Assange being prosecuted
Again from yesterday, the theory that Trump wants to distract attention from Assange and WIkiLeaks publishing docs that benefited Trump. You agree with that?

Rogers: no, may have been one reason, but not the only one not by a long shot. You have to see the wider context
Rogers: Reading into it could see that there's a threat to the legitimacy of Trump's election, but I'd need to go into it in further depth.

Discussing why Trump would want to bring this out in a trial
Rogers: very strong mood in the US, particularly by supporters of Trump to see Assange as beyond the pale. May have been a factor. Views given by Eric Lewis not the only ones by a long shot that point to a change in Trump admin
Lewis: come on professor, you're being biased to Mr Assange
Rogers strenuously objects, says he isn't saying anything in order to support Mr Assange.

End of Lewis's cross-examination.
Defense questioning Rogers again, back to Assange's anti-war speech.

Iraq war result of lies - that's WMD.

German invasion of Poland, that's Nazi lies yes? Rogers: yes

Lewis objects: leading question
Defense rephrases: when Lewis mentioned lies in German invasion, whose lies?

Rogers: Hitler's lies.

Reasonable point to make? Yes, pity he wasn't' able to give full context but yes reasonable point to make
Back to the political motivation of the Trump admin.

Rogers: Statements by Pompeo, Sessions, others that this prosecution should be brought. A direct contrast to Obama admin, has to be considered
By end of Bush admin, views changed against the wars. Obama able to run against the war in 2008 election. Obama took the view initially though that Afghan war had to be continued, even to increase, but view was to eventually bring it to an end
Point is that Obama admin accepted neither war could be won. WikiLeaks' leaks confirmed that behind the scenes the military knew this was untenable situation
Rogers: the point about all of this was that this explains why American politics had moved on by 2015-16, though I accept as Lewis said there was something ongoing at a lower level. but when Trump was elected there was a sea change
Rogers: The Trump admin sees the networked fourth estate as a potential danger
Defense's Fitzgerald back to the WaPo article on no decision to prosecute. Was that a significant decision?

Rogers: WaPo generally reliable on these matters. Obama Admin likely was on the point of deciding *not* to prosecute.
Fitzgerald reviewing 2019 article on some Trump admin prosecutors disagreeing not to prosecute Assange under Espionage Act (washingtonpost.com/world/national…)
Rogers: differences of opinion at quite a high level. May be a political level. Throws further light on the change between the Obama admin and the Trump admin. Not purely a matter of law.
Rogers: can't know if Trump directly said to a prosecutor to bring it, but influence was felt from the top down

Also need to go back to the changing perception of the Iraq and Afghan wars in the US over several years
Rogers talking about Obama admin commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning. Think the admin was very unhappy about that. Could be a factor in the Trump admin bringing the Assange prosecution to court. I understand a commutation can't be turned around by a subsequent admin.
(Think the Trump administration was very unhappy about that)
4 months after William Barr took office, Trump admin brought an indictment against Assange expanded with 17 more charges. These charges brought against objections of prosecutors
Rogers: Mr Sessions had initially been favored by Trump, replaced by Barr, much bigger prosecution brought soon after with higher prison sentence. Further evidence of pressure brought on the system rather than specific individuals
End of Professor Rogers' testimony. #AssangeCase

