from the wasn't-expecting-that dept.
The Democratic National Committee on Friday officially served its lawsuit to WikiLeaks via Twitter, employing a rare method to serve its suit to the elusive group that has thus far been unresponsive.
As CBS News first reported last month, the DNC filed a motion with a federal court in Manhattan requesting permission to serve its complaint to WikiLeaks on Twitter, a platform the DNC argued the website uses regularly. The DNC filed a lawsuit in April against the Trump campaign, Russian government and WikiLeaks, alleging a massive conspiracy to tilt the 2016 election in Donald Trump's favor.
All of the DNC's attempts to serve the lawsuit via email failed, the DNC said in last month's motion to the judge, which was ultimately approved.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's London embassy for six years, is considering an offer to appear before a U.S. Senate committee to discuss alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, his lawyer said on Thursday.
WikiLeaks published a letter from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday which asked Assange to make himself available to testify in person at a closed hearing as part of its investigation into whether Moscow meddled to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election. "The U.S. Senate Select Committee request confirms their interest in hearing from Mr Assange," lawyer Jennifer Robinson said in a statement.
Lawyers for Julian Assange say they are "seriously considering" a request from a US Senate committee to interview the WikiLeaks founder as part of its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
The Senate select committee on intelligence has written to Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been living for more than six years.
[...] The chairman of the committee, Richard Burr, wrote: "As you are aware, the Senate select committee on intelligence is conducting a bipartisan inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 US elections. As part of that inquiry, the committee requests that you make yourself available for a closed interview with bipartisan committee staff at a mutually agreeable time and location."
The ultimate irony would involve Julian Assange avoiding Metropolitan Police arrest by somehow fleeing to the United States.
It's a large world, filled with felonies big and misdemeanors small. And so I prefer to write long columns. But sometimes a short, sharp word is necessary. The Democratic Party is suing WikiLeaks and they shouldn't. As Glenn Greenwald wrote last week in The Intercept:
The Democratic National Committee filed a lawsuit this afternoon in a Manhattan federal court against the Russian government, the Trump campaign, and various individuals it alleges participated in the plot to hack its email servers and disseminate the contents as part of the 2016 election. The DNC also sued WikiLeaks for its role in publishing the hacked materials, though it does not allege that WikiLeaks participated in the hacking or even knew in advance about it; its sole role, according to the DNC's lawsuit, was publishing the hacked emails.
As Greenwald points out, the Dems' claim that "WikiLeaks is liable for damages it caused when it 'willfully and intentionally disclosed' the DNC's communications ... would mean that any media outlet that publishes misappropriated documents or emails (exactly what media outlets quite often do) could be sued by the entity or person about which they are reporting."
After the Manning releases in 2010, the Obama Justice Department wanted to sue WikiLeaks. However, they couldn't prove that anyone from WikiLeaks had actually stolen documents. They knew that suing WikiLeaks would have infringed on press freedom. Sue WikiLeaks, and you have to sue the Washington Post as well.
The DNC has no such qualms now.
Also at Al Jazeera.
Over the weekend, dozens of public figures, including prominent whistleblowers and journalists, took part in a 36-hour international online vigil in defence of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange. The event was the third "Unity4J" vigil organised by independent journalist and New Zealand Internet Party leader, Suzie Dawson, since Assange's communications were cut-off by Ecuadorian authorities at their London embassy last March.
[...] Daniel Ellsberg, whose release of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 exposed the extent of US criminality in Vietnam, drew a parallel between his own activities and those of WikiLeaks. Referring to WikiLeaks' 2010 publication of US war logs in Iraq and Afghanistan, he stated: "I really waited almost 40 years, after the Pentagon Papers had come out, for someone to do what I had done."
Ellsberg pointed to similarities between the attacks that had been levelled against him, and the persecution of Assange. "I was charged with 12 felony counts, a possible 150 years in prison. Nixon had in mind for me what Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have had in mind for Julian Assange," he said.
Related: FBI Whistleblower on Pierre Omidyar and His Campaign to Neuter Wikileaks
Julian Assange has His Internet Access Cut Off by Ecuador
Ecuador Spent $5 Million Protecting and Spying on Julian Assange
Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno traveled to London on Friday for the ostensible purpose of speaking at the 2018 Global Disabilities Summit (Moreno has been using a wheelchair since being shot in a 1998 robbery attempt). The concealed, actual purpose of the President's trip is to meet with British officials to finalize an agreement under which Ecuador will withdraw its asylum protection of Julian Assange, in place since 2012, eject him from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and then hand over the WikiLeaks founder to British authorities.
Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange
The Justice Department has prepared an indictment against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, marking a drastic escalation of the government's yearslong battle with him and his anti-secrecy group. It was not clear if prosecutors have filed charges against Mr. Assange. The indictment came to light late Thursday through an unrelated court filing in which prosecutors inadvertently mentioned charges against him. "The court filing was made in error," said Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the United States attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia. "That was not the intended name for this filing."
[...] Seamus Hughes, a terrorism expert at George Washington University who closely tracks court cases, uncovered the filing and posted it on Twitter.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to say on Thursday what led to the inadvertent disclosure. It was made in a recently unsealed filing in an apparently unrelated sex-crimes case charging a man named Seitu Sulayman Kokayi with coercing and enticing an underage person to engage in unlawful sexual activity. Mr. Kokayi was charged in early August, and on Aug. 22, prosecutors filed a three-page document laying out boilerplate arguments for why his case at that time needed to remain sealed.
While the filing started out referencing Mr. Kokayi, federal prosecutors abruptly switched on its second page to discussing the fact that someone named "Assange" had been secretly indicted, and went on to make clear that this person was the subject of significant publicity, lived abroad and would need to be extradited — suggesting that prosecutors had inadvertently pasted text from a similar court filing into the wrong document and then filed it.
"Another procedure short of sealing will not adequately protect the needs of law enforcement at this time because, 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," prosecutors wrote. They added, "The complaint, supporting affidavit, and arrest warrant, as well as this motion and the proposed order, would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter."