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Assange legal team takes MASSIVE RISK with ‘Russia pardon’ defense (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 478.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the mainstream media reports that the Trump White House asked Julian Assange to cover up links with Russia, while stating that Russia did not hack the DNC…for that Trump would pardon Assange, according to MSM headlines.

Problem is that media headlines are completely misleading what was argued in court regarding the DNC emails, but nonetheless Assange’s line of defense will rely on the Russian DNC hacking narrative going forward, which may prove to be a massive risk in preventing Assange’s extradition to the United States.


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https://soundcloud.com/user-901836666/assange-legal-team-takes-massive-risk-with-russia-pardon-defense

Via RT…

Almost a year since Robert Mueller’s ‘Russiagate’ probe dropped dead from lack of evidence, mainstream media outlets are still pushing ‘Donald Trump-Russia collusion’ as established fact, twisting words to make it seem that way.

Case in point are breathless bombshells on Wednesday that Julian Assange’s lawyers confirmed US President Donald Trump offered the WikiLeaks founder a pardon if he “denied Russia link to hack” of the Democrats in 2016 (Guardian) or “cover up the involvement of Russia in hacking” the DNC (The Daily Beast).

Both outlets base their headlines on a revelation from Westminster Magistrates Court, where Assange’s barrister Edward Fitzgerald presented a statement from another attorney, Jennifer Robinson, about US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher “going to see Mr. Assange and saying, on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr. Assange… said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks.”

Though both publications faithfully reproduced Fitzgerald’s quote, they both jumped to the exact same conclusion, presenting Robinson’s statement as proof that Trump sought to “deny” or “cover up” what they treat as the established fact – i.e. the ‘Russian hack’ of the DNC, and the subsequent publication of internal party emails.

Never mind that the ‘Russian hack’ has only been alleged by Mueller’s prosecutors and the US intelligence community – the same one that spied on Trump during and after the 2016 election – the main story around which this malicious misinterpretation resolves isn’t even true.

While Rohrabacher did visit Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, he said it was Assange who showed him “definitive proof that Russia was not the source” for the DNC emails, according to a February 2018 report in the Intercept.

Furthermore, Rohrabacher said that he was never able to share this with Trump, because he was blocked by the president’s chief of staff at the time, John Kelly.

“Not only Kelly, but others are worried if I say one word to Trump about Russia, that it would appear to out-of-control prosecutors that that is where the collusion is,” Rohrabacher told the Intercept. Meanwhile, Assange did not want to release the evidence publicly, so as not to compromise his sources and methods.

The timeline of events also goes against the Guardian and Beast’s interpretation. Months after the meeting with Rohrabacher – in November 2018 – a secret US indictment against Assange was revealed.

Mueller delivered his report, finding no evidence of any Americans “colluding” with Russia in the 2016 election, on March 22, 2019. Less than three weeks later, on April 11, Assange’s asylum was revoked and he was hauled out of the embassy in handcuffs. The WikiLeaks publisher was thrown into a dungeon in Belmarsh, where he has been ever since. In May, the US government revealed the expanded indictment, threatening him with 175 years behind bars for “attempted hacking” – but in relation to the 2010 Pentagon disclosures, not the 2016 election.

Meanwhile, the same media outlets that have spent the past three years screeching about Trump’s “collusion” with Russia are twisting words of Assange’s lawyers to retroactively validate their repeatedly debunked reporting – and see the WikiLeaks journalist imprisoned forever.

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ManintheMoon
ManintheMoon
February 23, 2020

A particularly spot-on video. I have a legal background myself and like Alexander was bemused when I read about this line of defence. Alexander’s idea about estoppel seem credible, but for all the reasons he gives it is certain to backfire. If I could make a suggestion, I can see no harm at all in Alexander giving advice to Julian’s defence team – indeed since they are clearly so easily swayed, he should! Incidentally, I think Alex is also right about Trump Derangement Syndrome being behind this. But why oh why has not Alexander not taken the opportunity to plug… Read more »

Court Room Drama
Court Room Drama
Reply to  ManintheMoon
February 23, 2020

I’ve watched 20 years worth of episodes of Law & Order at least 5 times over. Does that sort of qualify me?

BTW: So many of the ivory tower jurisprudential niceties of that era, esp. the 90’s, that they used to proudly parade before us have turned into so much road kill in the present. It invokes nostalgia and a sad sarcastic chuckle at times.

Court Room Drama
Court Room Drama
February 23, 2020

Only reason I can think of for this seemingly dead end strategy is to call Rohrabacher to testify, not to reveal sources but simply testify ‘Yes, I saw his proof and I know it was not the Russians for a fact.’ That would be a sort of win-win strategy. Denied Rohrabacher’s appearance, it would be a major foul.

