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Tag: WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks Faces Extradition to U.S. in What Could Become Major Break in Mueller Case

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be extradited to the U.S. from an Ecuadoran embassy in London in what could become a major victory for special counsel Robert Mueller.

Assange said Monday that Ecuador could soon end his six-year asylum, Reuters reports

Assange, known for releasing sensitive documents through WikiLeaks, could be a big witness in Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia’s interference during the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller has struck plea deals with others tied to Trump in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors.

Assange likely knows more than anyone whether the Trump campaign was involved with leaking hacked emails that hurt Hillary Clinton during the election.

Longtime Trump supporter Roger Stone originally claimed he was in contact with Assange, but he has since walked back those statements.

Mueller’s Team Questioning Manafort, Others about Longtime Trump Supporter Roger Stone

Roger Stone

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has been questioning former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and others about Roger Stone.

Stone, who also worked on Trump’s campaign and previously was a partner at Manafort’s lobbying firm, Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, has been the subject of Mueller’s investigation.

Manafort has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.   

“I am highly confident Mr. Manafort is aware of no wrongdoing on my part during the 2016 campaign, or at any other time, and therefore there is no wrongdoing to know about,” Stone told ABC News. “Narratives to the contrary by some in the media are false and defamatory.” 

Mueller’s team wants to know whether Stone had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release Hillary Clinton’s emails, which Russian hackers had stolen. At the time, Stone publicly suggested he had been in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over the emails, which were released to hurt Clinton’s chances of winning the 2016 presidential election.

Nearly a dozen people close to Stone – many of whom have appeared before a federal grand jury – have been questioned by Mueller’s team.

Ex-CIA Employee Suspected of Leaking Documents to WikiLeaks Faces Sexual-Related Charges

Joshua Adam Schulte (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There may be a lot questions surrounding 30-year-old former CIA employee Joshua Adam Schulte, but one thing is certain: This man needs lawyers.

First, the federal government suspects he gave a massive trove of agency documents to WikiLeaks about the CIA’s hacking operations, though he has yet to be charged with that, reports Huffington Post.

In the meantime, he faces child pornography charges and charges in Virginia, where he’s accused of snapping photos as he sexually assaulted a passed-out friend as she lay on the floor of his bathroom.

Schulte was arrested back in August on federal child pornography charges, but it wasn’t until Tuesday that The Washington Post and New York Times reported the government was interested in Schulte because it suspected WikiLeaks leaks.

NBC News reports that he’s currently in a Manhattan federal jail on the child porn charges.

 

Amid Threats of Charges, WikiLeaks Founder Assange Still Waiting to Hear from U.S.

Julian Assange on Fox News

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government said more than a week ago that it’s preparing criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and other members of his organization, but so far Assange has not heard from the government, his lawyer told Mother Jones. 

“The only thing that’s happened is there’s been a very vibrant rumor mill,” Barry Pollack, Assange’s US-based lawyer, tells Mother Jones. “Obviously there’s been a lot of chatter, but the only thing I’ve seen is that the Department of Justice has sort of confirmed that it is looking at the Vault 7 leak,” —WikiLeaks’ March 7 dump of thousands of pages of CIA hacking tools.

The Department of Justice has not gotten back to me in any way or answered any of my repeated attempts to enter a dialogue with them to tell us what they’re actually doing,” Pollack says.

Pollack says it’s unclear what the government is planning.

“It is uncommon, in fact unprecedented in my experience, that they’re not willing to engage in a broad conversation about the status of the investigation and where a particular person fits in with respect to an investigation.”

Assange has been living at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid being picked up on sex charges from Sweden.

Love Lost? Trump Administration Prepares to Charge Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

Julian Assange on Fox News

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump praised the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks while he was running for president.

Now, his administration is preparing charges against the group’s founder, Julian Assange, according to CNN

The charges may include conspiracy, violating the Espionage Act and the theft of government property.

The decision to charge Assange, who revealed troves of damaging e-mails from the Hillary Clinton campaign, belongs to the Justice Department.

U.S. authorities are responding to WikiLeaks releasing 8,000 documents last week revealing secrets about the CIA’s spying capabilities.

Attorney General on Thursday called Assange’s arrest a “priority.”

“We are going to step up our effort and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks,” he said. “This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks and some of them are quite serious. So yes, it is a priority. We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.”

Assange’s lawyer responded.

“We’ve had no communication with the Department of Justice and they have not indicated to me that they have brought any charges against Mr. Assange,” Barry Pollack said. “They’ve been unwilling to have any discussion at all, despite our repeated requests, that they let us know what Mr. Assange’s status is in any pending investigations. There’s no reason why WikiLeaks should be treated differently from any other publisher.”

CIA, FBI Search for Leaker Who Gave Classified Documents to Wikileaks

cia-lobby-sealBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The CIA and FBI are on the hunt for a traitor inside the spy agency who turned over a trove of classified documents to Wikileaks.

Government officials told CBS News that the leaker either works for the CIA or is a government contractor.

Making the investigation more difficult, hundreds of workers had access to the data, which was published by Wikileaks in March.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo criticized Wikileaks for releasing the documents.

“It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” Pompeo said while speaking to the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

President Trump, however, had a much different opinion of Wikileaks during the presidential campaign.

“I love Wikileaks!” Trump said to a rally of supporters in Wilkes-Barre, Penn. in October.

Lawmakers: Leak of Sensitive CIA Documents Compromise National Security

cia-lobby-sealBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The release of sensitive CIA documents by Wikileaks may have compromised national security, national officials said.

“This alleged leak should concern every single American in terms of its impact on national security,” said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at Wednesday’s Press Briefing, Sinclair Broadcast Group reports. 

Senators from both sides of the aisle condemned the leaks.

“For anybody who’s been under the illusion that Wikileaks is some kind of public service operation, this is a propaganda arm of the Russian government – that’s what they’re doing,” said Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, added: “This is a devastating blow and we should have learned from the last leaked where an employee leaked reams of classified information.”

Several national security agencies are investigating the leak in hopes of identifying who provided the documents to Wikileaks.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Prepares to Help Determine Who Released CIA Records to WikiLeaks

CIA headquarters

CIA headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is poised to take a major role in determining the identity of the person who gave a trove of CIA documents to WikiLeaks.

The latest leak raises questions about the intelligence community’s ability to keep digital records from getting released to the public.

Army private Chelsea Manning and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden were among the latest to leak secret documents.

“Anybody who thinks that the Manning and Snowden problems were one-offs is just dead wrong,’’ Joel Brenner, former head of U.S. counterintelligence at the office of the Director of National Intelligence, told the Washington Post. “Ben Franklin said three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead. If secrets are shared on systems in which thousands of people have access to them, that may really not be a secret anymore. This problem is not going away, and it’s a condition of our existence.’’

The FBI and CIA have declined to comment.

If the documents’ are verified, authorities must then determine who had access to the documents.

WikiLeaks suggested the source was a former government employee or contractor.

“This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA,’’ WikiLeaks said in announcing the first release of documents. “The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.’’