The sixth day of proceedings in the trial portion of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition hearing will begin shortly. I'll have live updates at this thread.
Yesterday, Assange extradition hearing resumed with testimony from US lawyer Eric Lewis. I paid particular attention to European Court of Human Rights decision that prosecutor seized upon to argue abusive prison conditions shouldn't prevent extradition. shadowproof.com/2020/09/14/at-…
Eric Lewis suggested in his testimony that Assange would be held at Alexandria Detention Center before trial if he were brought to the United States. He'd be in conditions that were "tantamount to solitary confinement," like alleged Russian spy Maria Butina.
Chelsea Manning was confined at the Alexandria Detention Center while she was held in contempt by a federal court because she refused to testify before a grand jury empaneled to destroy WikiLeaks. #Assange
Court is in session. Eric Lewis takes responsibility for the Fox News video that played yesterday during proceedings. And James Lewis is resuming his cross-exam from yesterday that was abruptly ended by tech problems. #Assange
James Lewis is walking Eric Lewis through the ECHR decision in the Ahmad (and others) case. He especially notes the sections on solitary confinement that show the court considered the issue, though they rejected appeals against extradition in 2012. #Assange
James Lewis accuses Eric Lewis of "fishing" for material to help him ignore Ahmad case.

Eric Lewis replies, "If I were fishing, there are some large fish in there that convinces me that there is greater and greater data," that appreciates impact of solitary. #Assange
Eric Lewis makes clear that he agrees with Assange's legal team. It is likely government would incarcerate Assange at ADX Florence, a supermax prison, after trial.
James Lewis refers to Cunningham v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, which was a class action lawsuit that ended in settlement and challenged the cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners with mental illness at ADX Florence #Assange
James Lewis asks Eric Lewis to concede treatment has gotten better for prisoners with mental illness at ADX Florence after the settlement.

Eric Lewis replies it's improved in certain ways and in certain ways it has gotten worse. #Assange
James Lewis asks Eric Lewis about the COVID-19 pandemic. He doubts it would pose any threat to Assange if brought to the Alexandria Detention Center, highlights few number of cases at the facility.
Eric Lewis, who believes Assange would likely be confined at the Alexendria Detention Center before trial, says 12 percent of federal population has COVID-19. "If he is convicted and sent elsewhere," virus would be more of threat #Assange
Eric Lewis' position: "If Mr. Assange received the full sentence [175 years], and received a credit for good behavior for each year, his sentence would still be far more than 100 years in federal prison."
James Lewis mentioned federal prison sentence against CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, who was convicted of Espionage Act offenses. Said Sterling was charged with handing over classified letters/plans from CIA program targeting Iran to journo, which was never proven. #Assange
James Lewis refers to the sentencing of FBI whistleblower Terry Albury. He then moves on to the sentence that was issued against NSA whistleblower Reality Winner. Both pled guilty to violating the Espionage Act. He notes Winner faced longest sentence - 63 months. #Assange
Re: Albury and Winner

James Lewis emphasizes federal judges have discretion and will use rigorous procedure to issue fair and independent sentence. But Eric Lewis appears to believe Assange faces a case that is far more complex.
Comment: Much of US prosecution's case against Julian Assange depends on deluding courts into believing this is not unprecedented, and judges in US have reviewed cases like this before and handled them fairly. (1/2)
Comment: Directly comparing indictment against Assange to how Espionage Act cases against Albury, Sterling, or Winner unfolded creates the false perception that they are comparable. I think case against Assange represents a new kind of case for Justice Dept prosecutions. (2/2)
In regard to First Amendment, James Lewis says it's your position that the US Constitution precludes prosecution.

Eric Lewis: Yes, no such thing as a successful prosecution of publisher [in US history] #Assange
James Lewis, lead prosecutor: to Eric Lewis: "I challenge you to provide to this court one single precedent that says publishers cannot be prosecuted." #Assange
It is very difficult to understand Eric Lewis and the court has not paused to help him fix his settings so we can understand the testimony he is giving over a video link. So, bear with me. I'll go back and share quotes from this section at next break. #Assange
James Lewis: "Is it correct the US Supreme Court has never held that the First Amendment precludes the government from prosecuting third parties, including journalists, for publishing national defense information?" #Assange
Eric Lewis says when Jeff Sessions was Attorney General he pressured the EDVA to indict Assange.

