Six members of the Australian parliament landed in Washington D.C. on Tuesday armed with a bi-partisan agenda and the backing of an entire nation as they try to convince Congressmen and State and Justice Department officials that the American pursuit of Australian publisher Julian Assange is wrong and must be stopped. The cross-party delegation is spending two days in the U.S. capital arguing Assange’s case ahead of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s state visit to the White House at the end of October, where it is expected that Assange will be brought up (as well as Australia being used to test U.S. hypersonic missiles).
Department of Justice
Randy Credico attempted a civil disobedience rally/blockade Wednesday of the Department of Justice in Washington DC along along with Kathy Boylan of Dorothy Day Catholic Worker demanding a meeting to request the release of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Kathy Boylan, protesting in front of the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in DC, was wearing a Kennedy 2024 shirt. She tells News2Share that "when he is elected, Robert Kennedy Jr has promised to free Julian Assange, truth-tellers, and whistleblowers." Ultimately, Credico allowed people past his blockade, and police didn't arrest him, instead waiting it out.
Any day now, a federal district court is expected to deliver a ruling that would allow a historic climate change lawsuit to proceed to trial. If and when the case moves forward, however, it faces a major obstacle: President Joe Biden’s Justice Department. The lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, was brought by 21 young plaintiffs in 2015 and seeks to establish a federal, constitutional right to a livable planet. If the case is successful, any federal policies that enable more fossil fuel development could be challenged as unconstitutional. But the Obama and Trump administrations both vehemently fought the lawsuit, and now those close to the case say that Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicated it will also use every procedural tool at its disposal to prevent the lawsuit from ever getting a trial.
The U.S. ambassador to Australia believes a plea bargain could free imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, allowing him to serve a shortened sentence for a lesser crime in his home country. Caroline Kennedy told The Sydney Morning Herald in a front-page interview published Monday that the decision on a plea deal was up to the U.S. Justice Department. “So it’s not really a diplomatic issue, but I think that there absolutely could be a resolution,” she told the newspaper. Kennedy noted the firm comments by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on July 31 in Brisbane.
On May 3, 2023, the Argentinian press reported a US prosecutor requested the US Justice Department to order the definitive execution of the seizure order of Emtrasur's Boeing 747-300. The plane arrived in Argentina in June 2022 in what was supposedly a routine cargo flight. Nonetheless, the airplane, its cargo and its crew raised the alarms across Argentina, and it was seized by local authorities. Shortly after, US authorities got involved claiming the sale of the aircraft by the Iranian state carrier Mahan Air to Venezuela's Conviasa was a clear violation of the US Export Control Laws. Almost a year has passed; the crew has been released, but the plane remains grounded in Buenos Aires.
On July 29, 2022, Omali Yeshitela and his wife, Ona Zene, awoke at 5 o’clock in the morning to the sound of flash grenades and drones, as heavily armed FBI agents stormed into their home searching for evidence of organizational ties to the Russian government. Yeshitela is the 80-year-old chair of the African People’s Socialist Party, a Pan-Africanist political party founded in 1972 and headquartered in Florida. His wife is the deputy chair. Last week, nine months after the raid, the Department of Justice unsealed new grand jury indictments against Yeshitela, as well as Jesse Nevel, Penny Hess, and Gazi Kodzo—national chair of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, chair of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, and cofounder of the Black Hammer Party, respectively—naming them as co-conspirators in an alleged plot to promote the political interests of Russia within the United States.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that it has opened an investigation into the New York City Police Department’s sex crimes unit. “Over the last several months, we have learned concerning information from a variety of sources of historical issues about the way the Special Victims Division has conducted its investigations for many years,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York in a Justice Department statement announcing the probe. The investigation will assess whether the Special Victims Division (SVD) engages in a “pattern or practice of gender-biased policing.”
London - On October 27, the High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom will hear the Crown Prosecution Service argue on behalf of the United States government that a lower court improperly blocked the U.S. from extraditing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The proceedings in London are expected to last two days and will involve five grounds for appeal that were previously approved by the High Court of Justice. (Two were reinstated by the court after a hearing on August 11.) District Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled on January 4 that Assange’s mental health was such that it would be “oppressive to extradite him” to the U.S. But two days later, she accepted the U.S. government’s objections and ordered him to remain in jail while her decision was appealed.
Last month Biden’s Haitian envoy resigned on principle. Is there someone in Biden’s Justice Department who would push the attorney general to drop the prosecution of Julian Assange? Last month the U.S. special envoy to Haiti quit in protest over the Biden administration’s decision to repatriate thousands of Haitian migrants from the United States. In his letter (pdf) of resignation to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Daniel Foote wrote, ““I will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs in control of daily life.”
This was all rather predictable. As The Canary‘s Tom Coburg wrote back in 2018, Thordarson was never a credible witness. He: is a convicted felon in relation to several offences, including paedophilia (involving nine boys). He had pleaded guilty to these offences. Also, in December 2014, Thordarson was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison on 18 charges of embezzlement, theft, and fraud. So, with British MPs applying pressure and the legal case against him falling apart, Assange’s future is once again in question. Whether parliamentary pressure and this new evidence will be enough for the imprisoned journalist to secure his freedom, though, is sadly debatable.
A careful read of this stunning investigative piece in Iceland’s Stundin newspaper reveals that in June 2011 Eric Holder (no doubt with Obama’s enthusiastic approval) initiated a disgraceful FBI frame-up of Julian Assange. Displaying their usual incompetence, the FBI thoroughly screwed up the Holder framing assignment by coming up with a child-molesting embezzler and sociopath as their spy and agent provocateur within the Icelandic branch of Wikileaks, thereby creating such a mess that the Minister of the Interior had our federal gumshoes thrown out of Iceland. Undeterred by the 2011 mess, in May of 2019 William Barr (probably with equally enthusiastic approval from his boss) stepped into Holder’s shoes by reigniting the disgusting Assange frame-up plot.
Racial justice advocates welcomed Wednesday's announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice that three men imprisoned in Georgia on murder and other charges in connection with the death of unarmed Black man Ahmaud Arbery last February also have been charged with federal hate crimes and attempted kidnapping. According to a DOJ statement, Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael, and William 'Roddie' Bryan "were each charged with one count of interference with rights and with one count of attempted kidnapping." "Travis and Gregory McMichael were also charged with one count each of using, carrying, and brandishing—and in Travis's case, discharging—a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence," the statement added.
The US Department of Justice under President Joe Biden has dropped a department lawsuit filed under former President Donald Trump that challenged California's net neutrality rules. California's law, considered more strict than federal rules adopted during the Obama administration, could set the baseline for future federal rules. The DOJ formally dismissed the lawsuit Monday. The suit was first filed in 2018 under ex-US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a Trump appointee. Former California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed the California law in October 2018. California adopted the new rules after a Republican-led FCC in 2017 repealed federal rules that had been established under President Barrack Obama.
The letter comes just days before the United States’ deadline to appeal the ruling in Julian Assange’s extradition hearing. On January 4, British Judge Vanessa Baraitser blocked Assange’s extradition last month on medical grounds, and the U.S. announced its intent to appeal that decision. It has until February 12 to file its appeal. The New York Times’ Charlie Savage writes, “The litigation deadline may force the new administration to confront a decision: whether to press on with the Trump-era approach to Mr. Assange, or to instead drop the matter.”