Olivia Kroth
February 23, 2020

Alexander Mercouris is speaking at this event, St Pancras Church, London: “Speakers from a variety of backgrounds will share their expertise on imperialism in general, and on the Julian Assange case in particular. – About this Event: We recognise the dire situation that Julian faces, and feel so passionately for him, on a human level. We also recognise the severity of the further charges he will face if extradition to the US is granted. This case is a watershed moment, and potentially end times as we know it, for journalism. We must all stand with Julian, if we are to… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
February 23, 2020

Date And Time:
Tue, 25 February 2020

18:00 – 22:00 GMT

Location:
St Pancras New Church

Euston Road

London

NW1 2BA

United Kingdom

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
February 24, 2020

INTERNATIONAL JURISTS LETTER “The following International Jurists’ letter to British authorities in support of Julian Assange was prepared by Deepa Govindarajan Driver and sent to its addressee (the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with copies sent to the Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn, and other leading politicians) and made public on 22nd February 2020. The list of signatories at the time of sending appear below; this list will be periodically updated with subsequent signatories. Those invited to sign are current and former judges, lawyers, and legal academics. ‘If you would like to sign this letter, please write to Deepa… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
February 24, 2020

If international jurists are reading this, please help Assange and sign the letter, too. THANK YOU! xxxxx Signed by: Alberto Alemanno, Professeur de Droit, HEC et NYU, France Ahmed Aydeed, Director of Public Law, Duncan Lewis Solicitors, UK Greg Barns, Barrister & former National President of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Australia Professor Eirik Bjorge, University of Bristol Law School, UK Heidi Boghosian, Esq., Executive Director, A.J. Muste Institute, Inc., USA William Bourdon, Avocat au Barreau de Paris, France Vincent Brengarth, Avocat au Barreau de Paris, France Nick Brown, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers, UK Julian Burnside AO, QC, Australia Heather Ellis… Read more »

oldandjaded
February 23, 2020

I read this piece by Michel Chussodovsky a couple years ago, it didn’t change my fundamental view of WikiLeaks and Assange, but I found it disquieting. Ideologues just don’t click on the link, its going to trigger you. But if you do not have ideological fences surrounding your intellect, it is at least interesting food for thought in the context of this story.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/who-is-behind-wikileaks-2/22389

Rick Oliver
Rick Oliver
Reply to  oldandjaded
February 23, 2020

oldandjaded , Thank you for the heads up through globalresearch . Very interesting reading , it certainly joins up the dots in WikiLeaks , cheers.

gwynn oneill
Reply to  oldandjaded
February 24, 2020

Assange had to know how the main stream media were undercutting his message. Yet he still kept on. Wow.

Jane Karlsson
Jane Karlsson
Reply to  oldandjaded
February 24, 2020

Very interesting indeed. I suppose it means Assange ultimately works for the financial elite. Well don’t we all, in one way or another? I certainly do. They arranged for me to be kicked out of my Oxford fellowship so I could spend 30 years reading the scientific literature. They needed to know what was in it. I have no direct evidence for this.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Jane Karlsson
March 7, 2020

They surely had reasons for kicking you out, Jane Karlsson. Think twice about if, from a distance.

SteveK9
SteveK9
February 23, 2020

There is a difference between making a ‘statement’ that Russia did not ‘hack’ DNC emails, and PROOF. The only ‘proof’ that would be acceptable is to reveal, with clearcut documentary evidence, the source of the leak, presumably Seth Rich. It isn’t clear to me why Assange would not at this point, reveal his source. Hard to see the harm. If it ruined his ‘career’ … so what. That is better than rotting in a prison, until you expire.

oldandjaded
Reply to  SteveK9
February 23, 2020

Then he loses the only POSSIBLE leverage he has to do a deal with the DOJ, if they ever renew their earlier offer.

oldandjaded
February 24, 2020

x

oldandjaded
February 24, 2020

Does this effectively put Trump in the position where his best way out is to renew the DOJ offer of leniency for testimony to Assange? Is this what Assanges legal team is attempting to do, pressure the US government to re-offer the DOJ deal? If Trumps team just denies that the offer was ever made, no one believes him anyway and the damage is done. Its questionable how damaging that is, but it could lay the groundwork for another impeachment attempt that will last up to November? His alternative is to make a deal with Assange, which effectively destroys the… Read more »

gwynn oneill
February 24, 2020

I just subscribed to the Global Research site. Having read its message, I wonder if Assange’s lawyers are to be trusted. I do trust the Global Research message that propaganda has become more sophisticated as its audience becomes more so, also.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  gwynn oneill
February 24, 2020

Yes, those are stranger lawyers in his defense team. I wonder whether Julian Assange is still sound in his mind to change his defense team or whether he has been tortured so harshly that he is not able to think clearly any more. Knowing that torture is practised throughout Europe by the powers that be, it would not astonish me at all.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
February 24, 2020

UK: Julian was harrassed, says Assange’s father on eve of extradition hearing

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
February 24, 2020

RUPTLY LIVE FROM LONDON:

Assange supporters and public figures hold march in London ahead of extradition hearing (Saturday, February 22, 2020)

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
February 24, 2020

Australian MP says that Julian Assange is being tortured in prison in London

oldandjaded
Reply to  gwynn oneill
February 24, 2020

Gwynn, Michel Chussodofsky has some excellent books out as well, I read “The Globalisation of War” a couple years ago, good read.

Wes Baker
Wes Baker
February 26, 2020

Could it be that Assange’s legal team is throwing this possible canard out there to play to the anti-Trump sentiment which has engulfed establishment England, almost completely. For god’s sake the Beeb has been running a 3 – 5 year campaign of mockery and derision against this political prisoner, and it doesn’t even stop to adjust it cravat when it venomously discusses other ‘news’ sources around the world, RT, Press Tv, etc, as being – hold your breath – state run. It’s hard to imagine any figure more in line with that way of British arrogance than this magistrate. Wouldn’t… Read more »

Dizzz
Dizzz
February 27, 2020

Without freedom of the press the USA is not a democracy, do the right [email protected], you know it’s what should be done.

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