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Sep 9, 2020 57 tweets 14 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Kristinn Hrafnsson @khrafnsson editor in chief of @wikileaks arrives at the Old Bailey for Day 3 of the #Assange extradition hearing.

I will be posting live updates below. Image
First witness to testify today is Prof. Paul Rogers, expert in terrorism, national security & defense.

Rogers describes #Assange as having very strong opinions that go against the US, therefore making his trial highly political
Rogers states that documents provided by #Assange and
@wikileaks destroyed the official narrative; this myth that the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were successful. Afghan war diaries and Iraq war logs were instrumental in exposing this truth.
Rogers reasserts the importance of these leaks. Thanks to @wikileaks and revelations by Manning @xychelsea we knof of 15,000 extra casualties in Iraq alone. WikiLeaks archives are of high value and widely used by scholars.
Rogers says @wikileaks revelations are instrumental because they make nations more cautious to get into wars. #Assange's work and WikiLeaks based on democracy & transparency; they not only held governments accountable but corporations as well.
Rogers believes no real criminal basis for trial; says highly political. This is underscored by the fact Obama did not pursue #Assange whereas Trump is; Assange/@wikileaks perceived as a threat.
Prof. Rogers is now being cross-examined by Lewis QC of the prosecution.
Lewis: "What's a political opinion?"

Rogers begins giving a history lesson lol.
Lewis asks Rogers if he thinks having strong political views is inherent to being a journalist. Rogers says no. Lewis then asks whether publishers/editors also must hold strong political views? Rogers says, no not necessarily.
Lewis keeps asking intricate Rogers intricate questions, requiring in-depth answers then getting pissy when he actually gives them because he wants short yes and no responses. Reminiscent of his style yesterday when questioning Feldstein.
Lewis getting pissy again because Rogers is struggling to find a document he's referencing. (Prosecution lumped him with an archive hundreds of pages long at the last minute).
Lewis presses Rogers about a statement #Assange once made: "journalists are war criminals". (looking at you @NicolleDWallace).
The above quote refers to the role of propaganda being used to starts wars, like in the case of Iraq. Lewis inquires about Assange including WWII in that list.

More issues now with Rogers and the giant stack of files they dumped on him at the last minute.
Lewis once again focuses his attack on the expert witness's credibility as he did with Feldstein yesterday and now accuses Prof. Rogers (expert in terrorism, nat sec) of being biased for not including AUSA Kromberg's assertion that trial was not political.
Rogers reaffirms he still sees the trial as political because the evidence has not changed, (only the administration has).
Lewis brings up Northern Ireland, regarding cases against soldiers which were re-opened by UK gov. much later. Lewis asks if those were also politically motivated? Rogers disarms him and says yes, in so many words.
Lewis says trial is not of a political nature because #Assange is only being charged over unredacted docs/endangering lives – not exposing war crimes (i.e. Collateral Murder video). Rogers says context has to be taken into account and according to his expertise it is political.
Rogers seems to be getting under Lewis' skin. Lewis asks for 10 min break.
Court is back. Rogers says once again that trial is definitely political due to major political shift from Trump admin. If case had legal merit Obama admin would've pursued it.
Lewis argues that the Grand Jury was still impaneled under Obama, and moreover that it was not possible to even arrest Assange because he was hiding in the embassy. So therefore Obama admin did have legal grounds to pursue #Assange, and this trial is not a result of just Trump
Prof. Rogers responds in so many words by saying: then why didn't you (lol)
Lewis and Rogers having it out over and over about whether previous admin was *able* to prosecute Assange at all, in order to establish the trial's political nature (or lack thereof)
Rogers is very good at messing with Lewis who is hell-bent on cornering expert witnesses into yes/no answers and tripping them up.

He stands his ground and consistently disarms Lewis.
Lewis being very difficult with Rogers regarding whether he meant the Obama admin specifically sought *not* to prosecute or not to go ahead with prosecution.
Keep in mind now that this is well past the time limit for cross-examination. Judge is letting prosecution use the court at their leisure.
Twitter keeps breaking my thread.

Defense are now questioning Rogers. They ask him to elaborate on #Assange's comment, referred to earlier, that wars are started by lies. Rogers says that Julian was referring to Germans alleging Poland was a threat, WMDs in Iraq, etc.
Rogers asserts that another reason the trial is political is because several members of Trump admin have openly called for #Assange to be prosecuted e.g. Sessions, Pompeo – in stark contrast to Obama admin.
WaPo article from 2013, which Fitzgerald was referring to where Justice Dpt say they've practically abandoned prosecution of #Assange Image
Rogers (for the billionth time, and rightly so): the trial is political because the decision to bring charges against Assange wasn't based purely on any legality but a change in leadership and motives of people at the top
Rogers asserts that Obama admin's decisions to commute Chelsea Manning's sentence @xychelsea might have played a role in decision to prosecute #Assange because a commuted sentence is not something that can be typically reversed by a president.
Rogers' testimony comes to an end, court adjourned, resumes in an hour at 2pm local time.

