et tu

The Guardian:

Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder was granted refuge in 2012 while on bail in the UK over sexual assault allegations against him in Sweden.
At the time, Assange claimed that if he was extradited to Sweden he might be arrested by the US and face charges relating to WikiLeaks’s publication of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables.
In a statement the Met police said: “The MPS had a duty to execute the warrant, on behalf of Westminster magistrates court, and was invited into the embassy by the ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.”
The home secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “Nearly seven years after entering the Ecuadorian embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation & @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law.”

No one is above the law.


18 thoughts on “et tu”

  1. Wapo:

    Ecuador, which took Assange in when he was facing a Swedish rape investigation in 2012, said it was rescinding asylum because he of his “discourteous and aggressive behavior” and for violating the terms of his asylum.

  2. more from wapo story:

    In the last administration, Attorney General Eric Holder decided against pursuing prosecution of Assange out of concern that WikiLeaks’ argument that it is a journalistic organization would raise thorny First Amendment issues and set an unwelcome precedent.


    The Trump administration, however, revisited the question of prosecuting members of WikiLeaks, and last November a court filing error revealed that Assange had been charged under seal.


    Conspiracy, theft of government property or violating the Espionage Act are among the possible charges.


    Some federal prosecutors say a case can be made that WikiLeaks is not a journalistic organization. As if to lay the groundwork for such an argument, in April 2017, then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, characterized WikiLeaks as a “nonstate hostile intelligence service” and a threat to U.S. national security.


  3. afp via msn:  Julian Assange: Transparency icon or enemy of the state?


    He was applauded by transparency and anti-war campaigners for revealing the death of civilians, torture and clandestine military operations with the release of 500,000 US documents on the Iraq and Afghan wars.

    But the United States and its allies accused him of risking lives by revealing information on sources, intelligence techniques and key infrastructure sites.

    Human rights groups and newspapers that once worked with Assange to edit and publish the war logs were also horrified when WikiLeaks dumped the documents unredacted online, including the names of informants.

    There have since been questions about his relationship with Russia, with WikiLeaks identified in independent prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe into interference in the 2016 US election.

    Mueller found that Russian government actors hacked White House hopeful Hillary Clinton’s campaign “and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks”.


    Ecuador’s then president, Rafael Correa, said Assange’s human rights could be at risk and offered him refuge, but his successor, Lenin Moreno who took office in 2017, has had less patience.

    He has accused Assange of interfering in foreign affairs. Ecuador temporarily cut his internet connection last year, and last week said the Australian had “repeatedly violated” the terms of his stay.


    “WikiLeaks was founded on exposing those who ignored the rule of law. Surely its editor-in-chief should recognise his duty to see it upheld,” The Guardian newspaper, which once worked with him to publish the leaks, wrote in 2016.

    Assange has, however, found growing growing backing among supporters of Donald Trump, after the US institutions he had exposed began also to investigate the president.

  4. wapo speaking of young mayor pete: ‘He knows better’: Pete Buttigieg has made Mike Pence his target, and the vice president isn’t pleased


    Buttigieg is playing up their differences in his now not-so-long-shot bid for the Democratic nomination. The 37-year-old mayor and Afghanistan war veteran surged to third place in a poll of New Hampshire voters released Wednesday by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center.

    As he rises from relative obscurity, the young mayor is putting a target on the back of his fellow Hoosier. He calls the vice president “fanatical” — a “social extremist” and a “cheerleader of the porn star presidency.” In a speech at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s National Champagne Brunch on Sunday , he cast his coming-out story as a parable of what he said religious conservatives miss when they oppose same-sex marriage.


    He had one particular religious conservative in mind. “And yes, Mr. Vice President,” he affirmed when discussing his marriage to another man. “It has moved me closer to God.”


    “That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand: That if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me,” Buttigieg said. “Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.” His speech turned Pence into a trending topic on social media.