Recess until 2pm. @trevortimm of @FreedomofPress will testify after the break over videolink.
Court resuming now after technical difficulties, Trevor Timm is testifying by videolink
Timm is the co-founder of @FreedomofPress, which tracks press freedom violations and advocates for protections to press freedom: freedom.press/about/
Timm recounting historical violations of press freedom in the US, Nixon admin going after NYT after the Pentagon Papers leak
Trevor Timm's witness submission: defend.wikileaks.org/wp-content/upl…
Discussed Supreme Court roundly rejecting this First Amendment violation
Discussed @petersterne's article 'How the Espionage Act morphed into a dangerous tool used to prosecute sources and threaten journalists' freedom.press/news/how-espio…
"In each and every case, the government concluded or was forced to conclude" an Espionage Act prosecution would violate First Amendment protections, including the Obama admin's 2013 determination not to prosecute WikiLeaks
Recounting actions against James Bamford, and Bush admin threatening to use Espionage Act against NYT reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau who published about Bush admin wiretapping (in 2005 here: nytimes.com/2005/12/16/pol…)
"There is a long history of courts talking about the process of newsgathering." Materials journalists often write about and print do not magically land on their desks. They talk to sources, ask for clarification, ask for more information. This is standard practice for journalists
Many accounts in this indictment would criminalize this behavior. Just the mere thought of obtaining these documents, the US govt is saying is potentially criminal. This would criminalize every single reporter who obtained docs like this even if they didn't solicit
Timm: this is almost a consensus opinion among press freedom groups and media law lawyers who have looked at this indictment. This is why newspapers, even those who have criticized Mr Assange, have condemned this indictment
Talking about AIPAC case, only time in modern history the US used Espionage Act against someone who wasn't a government employee. They were receiving info and passing to journalists. Journalists were extremely worried at the time about the precedent but ultimately case fell apart
Timm: many journalists we know and love would be prosecuted under this theory. Woodward and Bernstein could have been charged in the wake of persistently asking for and receiving information from Mark Felt during watergate. Many more examples, BALCO scandal, etc
('US government to drop espionage charges against Aipac officials' theguardian.com/world/2009/may…)
Timm discussing the way the indictment criminalizes the secure anonymous submission system. Freedom Press Fdn builds SecureDrop for journalists, now used by more than 80 major news outlets for newspapers, some of whom explicitly ask for leaked documents
References respected ICIJ which published Panama Papers using this submission system
'Freedom of the Press Foundation Launches SecureDrop, an Open-Source Submission Platform for Whistleblowers'
freedom.press/news/freedom-o…
Timm talks about news outlets even taking out ads to notify sources that they could leak securely in this way
If in 2009 someone said I want to use an anonymous submission system in this way, am I at risk of prosecution, what would you say? I'd have said that's First Amendment protected speech
Timm talking about the 'Most Wanted List', emphasizes that this is a 'wiki' meaning not just WikiLeaks saying these docs should be public, it was members of the public, scholars, journalists, activists, not just WikiLeaks asking for this info
References @EFF article 'Wikileaks-Hosted "Most Wanted Leaks" Reflects the Transparency Priorities of Public Contributors' eff.org/deeplinks/2020…
Talking about Senate Commitee investigation of CIA torture, the classification system was used to shield from accountability, so it was my view that a whistleblower in the govt should leak it
Heavily redacted Senate report: intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/…
Timm: My view is this indictment is clearly unconstitutional #AssangeCase
If this were to go forward it would potentially criminalize all news orgnaizations.
End of defense questioning. Now James Lewis for the prosecution's cross-examination
Lewis asks Timm about his obligations to the court (as he's done for each defense witness so far). Timm: to use his experience, present objectively.

Lewis: what about being unbiased? Absolutely
Lewis: you've contributed to WikiLeaks costs in this case?

Yes, as I disclosed. We believe this indictment is a threat to press freedom, and found the press freedom issues paramount so we contributed to the legal defense
FPF contributed $100,000 to the legal defense.

Any agreement to be reimbursed? No not that I'm aware of.
Do you yourself feel threatened if this prosecution went ahead?

Timm: I work on behalf of journalists in the United States, I feel their rights are under threat. I am not a full-time national security reporter, not talking to sources who may give me info on a daily basis
My fear is on behalf of those journalists
But we just saw where you asked for a whistleblower to leak the Senate report?

Yes I believe that's protected speech.

Espionage Act written so broadly that even people reading this information in the newspaper could be at risk of prosecution
Lewis: so if this went forward you wouldn't feel comfortable asking for leaks as you have in the past?

Timm: I was advocating for info to be sent to other reporters, not necessarily to me. But many other journalists ask for it to be sent to them, would be criminally liable
Lewis: experts in UK must not have conflict of interest, it appears you may have one.

Timm: as a press freedom advocate I have an interest in this yes, my full-time job is to protect reporters' rights, and that's what I'm testifying in this case
Lewis: my sense from your submission is this prosecution would be [hard to hear] wedge to prosecute journalists, is that right?

Timm: yes
Lewis: but opinion is that Assange is not a journalist. Do you understand that?

Timm: I do but in the US the first amendment protects everyone. whether you consider Assange a journalist doesn't matter, he was engaging in journalistic activity
Lewis asks Timm to consider Gordon Kromberg's declaration. Timm: I was given this 300-pg document in the last 24 hours. But I'm familiar generally.
Timm: it's likely I was sent it, like every witness that has come previously. The official sending by the prosecution within 48 hours of needing to testify is rather short notice
Lewis: have you been watching other cross-examination?