"I am only saying that the Justice Department has been highly politicized, and I think very few Americans would question that presumption."
Eric Lewis' testimony spotlights Trump's shifting view toward WikiLeaks depending on politics. In 2010, favored death penalty for Assange. In 2016, he loved WikiLeaks, as Clinton campaign emails were published. In 2019, as Assange was indicted, "I know nothing about WikiLeaks."
James Lewis wraps. He was well into the fourth hour of cross-examining Eric Lewis. Ed Fitzgerald is now re-examining for Assange's legal team.
Eric Lewis highlights 2018 Barr memo outlining Attorney General's view that "full measure of law enforcement authority is placed in President's hands, and no limit is placed on the kinds of cases subject to his control and supervision." AG and DOJ lawyers are "his hand." #Assange
This comes up again in Eric Lewis' testimony #Assange
We're on lunch break until 2 pm. Plan is to wrap with Eric Lewis, and then US defense attorney Tom Durkin will testify. #Assange
Edward Fitzgerald goes over issue of sentencing with Eric Lewis meticulously. They use sentencing table to show how prosecutors could add enhancement to sentence, which would result in possible 175-year sentence. #Assange
Eric Lewis: "If defendant was organizer or leader of criminal activity that involved 5 or more participants that was otherwise expensive," can add adjustment.

Would take to over 12 years.
Eric Lewis: "With respect to 'Teenager,' [or Siggi], whose age seems relevant in that, you add two levels if minor under age of 18 is involved in the offense."

Would take to over 15 years. #Assange
Eric Lewis says is adjustment for people with "special abilities that help them commit the crime."

"I would think that Mr Assange’s technical proficiency would be
adjustment."

Would take to over 19 years.
Eric Lewis further suggested enhancement could be added for obstruction, or eluding investigators of the alleged crimes. They could also add enhancement for alleged victims of disclosures of information who were government employees. #Assange
Tom Durkin, a US defense attorney who has practiced law for 47 years, takes the proverbial witness stand in Assange extradition hearing #AssangeTrial
Fitzgerald begins by asking about the difficulties Assange would have preparing or engaging in his defense.

Durkin agreed Assange would not know what his lawyers learn on discovery from classified evidence.
Fitzgerald goes over the scale of sentence Assange might face (somewhat similar to what he did with Eric Lewis).

If convicted on all counts, Durkin said he'd be looking at possibly a 30 or 40-year sentence.
Durkin said conduct alleged against Assange, which he was acquitted of committing, could still be raised in aggravation to increase his sentence.
Durkin describes the "trial tax," which is the built-in incentive to plead guilty in the sentencing guidelines. "You get penalized for going to trial."

And a defendant may also plea to reduce their exposure to lengthy sentence. #Assange
Like multiple other witnesses, Durkin agrees that "political considerations" influenced the Trump administration's decision to indict Assange
There is a problem with Durkin's connection. It would be constructive if the court would help him troubleshoot, but this is the second time his internet has had a problem and all Baraitser seems to care about is that it isn't court that is having malfunctions #Assange
Durkin has switched to a different computer and hopes it will help #Assange
James Lewis, prosecutor, starts cross-exam with Durkin, and Durkin says, "I don’t believe he would be able to get what I would consider to be a fair trial in the United States." #Assange
James Lewis insisted Durkin could not possibly know for certain that Assange case would have unprecedented amount of discovery materials.

[I'll add Chelsea Manning's discovery evidence was massive.]
Asked about the assertion that Obama admin declined to prosecute Assange, Durkin said he doesn't "lend a lot of credence" to Kromberg saying there was still ongoing grand jury. In fact, what we know suggests case was probably declined at some point.
James Lewis asked Durkin if he could share how much the defense paid him.

Durkin: "Only if the judge will redact it so my other clients can't see what I accepted."

Laughter ensued #Assange
We've spent lot of time going over whether reporting on Obama admin and potential prosecution of Assange was credible or not.

Durkin said, "Not uncommon for Justice Dept to want to get certain positions out into press that they might otherwise not want to have to disclose."
Durkin continued — and this was during redirect with Fitzgerald:

"Not uncommon for leaks to occur, and if government doesn’t like the way reports are coming out, they will see to it that other leaks get made that can correct that." #Assange
Tomorrow we expect to hear from John Goetz, investigative journalist who was with Der Spiegel and worked on publications. We should also get to Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg's testimony. #Assange
Here's video report for Day 6 of Assange's extradition hearing #AssangeTrial
Two US defense attorneys testified at Julian Assange's extradition trial and detailed how he could effectively spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of all offenses shadowproof.com/2020/09/15/wit… #AssangeCase

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @kgosztola

27 Oct
The Crown Prosecution Service goes before the British High Court of Justice to present the United States government's appeal in extradition case against Julian Assange. Proceedings start around 10:30 am London Time.

Thread for updates on the first day of the appeal hearing.
This lays out each of the US government's "grounds for appeal" that will be argued at the High Court of Justice.

(If at any moment you have trouble understanding what is being argued, here's a guide for the appeal hearing: thedissenter.org/a-guide-to-the…) ImageImage
Prosecutors will talk quite a lot about "assurances," which were offered by the US government AFTER the extradition request was blocked by District Judge Vanessa Baraitser on January 4 and AFTER the extradition hearing in September 2020.

These are the "assurances": ImageImage
Read 67 tweets
13 Oct
Police stories are all around. They dominate network TV. They drive news coverage. They determine city budgets, with outsized portion going to cops instead of programs that can address basic human needs.

I don't think this takes us "someplace you might not expect to go," NYT. Image
Viewed alongside recurring copaganda in the New York Times, it's not so exceptional. It's establishment journalism following a blueprint for Lifetime movie. The author likely believes it should unite those divided over police cause it gives us the feels.
Just a few weeks ago, the New York Times published a report that promoted police views on crime without disclosing a major conflict of interest by the author, Jeff Asher, who has a background with CIA/Palantir/police/prosecutors, etc.
Read 4 tweets
9 Oct
The final entry in Dave Chappelle’s run of Netflix specials is yet another master class in comedy. He holds that Detroit audience in the palm of his hand, even as he crosses lines and deliberately uses words he knows they won’t like. And that is because they trust him.
The audience trusts there isn’t any malice behind Chappelle’s jokes. Words that have so much power to hurt when uttered by people who hate are disarmed by him. Chappelle isn’t being offensive as much as he is mocking how we might believe he is that offensive of a person.
Most of Chappelle’s act has characters, who he twists into caricatures to illustrate a perspective, which is that as a Black man there’s a certain insufferable whiteness to many of the gripes that seem to define a good number of the issues of our times.
Read 5 tweets
26 Sep
Journalists for Yahoo! News finally confirmed a narrative around Mike Pompeo and the CIA's war on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, which I outlined back in October 2019. It's an important report.

Thread. news.yahoo.com/kidnapping-ass…
WikiLeaks' publication of "Vault 7" materials from the CIA was hugely embarrassing. Even though the CIA had increased spying operations against WikiLeaks, they still were surprised the media organization obtained a trove of the agency's extremely sensitive files.
CIA director Mike Pompeo was afraid President Donald Trump would learn about the "Vault 7" materials and think less of him. "Don’t tell him, he doesn’t need to know."

But it was too important. Trump had to be informed.
Read 22 tweets
11 Sep
For all of September, The Dissenter will mark 20th anniversary of #September11 with retrospective series on rise of security state that puts whistleblowers front and center. Because these individuals listened to their conscience & implored us to turn away from the dark side.
FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley accused FBI Headquarters of failing to urgently respond to intelligence ahead of #September11.

Embarrassed, the FBI became a "preventative crime" agency, concocting terrorism plots they could take credit for thwarting.

thedissenter.org/twenty-years-i…
One of most important and best documentaries produced to coincide with the 20th anniversary of #September11.

It reflects how FBI was given immense power and abused it, often by preying on young black and brown men with financial troubles.
Read 8 tweets
10 Sep
Thanks for validating the independent journalism we do at @shadowproofcom!
@shadowproofcom We didn't ask @adfontesmedia to include us in their chart and review our articles for bias and reliability, but they did. Their team gave our posts pretty high scores for reliability. And we don't hide our bias so who cares where they plot us.
One of the posts reviewed is a parody of a Max Boot column that I wrote so I don't know how it could be reliable, and I don't believe bias is all that relevant. (And it's marked so they could've chosen anything else.)
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!

:(