Prosecution clearly had way more time to cross-examine him. Completely unfair, and Lewis kept going after his credibility, flat-out accusing Rogers of bias & repeatedly cutting him off.
Trevor Timm @trevortimm to take the stand at the #Assange hearing, but there are problems once again with the video link

I mean, this really is pathetic.

The United Kingdom can't get a fucking video call working in 2020 during one of the most high profile cases of the century.
Timm is now on via video, testifying to the court as an expert witness. He is a founder of the Freedom of the Press Foundation @FreedomofPress whose core mission statement is to identify and challenge violations of journalistic freedoms.
He goes on to explain the importance of having a free press. Timm also shows that previous admins such as Nixon, Bush, all ended up being blocked by 1st amendment when going after journalists - making this case against #Assange unprecedented.
Timm explains that the gathering of information, the relationship between source and publisher isn't necessarily a passive one nor does it have to be. Nothing out of the ordinary with journos and sources working together. This entire case essentially criminalizes journalism.
Timm: everyone is in agreement that this case is wrong, even critics of Assange.
Timm: if the playbook being used against #Assange were deployed back in the 70s, you would've seen Watergate reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in jail.
Timm explains that the Secure Submission Systems (to help keep sources identities safe and secret) is neither unique nor nefarious. A plethora of other news outlets have mimicked this and use it all the time.
Timm has personally attempted to solicit classified docs, as have other journos, which is protected under free speech.
Prosecution's turn now to cross-examine Timm.

Lewis asks Timm if he's previously paid for any of #Assange's legal costs. Timm says yes, amounting to about $100,000.
Lewis once again, trying to dismantle credibility of the expert witness, now Timm, accusing him of having a vested interest in the outcome of the hearing and being biased.

Timm says: as an advocate of free press obvs he recognizes the threat this prosecution poses to journos
As with previous expert witness, Paul Rogers, Trevor Timm @trevortimm was lumped with hundreds of pages of documents at the last moment by the prosecution. Timm says they should've submitted them in advance.
Lewis argues that the government have been clear they're not out to get journalists, and essentially acting in good faith.

Timm replies: the indictment lists possessions, solicitation & publication of classified materials as crimes. So it is going after journos.
Prosecution can't make their mind if they want to attack #Assange as not being a journalist or whether he is in fact a journalist but allegedly committed hacking crimes.

Lewis again tries to trip up Timm: you're fine with publishing people's names and endangering lives?

Timm: no proof of anyone being harmed as a result of those cables being published
Timm: moreover, First Amendment does not differentiate, free speech protections are very broad
Lewis asks Timm: are you a lawyer? to which Tim replies: I graduated in '08 from law school

bruh 😂
This thread is so long and Twitter keeps breaking it I honestly have no clue how to even fix it at this point, you'll forgive me as it's hard keeping up with proceedings.

Timm is now talking about Trump's open attacks and disparaging comments towards press.
I'd imagine Lewis is not too happy he's cross examining an expert witness on journalism who also happens to be a lawyer, as Timm seems immune to his framing and very good at calling out BS.
Lewis is doing ridiculous reaches here.

He's trying to show that Timm is biased because he allegedly, purposely omitted from his witness statement part where Kromberg states DOJ shouldn't go after journos. (As if merely saying that means they're not actually out to get journos).
Prosecution's cross-examination of Trevor Timm @trevortimm has ended.

Mark Summers, from #Assange's defense team takes over to question Timm.
In regards to counts alleging hacking and theft of classified materials, Timm says a journalist's job encompasses not just publication but acquisition of news i.e. misleading to call it stealing.
Timm reasserts #Assange's main goal was to keep Manning's identity safe, not steal anything.
Timm: indictment violates free speech and First Amendment.

The number of times this has been repeated by expert witnesses shows what a farce this entire hearing is. Any sensible judge would've thrown this out without even a second thought.
Court's cross-examination of Trevor Timm @trevortimm is over. Very solid witness.

There's talk now about the length of examination allowed. Prosecution were repeatedly allocated more than the 30 min. per witness.
Court is adjourned. Hearing resumes tomorrow morning at 10am local time, London.

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