  5. poll released Wednesday by new hampshire institute of politics



    “If the presidential primary election were held today, which candidate would you vote for?”
    New Hampshire Institute of Politics Executive Director Neil Levesque summarized the results, saying, “Joe Biden continues to show strength in New Hampshire, as 23% of Democratic Primary voters surveyed indicated that if the NH Primary were held today, they would vote for Biden, followed by 16% for Bernie Sanders, 11% for Pete Buttigieg and 9% for Elizabeth Warren.  However, Biden’s favorability has dropped 10 points to 70% since our last poll in February, suggesting that some of his recent negative attention may be eroding his support. Still, he leads the rest of the field among both women, with 25%, and men, with 20%.  Sanders leads the field among voters under 55, with 18%, and very liberal voters, with 21%.  The early battle in NH seems to be between two familiar faces that represent different wings of the Democratic Party.”
    The emerging dark horse in this race may be Pete Buttigieg, who has gone from a virtual unknown to vault to11% support, trailing only Biden and Sanders and ahead of Warren.  His emergence as a factor is driven by a 33-point increase in name recognition, almost all of it favorable.  He even carries a slight 16-14 lead over Sanders in vote-rich Merrimack Valley.”

  6. the hill:

    Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said this week that if President Trump is reelected in 2020, the country is going to get “pure Trump off the chain.”

    In comments to Politico, published in Playbook on Thursday, Bannon said that the president’s second term would be “four years of Donald Trump in payback mode.”

    The “payback” would likely be in response to Democratic-led investigations into the president, special counsel Robert Mueller‘s probe and negative media coverage, all of which Trump has derided as personal attacks throughout his first term.

    Bannon also suggested that a second Trump term is likely, unless Democrats veer away from their current strategy and pool of candidates.

    “Every other day I see another person jumping into the race. I think those people are rational and the people around them are rational,” Bannon said of the Democrats running for president. “They must see something in the field that makes them feel like they can make a run. … I don’t see anybody in that field as of now who can take on Trump one-on-one.”

    He added that “you’re not going to beat Trump with policies,” pointing to low polling numbers from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)

    “Every other day I see another person jumping into the race. I think those people are rational and the people around them are rational,” Bannon said of the Democrats running for president. “They must see something in the field that makes them feel like they can make a run. … I don’t see anybody in that field as of now who can take on Trump one-on-one.”

    He added that “you’re not going to beat Trump with policies,” pointing to low polling numbers from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)



  7. Bernie Sanders comes clean about his millionaire status, scientists unveil the first photo of a black hole, and Maxine Waters and Steve Mnuchin square off in a tense congressional hearing.

    be sure to watch the mnuchin waters segment that starts at 3:33 minutes in.

  8. Jack, I add my sincere condolences to those heading your way. It’s obvious that Ms Sherry led a wonderful life filled with memories for you. Gather those memories, embrace them, and thrive/survive in the comfort they offer.Flatus

  9. Jack
    Are you still collecting  for the park — can you post the link again  I’d like to send something in your wife’s memory.
    Listen to Flatus he knows 

  10. wapo:  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused of conspiring to break DoD password

    Prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia on Thursday unsealed a conspiracy to commit computer intrusion charge against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who had been arrested by British police at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.


    The narrow case — focused solely on a handful of interactions with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning nine years ago — suggests the Department of Justice is hoping to avoid a fight over the First Amendment protections. Attempts to prosecute Assange under President Obama faltered out of concern that doing so would be akin to prosecuting a news organization for publishing classified material.


    Assange is accused of agreeing to help Manning break a password to the Defense Department’s computer network in 2010. That, prosecutors alleged, would have allowed Manning to log in anonymously. The indictment does not include evidence that Assange and Manning ever succeeded.

    Assange was indicted in March 2018 — just within an eight-year statute of limitations for the conspiracy crime. But a grand jury in Alexandria is continuing to investigate and Manning is currently in jail for refusing to testify before them. Prosecutors can add to the indictment until Assange is extradited from the United Kingdom.



    Barry Pollack, an attorney representing Assange in the United States, maintained that even this limited case imperils freedom of the press.


    “While the indictment against Julian Assange disclosed today charges a conspiracy to commit computer crimes, the factual allegations against Mr. Assange boil down to encouraging a source to provide him information and taking efforts to protect the identity of that source,” Pollack said. “Journalists around the world should be deeply troubled by these unprecedented criminal charges.”