Timm: no, been following live tweets on the hearing
Are you telling us you haven't seen Kromberg's submission from February? (going over dates now, last one is 2nd September)

Yes I was referring specifically to the 355-pg filing in last 48 hours
Timm: I just feel the prosecution should have sent this all with more notice so we have a sense of what is all at issue here
But in any event I'm happy to discuss anything in this material
Lewis: I want to know why you excluded anything from the government / Kromberg in your submission.

Timm: no intentional exclusion, my intent was to talk about journalism in the US and Wikileaks in the context of that
Lewis: Going back to the government's position which is that Mr Assange is not a journalist
Lewis quoting US DoJ: the department doesn't go after journalists, believes Assange is no journalist
So I want to know why you think this prosecution is the thin edge of the wedge to then prosecute journalists. The government is saying it's not targeting journalists, going out of its way to do so
Lewis cont'd: so isn't it odd that, if this is a wedge to go after journalists, that the government would go out of its way to say it doesn't go after journalists? Do you find that odd?

Timm: no not at all
Objection to phrasing, Lewis rephrases to effectively ask the above ^
Timm: No, I based my opinions not based on a Justice Department press release but on what is actually contained in the indictment. There are several charges that deal with the mere fact that WikiLeaks had these in their possession
Timm: you say there are 3 charges dealing with publication just of docs with names, but the rest of the charges deal with all of these document sets, and this criminalizes journalism.
The aspect of criminalizing publication worries me greatly but there are many other charges as worrying or more, that could criminalize journalistic practice whether you consider Mr Assange a journalist or not
Lewis: what about the hacking charge? We say (defense lawyer) Mr Summers has misstated the prosecution's case consistently
Lewis referencing court opinions where the publication of information had to be based on information obtained lawfully - from the source even when source obtained it unlawfully
Defense's Summers QC asks Lewis to go through the whole section rather than quoting selectively from that section
Talking about the conspiracy to commit computer intrusion charge, Manning and Assange discussions. Timm says journalists in general often work to keep sources confidential, promise anonymity to their sources
Lewis: but there is a line between that and criminal activity? Timm: there could be a line yes
Lewis: have you seen the evidence in this case on this charge?

Timm: as I understand it relies on chats between Manning and Assange
Lewis: but the GJ was secret so may have other evidence you haven't seen?

Timm: if the evidence was secret, I haven't seen it
You understand a grand jury has found probable cause in this case?

I understand that is the case yes
Lewis: would a responsible journalist, or any journalist, publish the name of a 3rd party knowing publishing would put that person's life in danger?

Timm: to me who is and isn't a responsible joruanlist is entirely different than legal and illegal conduct.
To my knowledge no court has said publishing this type of info is criminal. Joe Lieberman tried to bring the SHIELD Act to criminalize this, that bill didn't pass. That tells me that 1) it wasn't illegal and 2) congress felt it was protected activity
Timm: whether I think it's responsible or whether I would have published shouldn't be relevant as to whether this is protected First Amendment activity
Lewis reading Guardian story on WikiLeaks media partners criticizing publication of unredacted cables
Does that make you change your last answer? No absolutely not. I'm not saying WikiLeaks has perfect editorial judgement just as I wouldn't say NYT or Guardian has perfect editorial judgement, shouldn't matter whether it's illegal
And I certainly don't think the US Government should be the one to determine whether this was good editorial judgement
Timm: I should note that all the news outlets you referenced as condemning the unredacted publication have all condemned this indictment and are worried about the liability they have because of it
Lewis: You've said the USG shouldn't be arbiter of editorial decisions, but won't the USG decide whether it's illegal?

Timm: it may go to a jury but then it would go to a judge and likely a higher court, where these types of decisions are made
Lewis: why should your opinion be preferred over the opinion of the courts in the US?

Timm: my opinion is actually in line with the courts on this matter, this is unprecedented and hasn't come up before.
Timm: The Supreme Court is almost wholly on the side of Mr Assange on this matter
Lewis: so you think it's legal to publish info knowing it would cause harm or death?

Timm: first of all I don't think anyone knows if it would cause harm, and Manning trial showed no deaths
Publication of some information may cause harm, but in the US we have decided that the First Amendment protects this. This is not me saying that I would have made the same decision, I'm saying editorial judgment should not be decided by the US government.
Lewis: would it surprise you that Mark Feldstein completely disagrees with you, he says it was wrong to publish these names

Timm: you're twisting my words, I didn't say it was right, I said it shouldn't be for the US govt to prosecute under the Espionage Act
You're not a lawyer? no. So what basis do you have to comment on US law?

