This last week proof a grand jury sealed indictment was leaked and made public by Wikileaks in a tweet with screenshots seen below. I am here to explain what this means to Assange.
This is proof there are charges against Assange in the United States due to a grand jury sealed indictment in Virginia. According to Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, they have filed a lawsuit to unseal the indictment seen here.
“It’s important that the public understand what these charges are, and there’s no longer any justification for keeping the criminal complaint, the docket, and other filings related to the prosecution sealed,” said Reporters Committee Executive Director Bruce Brown.
Very simply put, our DOJ has violated the First Amendment of the Constitution by charging a journalist for publishing documents given to him. He did the same thing that Woodward and Bernstein did in the Watergate investigation. Assange used anonymous sources to expose government corruption. Why were they viewed as heroes then but Assange considered a criminal now?
What this proof means to Assange is simple. Once he steps outside the Embassy and is arrested in the U.K., the United DOJ will unseal the indictment and issue an arrest warrant. This warrant will essentially guarantee an extradition request to the United Kingdom will be issued as well. According to Wikipedia, the UK/US treaty of 2003 is a one sided extradition treaty, seen here
The treaty has been claimed to be one-sided because it allows the US to extradite UK citizens and others for offences committed against US law, even though the alleged offence may have been committed in the UK by a person living and working in the UK (see for example the NatWest Three), and there being no reciprocal right; and issues about the level of proof required being less to extradite from the UK to the US rather than vice versa.
So, according to this treaty, Assange would be quickly extradited to face charges here in the States which would most likely result in his life imprisonment or worse yet, the death penalty. You ask but what is a grand jury indictment. Well. let me explain.
A grand jury, according to Wikipedia, seen here
, are as follows:
“Generally speaking, a grand jury may issue an indictment for a crime, also known as a “true bill,” only if it finds, based upon the evidence that has been presented to it, that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by a criminal suspect. Unlike a petit jury, which resolves a particular civil or criminal case, a grand jury (typically having twelve to twenty-three members) serves as a group for a sustained period of time in all or many of the cases that come up in the jurisdiction, generally under the supervision of a federal U.S. attorney, a county district attorney, or a state attorney-general and hears evidence ex parte (i.e. without suspect or person of interest involvement in the proceedings).”
In other words, a grand jury decides if there is enough evidence to charge the defendant with a crime. Once the grand jury looks at evidence, which includes hearsay and other evidence that would not be admissible in court, they issue an indictment which leads to an arrest warrant being issued. However, in the case of Assange, an arrest warrant will not be issued until he is in the custody of U.K. authorities.
According to lawyers.com. seen here
“Grand juries not only hear from just one side—they may normally also consider evidence that would be inadmissible at trial. The exclusionary rule—which keeps inadmissible evidence like a statement resulting from a Miranda violation or an object found through an illegal search—normally doesn’t apply. Nor does the hearsay rule typically block certain kinds of testimony that would be inadmissible in a trial.”
In other words, a grand jury can rule for an indictment based on evidence that will never be seen in a courtroom. Also seen in the above article is this:
“Unlike typical criminal hearings and trials, grand jury proceedings are closed from the public. They’re also different from your typical proceeding in that the accused (“target”) doesn’t have a right to be present. The grand jury hears only from the prosecutor and witnesses. In most states, the target doesn’t have a right to testify in front of the grand jury. A few states do, however, provide the target with a right to appear.”
In Virginia, Julian’s lawyers were not allowed to appear at this secret grand jury. He could not defend himself against their accusations. All that were present were for the prosecution. Only President Trump and the DOJ can end this witch hunt for a journalist and publisher by demanding the grand jury indictment be dropped and all charges as well. However, Trump claims to know nothing of the man who is head of the organization Wikileaks.org who he claimed to love 150 times pre-election. He stated in an interview the following this last week,:
President Trump is asked, “Should Julian Assange go free?” Trump: “I don’t know anything about him. Really. I don’t know much about him. I really don’t.”
This whole fiasco will go down in history as the most hypocritical Constitution violation of all time and will set a precedent for future journalists to be prosecuted for telling the truth. It will make publishing corruption illegal and those who try afraid. It will make a laughingstock of journalists who are only allowed to write propaganda. If Assange is extradited and prosecuted, it will be the end of the First Amendment, Press Rights and Free Speech.
Folks, stand up and do something before it is too late.