    Before the interactions regarding the password, Manning had already given WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of classified records, prosecutors allege. The material included four nearly complete databases, according to prosecutors, comprising 90,000 reports from the Afghanistan war, 400,000 reports from the Iraq War and 250,000 State Department cables.


    Manning told Assange in a March 8, 2010, chat she was “throwing everything” she had from Guantanamo detainee reports at him, according to the indictment.


    “After this upload, that’s really all I’ve got left,” she added.


    “Curious eyes never run dry in my experience,” the indictment says Assange responded.

    “Any good at IM-Hash cracking?” Manning asked Assange soon after, according to records produced at her military trial in 2013. The part of the password Manning wanted help decoding was stored as a “hash value” in a DOD computer file she was not supposed to access, according to prosecutors.

    “Yes,” was the reply. When Manning sent a string of numbers, according to the military prosecutors, Assange replied, “Passed it on to our guys.”


    Prosecutors said in the indictment unsealed Thursday that days later, Assange told Manning he had had “no luck so far.”


    Manning was found guilty of espionage, theft and computer crimes; her 35-year sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama in 2017. Prosecutors have argued she has not never fully revealed the extent of her interactions with WikiLeaks.


    At her court-martial in 2013, Manning said she only began sharing information with the group in February 2010 and did so entirely on her own initiative. Military prosecutors argued that the relationship started months earlier, not long after Manning deployed to Iraq.


    The case against Assange was revived under President Trump, after WikiLeaks released secret CIA cyber tools. The Justice Department has in this administration waged an aggressive crackdown on disclosures of classified information, more than tripling the number of leak investigations in then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s first six months on the job.

    Before the 2016 elections, WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of emails that had been stolen from the Democratic National Committee and from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, in cyber hacks that U.S. intelligence officials concluded were orchestrated by the Russian government. Russian military intelligence officers charged by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III discussed the timing of the disclosures with WikiLeaks, according to an indictment, “to heighten their impact on the 2016 presidential election.”


    This is a developing story.


  11. ny times:

    President Trump’s older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, has retired as a federal appellate judge, ending an investigation into whether she violated judicial conduct rules by participating in fraudulent tax schemes with her siblings.

    The court inquiry stemmed from complaints filed last October, after an investigation by The New York Times found that the Trumps had engaged in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the inherited wealth of Mr. Trump and his siblings. Judge Barry not only benefited financially from most of those tax schemes, The Times found; she was also in a position to influence the actions taken by her family.

    Judge Barry, now 82, has not heard cases in more than two years but was still listed as an inactive senior judge, one step short of full retirement. In a letter dated Feb. 1, a court official notified the four individuals who had filed the complaints that the investigation was “receiving the full attention” of a judicial conduct council. Ten days later, Judge Barry filed her retirement papers.

    The status change rendered the investigation moot, since retired judges are not subject to the conduct rules. The people who filed the complaints were notified last week that the matter had been dropped without a finding on the merits of the allegations. The decision has not yet been made public, but copies were provided to The Times by two of the complainants. Both are involved in the legal profession.

    Judge Barry did not respond to emails or telephone messages left at her Manhattan apartment.

    Judicial council reviews can result in the censure or reprimand of federal judges, and in extremely rare cases, a referral to the House of Representatives for impeachment.

    In retirement, Judge Barry is entitled to receive annually the salary she earned when she last met certain workload requirements. Though the exact figure was not immediately available, it appears to be between $184,500 and $217,600.

    The Times investigation focused on how the profits and ownership of the real estate empire built by the president’s father, Fred C. Trump, were transferred to Donald J. Trump and his siblings, often in ways designed to dodge gift and estate taxes.

    A lawyer for the president, Charles J. Harder, said last fall, “The New York Times’s allegations of fraud and tax evasion are 100 percent false, and highly defamatory.”

    Judge Barry had been a co-owner of a shell company — All County Building Supply & Maintenance — created by the family to siphon cash from their father’s empire by marking up purchases already made by his employees, The Times investigation found. Judge Barry, her siblings and a cousin split the markup, free of gift and estate taxes, which at the time were levied at a much higher rate than income taxes.