Well I passed the bar in NY, but instead of practicing law I decided to explain the law to a non-legal audience
I have for 8 years run a nonprofit, and while I don't represent us legally, we often sign onto amicus briefs in various cases around the country that touch on press freedom issues
Lewis: you've said this prosecution is a war on journalism. Do you stand by that? (references this paragraph of Timm's statement)
Timm: Yes - Trump admin has made many disparaging comments about the press, called the media the "enemy of the people," we know Trump has privately mused about jailing journalists. Trump has had probably the most hostile relationship with the press since Nixon.
Timm: To me it's very telling that Trump's is the first one to try to bring a case like this since the Nixon administration
Lewis again goes back to Kromberg (US attorney)'s statement saying this is not about journalists, asks Timm why he doesn't include that in his statement
Timm: I was testifying to a specific subset of subjects. But I'm happy to talk about Kromberg's statement if you like

Judge: Mr Lewis is asking a specific question, can you answer?

Lewis rephrases: why wouldn't you put in an opposing assertion from Kromberg?
Timm: I did reference these issues, I didn't explicitly reference that affidavit like I didn't reference other affidavits. I talked about how journalists' behavior is often misleadingly described. I also think Kromberg's statement is inaccurate
The Espionage Act talks about anyone who receives this type of information - criminalizes discussions that may happen between sources and reporters. Eg, I'm very glad Woodword and Bertstein weren't indicted for asking Deep Throat for more information
Talking about grand juries bringing indictments. Timm cites this 2010 report, of 162,000 grand jury investigations, only 11 didn't bring charges: bjs.gov/content/pub/pd…
Lewis: are you saying fed prosecutors are acting in bad faith?

Timm: not for me to comment on internal DOJ rules. I do know prosecutors disagreed vehemently with this decision and dropped off the case because they disagreed
Lewis: but if this was part of a war on journalism, wouldn't that be contrary to their internal rules?

Timm: I think that's a reasonable argument to make and if there was a breach of obligation they should be held accountable
What evidence do you have that they breached obligations?

Timm: I didn't say that they did, I said I'm not an expert, but if they did I'd hope they would be held accountable just as I would for anyone
Defense notifies the judge that the prosecution's hour of questioning is up. Prosecution says it didn't know it had an hour. Judge says they were told that ahead of time.

Lewis: it's wrong for Mr Summers to stand up and object, it unsettles your (judge's) view of things
Judge: you can finish with this witness then but in the future we need to keep to this. Go ahead.

Prosecution: well I'm done
Defense re-examination, establishing Timm passed the legal bar, has been writing about legal issues since he did so in 2011. Focused on press freedom issues, 1st Amendment, privacy, constitutional rights in the US.
When approached for this case, familiar with the indictments? Yes very familiar, we've followed this case closely
Timm again on source protection, it would be incredibly dangerous to criminalize this activity as this indictment would do
Referencing NY Law Review article 'Handcuffing the Press: First Amendment Limitations on the Reach of Criminal Statutes as Applied to the Media' digitalcommons.nyls.edu/cgi/viewconten…
Talking about alleged attempts between Assange and Manning to crack a password, the point was source anonymity and not attempting to gain more access to more information
Lewis objects, says the government's position is actually that the effort to crack a password was (contrary to defense) to facilitate the acquisition and transmission of classified info. So it's not as the witness has it
Defense asks Timm to characterize the allegations in the terms of First Amendment protections.

Timm: idea that it would've made it more difficult to be discovered by investigators tells me it was about anonymity and not gaining more access to more info
Timm: and as I've said journalists routinely make assurances to sources of anonymity often as the only way to protect them
And protecting your sources is that protected under First Amendment? Long and complicated history on this and jurisdictions have slightly different rules, but in general journalists have always argued that they have a strong right to protect their sources and not reveal in court
Defense: Lewis says you haven't seen the underlying evidence. But have you seen the criminal complaint, the jabber chat?

Timm: yes I've seen quotes and excerpts that the govt has put in its affidavits and indictments
Back to allegation re: publishing names of sources. You've told us the approach of the US court is not to weigh the morality in First Amendment concerns yes?

