Manafort tried to broker deal to get Julian Assange to U.S.

President Lenín Moreno of Ecuador *really* wants Julian Assange out of that London embassy.

Convicted felon and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort suggested he could broker a deal for the handover of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States during a meeting in May 2017 with the president-elect of Ecuador. Read the rest

Wikileaks threatens to sue "fake news producers"

Wikileaks, furious about a report in The Guardian claiming that founder Julian Assange met with Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, said that it plans to sue it for libel. Moreover, it expects to create a "business model" from such lawsuits.

NEW RULES: WikiLeaks is going make suing fake news producers like the Guardian a central part of its business model. Since libels are the most predictable response to the power and accuracy of a WikiLeaks' publication, our analysis is that this is a stable, scalable income stream

Hey, at least someone gets to see him in court. Read the rest

Court document refers to U.S. charge against Julian Assange; source says prosecution planned

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been charged with crime in the U.S., according to one court document, while anonymous sources tell the Wall Street Journal the Department of Justice is planning to prosecute him.

The supposed charge was revealed by a reference to it in an unrelated case against someone named Seitu Sulayman Kokayi: “Due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer.

It's not clear what the charge is and a spokesman for the Eastern District of Virginia U.S. attorney’s office told Huffington Post it was "not the intended name for this filing," leaving open the question of whether he has in fact been charged.

However, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that U.S. authorities are "optimistic" about pressing charges.

“I have no idea if he has actually been charged or for what, but the notion that the federal criminal charges could be brought based on the publication of truthful information is an incredibly dangerous precedent to set,” said Barry J. Pollack, one of Assange’s attorneys, in reaction to the news.

Assange remains holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy in London after skipping bail on his extradition to Sweden, where he was accused of rape. Though the Swedish prosecution was eventually dropped, Assange still faces arrest on the bail issue if he leaves the embassy, and fears this will be used to engineer his extradition to the United States. Read the rest

Roger Stone and Randy Credico talked about WikiLeaks plans, their leaked texts show

"Big news Wednesday... Hillary's campaign will die this week," Randy Credico texted Trump ally Roger Stone, just 6 days before the WikiLeaks email dump.

These text messages obtained by NBC News show that Donald Trump's longtime political “dirty trickster” consigliere Roger Stone was boasting of dirt to come from Wikileaks. Stone has previously denied any foreknowledge of the late-2016 Wikileaks dumps, as he attempts to squirm away from the Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller. This latest news won't help him accomplish that. Read the rest

Roger Stone admits he talked Wikileaks and Julian Assange with Trump campaign in 2016, Steve Bannon and Rebekah Mercer oddly connected

Roger Stone today revealed that in 2016 he was in communication with at least one senior Trump presidential campaign official about forthcoming WikiLeaks leaks that would be damaging to the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Read the rest

Julian Assange's demand for an English translator that speaks Australian causes everyone's eyes to roll so hard that it makes the earth bleed

Shitty roommate and brilliant legal tactician Julian Assange's ploy to assure his freedom from persecution by suing the only country in the world willing to shield him from those longing to throw him in the clink has hit a tiny snag: a language barrier. According to the English-speaking Assange, his self-righteous blather differs from what the rest of the English-speaking world gets along with:

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

The first hearing in Julian Assange's lawsuit against Ecuador's Foreign Affairs Ministry was suspended as the WikiLeaks founder was unable to understand his translator, and the judge called for a replacement fluent in "Australian."

Speaking from Ecuador's Embassy in London via Skype, Assange said the court-appointed translation service was "not good enough." Judge Karina Martinez said that it was indispensable that Assange testify, and said the court had erred by appointing a translator who only spoke English, apparently under the impression that Australian dialect is unintelligible to other anglophones.

Sure.

Once Assange finds himself an Australian translator, the courts will go forward with his suit against the Ecuadorian government. They took away his Internet! They want him to clean his room! They've been sheltering him from European law enforcement in their London Embassy since 2012! The nerve.

Unsurprisingly, Ecuador is less than impressed with their long-term political houseguest filing suit against them. In response to Assange's whinging, the nation's rolled back their offer to assist him with negotiating his fate with the British government.

I don't normally go in for courtroom drama, but I am so here for this shit. Read the rest

NEW: Ecuador is done with Julian Assange, won't help Wikileaks founder hide from British government

Ecuador plans to stop intervening with the British government on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, reports Reuters today. Read the rest

Assange to sue Ecuador

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London for years to avoid being arrested by British cops for skipping bail. Read the rest

The Washington Times publishes retraction and apology to Aaron Rich, brother of Seth

The conservative Washington Times has issued a retraction and apology in today's edition to Aaron Rich, the brother of murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. Aaron Rich sued the paper after it published an editorial this past March that suggested he had downloaded emails from DNC servers and turned them over to Wikileaks in exchange for money. The retraction and apology are part of a settlement, according to Rich's lawyer Michael Gottlieb.

From The Washington Times:

The Washington Times published an op-ed column titled, “More cover-up questions: The curious murder of Seth Rich poses questions that just won’t stay under the official rug,” by Adm. James Lyons (Ret.) (the “Column”), on March 1 online and on March 2 in its paper editions. The Column included statements about Aaron Rich, the brother of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, that we now believe to be false.