    On a financial disclosure form filed in 1999, Judge Barry noted that her share of the All County profits for the previous 17 months totaled just over $1 million.

    The family also used the padded invoices to justify higher rent increases in rent-regulated buildings, artificially inflating the rents of thousands of tenants. Former prosecutors told The Times that if the authorities had discovered at the time how the Trumps were using All County, their actions would have warranted a criminal investigation for defrauding tenants, tax fraud and filing false documents.

    Similarly, Judge Barry benefited from the gross undervaluation of her father’s properties when she and her siblings took ownership of them through a trust, sparing them from paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes, The Times found. For years, she attended regular briefings at her brother’s offices in Trump Tower to hear updates on the real estate portfolio and to collect her share of the profits. When the siblings sold off their father’s empire, between 2004 and 2006, her share of the windfall was $182.5 million, The Times found.

    Judge Barry was nominated to the Federal District Court in New Jersey by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, after several years as a federal prosecutor. She was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by President Bill Clinton in 1999.

    In February 2017, shortly after her brother’s inauguration, she notified the court that she would stop hearing cases and give up her staff and chambers. She was then considered a senior inactive judge, a status that did not entitle her to salary increases, but that left her still subject to conduct inquiries. Judge Barry did not announce a reason for the change at the time.

    Following confidentiality requirements, Judge Barry’s name does not appear on the order ending the investigation or the correspondence with the complainants. The order identifies the judge in question as a senior inactive judge, about whom complaints were filed in October 2018. Under court rules, all complaints are reviewed by a judge, and those with an allegation of misconduct or disability are generally referred to a panel of judges for investigation.

    “The complaints allege, on the basis of a news article, that the then-inactive senior circuit judge may have committed misconduct relating to tax and financial transactions,” says the order, dated April 1.

    The complaints had been transferred to the Second Circuit to avoid conflicts with judges who knew Judge Barry.

    Scott Shuchart, a lawyer who filed one of the complaints, said he had done so as a concerned member of the legal profession. He said he found it “galling” that Judge Barry, while still receiving her federal pension, was now immune from judicial misconduct proceedings “just because she changed from one form of retired status to another.”

    In an opinion article last October for The Washington Post, Mr. Shuchart wrote that he had quit his job at the Department of Homeland Security, where he had served since the Obama administration, because he believed that the Trump administration’s family-separation policy at the southern border was unconstitutional.

    Around that time, Mr. Shuchart joined the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning public policy and advocacy group, as a senior fellow focused on immigration issues. But, he said, he filed the complaint against Judge Barry on his own, independent of any organized effort.

  12. wapo:

    Washington attorney Gregory B. Craig, who served as White House counsel for President Barack Obama, was charged Thursday with lying to federal officials who were examining whether he should have registered as a foreign lobbyist for legal work he did for the Ukrainian government in 2012.


    The indictment stems from work Craig did with GOP lobbyist Paul Manafort while Craig was a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, the law firm he joined after ending his tenure at the White House. Manafort, the former campaign chairman to President Trump, pleaded guilty last year to charges related to his Ukraine lobbying.


    The case, brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington and the Justice Department’s National Security Division, grew out of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.


    Craig was charged with two felony counts in connection with alleged false statements related to his Ukraine work. He allegedly made the statements to Justice Department officials who were evaluating whether he should have registered as a foreign agent and in an interview with Mueller’s prosecutors.


    Mueller’s office referred Craig’s case last year to prosecutors in Manhattan as Mueller worked to bring his investigation to a close. Craig’s lawyers said they believe the New York prosecutors declined to prosecute the case. It was then transferred back to prosecutors in Washington.


    Separately, prosecutors in New York have been investigating whether foreign lobbying rules were violated by two other prominent Washington figures: Tony Podesta, a Democratic lobbyist who once owned one of Washington’s leading firms, and Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman, who helps lead the Washington office of Mercury LLC.


    Representatives for Podesta and Weber have said they have cooperated with prosecutors and believe that their clients followed the law.

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