Correct, and law article mentioned goes into detail on this, encourage the court to look at it in depth
Timm: It would be a radical rewrite of the First Amendment if the government were to go forward with these charges. #AssangeCase
Clarifying that the charges on publication are only about docs that name sources. But there are other charges on the cables that travel more widely? Correct - contrary to what the govt says I think it's an open question as to whether the 3 counts deal only with names
Defense wants Timm to opine on 'obtaining' rather than just publishing. Timm: even if you were to take govt assertions as true on the publishing counts, the obtaining counts deal with the entirety of info Manning gave to Assange, all the thousands of cables
Timm: all of these allegations, again, are activities journalists do on a regular basis
Timm: this is why I pointed out that the governments remarks in the affidavits is not charged with passively receiving information is incorrect - this charge is only about receiving, soliciting/encouraging are other counts.
Timm: I believe this charge is about passively receiving and the government's assertions about this are untrue
Timm: I don't think it's an exaggeration to say this indictment would criminalize investigative journalism. All sorts of news outlets publish stories about secret govt programs that the public deserves to know about
End of Trevor Timm's testimony. #AssangeCase
Administrative discussion now on the timing of defense and prosecution questioning of witnesses, Lewis complaining some witnesses have been "rather prolix"
Done for the day. #AssangeCase

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More from @DefenseAssange

28 Sep
Day 15 of Julian Assange's extradition hearing and the beginning of the last week of testimony. See all of our daily #AssangeCase reports collected here: assangedefense.org/live-blog/
Today we expect testimony from Joel Sickler and Yancey Ellis, on the prison conditions Assange would face pre- and post-trial in the United States if he is extradited.
At issue in their testimony is whether extraditing Assange to the U.S. would be "unjust or oppressive" and whether he would be subjected to "torture" or "inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment". From our report on Dr. Kopelman's testimony on day 11: Image
Read 107 tweets
25 Sep
Day 14: Julian Assange's extradition hearing. Today we expect testimony from Patrick Eller, digital forensics expert, on the computer crime charge and the alleged agreement between Assange & Chelsea Manning to crack a password in 2010. #AssangeCase
Mark Summers for the defense says the prosecution provided its bundle for Eller, challenging claims in his statements, at 11:30pm last night. He has gotten up at 5:00am to testify and has had about 5 minutes to review these documents... Defense asks for an hour for him to review.
Patrick Ellers will argue, Summers says, that the allegation against Assange regarding the password cracking issue is not possible, and if it were it was not used for the purpose the government alleges.

Judge grants 50 more minutes for Ellers to review.
Read 82 tweets
24 Sep
Day 13: Julian Assange's extradition hearing. Expecting more medical testimony today, from Dr. Blackwood and Dr. Sondra Crosby. #AssangeCase
The prosecution calls Dr Blackwood to the stand, just sworn in now, consultant forensic psychiatrist with the NHS. He's made a report for this case, prosecutor James Lewis is taking him through it now
Once again we may summarize the proceedings more than provide exact detail out of respect for Assange's privacy. Relevant for the case: Dr Blackwood finds Assange to be moderately depressed and able to manage his risk of suicide. This differs from the findings of defense doctors
Read 69 tweets
23 Sep
Day 12: Julian Assange's extradition hearing thread. We expect more medical testimony today from Australian psychiatrist Paul Mullen. #AssangeCase
Potentially more sensitive material will be discussed today that we may summarize rather than describe in detail for reasons of privacy. Court has commenced, the parties are talking about evidence that goes to Assange's suicidal ideation in Belmarsh.
Now on the stand is Dr Quinton Deeley, National Health Service psychiatrist who specializes in autism, ADHD, & other mental health issues
Read 81 tweets
22 Sep
Day 11: Julian Assange's extradition hearing thread. Today we'll hear testimony from Professor Michael Kopelman, who is being sworn in live in court right now. #AssangeCase
Dr Kopelman is Emeritus Professor of Neuropsychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London
To protect Assange's privacy, defense lawyer Ed Fitzgerald has requested press use caution when presenting details on his findings. Dr Kopelman has visited Assange multiple times and his testifying about Assange's mental health
Read 84 tweets
21 Sep
Day 10: live tweets from Julian Assange's extradition hearing in London. #AssangeCase
First up today is Prof. Christian Grothoff, testifying by remote video on the publication of the unredacted cables, being sworn in now.
Grothoff is testifying about his research into the publication, using materials publicly available at the time. Mark Summers for the defense taking Grothoff through the timeline, starting with Guardian's David Leigh receiving the encrypted files in summer 2010
Read 100 tweets

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