One such statement was that: “Interestingly, it is well known in the intelligence circles that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron Rich, downloaded the DNC emails and was paid by Wikileaks for that information.” The Washington Times now does not have any basis to believe any part of that statement to be true, and The Washington Times retracts it in its entirety.

The Column also stated: “Also, why hasn’t Aaron Rich been interviewed [by law enforcement], and where is he?” The Washington Times understands that law enforcement officials have interviewed Mr. Rich and that he has cooperated with their investigation. The Washington Times did not intend to imply that Mr.

Read the rest

Roger Stone denies not-yet-published story Trump knew of WikiLeaks DNC dump

Roger Stone's Instagram sure is weird.

In an Instagram video he posted today, longtime Trump consigliere Roger Stone said that a Ronan Farrow story soon to be published in The New Yorker reports that Stone explicitly told Donald Trump in October 2016 that WikiLeaks had obtained and was preparing to dump John Podesta's emails. Read the rest

Ecuador expected to hand Assange to UK (Update: Ecuador denies)

Ecuador is to rescind Julian Assange's political asylum, reports Reuters, effectively dooming him to arrest by British authorities for jumping bail.

Assange has been living in Ecuador’s London embassy since June 2012 when he successfully sought asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning about allegations of sex crimes which he has always denied.

Those allegations have since been dropped but Assange would be arrested by British police should he leave the embassy for breaching bail conditions. He believes that would pave the way for extradition to the United States for the publication of a huge cache of U.S. diplomatic and military secrets on the WikiLeaks website.

Update: An official statement from Ecuador's government denies it. [via Kevin Poulsen] Read the rest

Cambridge Analytica: Director 'met Assange to discuss U.S. election', channelled $ to WikiLeaks

A former executive from the data-mining dark operator Cambridge Analytica 'visited Julian Assange in February last year and told friends it was to discuss what happened during the US election,' the Guardian reported today.

Brittany Kaiser worked as a director there until not long ago, and is reported “to have channelled cryptocurrency payments and donations to WikiLeaks.”

Excerpt:

Assange issued a statement saying that he had turned down the Cambridge Analytica offer. Alexander Nix, the company’s chief executive, told Westminster MPs the same in February, during an appearance at the Commons digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) select committee. Nix said he found a contact for WikiLeaks’ speaking agency on the internet and sent Assange an email.

But visitor logs from the Ecuador embassy obtained by the Guardian and Focus Ecuador appear to show that Brittany Kaiser, a senior executive at Cambridge Analytica until earlier this year, visited Assange on 17 February 2017. Information passed to the DCMS committee in the UK and the Senate judiciary committee in the US states that the meeting was “a retrospective to discuss the US election”.

Kaiser is also alleged to have said that she had funnelled money to WikiLeaks in the form of cryptocurrency. She called the organisation her “favourite charity”. The reports passed to investigators say that money was given to her by third parties in the form of “gifts and payments”.

After the afore-quoted story was published, there was all-new news in London today.

Alexander Nix appeared as scheduled before the DCMS committee for the second time at 3pm on Wednesday (today), where he was questioned by lawmakers on Cambridge Analytica’s relationship with WikiLeaks and the disinformation campaign by Russia to elect Donald Trump. Read the rest

Joshua Schulte named as suspect in 'Vault 7' leak of CIA tools to Wikileaks, but charged instead over child porn

Federal investigators believe a man who once worked for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is responsible for last year's massive leak of Top Secret CIA hacking tools, court documents reveal. Read the rest

Democratic Party lawsuit says Russia, Trump campaign, WikiLeaks conspired to hack 2016 presidential campaign

The Democratic National Committee today filed a lawsuit against the Russian government, Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and WikiLeaks, alleging the Trump campaign 'gleefully welcomed Russia's help.' Court papers describe a far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign, and throw the election for Donald Trump through a complex and well-funded global disinformation campaign. Read the rest

Roger Stone had contact with Wikileaks' Julian Assange in 2016: WaPo

Longtime Trump consigliere Roger Stone likes to give slippery answers when grilled by lawmakers or reporters about the specifics of his contacts with Wikileaks and Julian Assange, who are more or less one and the same. The Washington Post finds that their contact dates back to at least 2016. Read the rest

At London's Ecuador embassy, home of Julian Assange, police respond to “suspected suspicious package”

Police in London surrounded the embassy of Ecuador, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange resides in exile, to reportedly address a 'suspected suspicious package.' More details as the story develops. Read the rest

Julian Assange mistakenly offers dirt on Dem senator to Sean Hannity parody account

When Sean Hannity's Twitter account went offline for a few hours over the weekend (Hannity fans say the deep state did it), a woman named Dell Gilliam set up a parody account called @SeanHannity__ (note the underscores). Julian Assange, the head of Wikileaks, thought the account belonged to Hannity and sent a direct message to the account offering some "new about Warner" (meaning Democratic senator Mark Warner, who is part of the Trump-Russia investigation. Read the rest

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