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Hank Sullivan: Assange big trouble? Maybe not
Hank Sullivan
Hank Sullivan is a Forsyth County resident, businessman, author and speaker on American history, economics and geopolitics.

Since his arrest last week, how many of you thought that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange might be in big trouble? Even so, didn’t you think the timing a little odd? I mean, how long had Assange been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, almost eight years? And if the authorities arrested him last week, why didn’t they two weeks ago? A year ago? Five years ago?  

What was different last week than any time previous, such that it made the Ecuadorian President Moreno decide to allow British law enforcement inside the embassy and snatch Assange from his safe place and arrest him? Could it be the recently unsealed indictment of Assange by the U.S. Department of Justice? And if that might be the case, why was it unsealed just now, almost a decade after the offense it alleges? According to the Ecuadorian president, Ecuadorians were simply tired of “aggressive behavior” on the part of the notably mild-mannered Assange. Plausible explanation? Let’s take a closer look. 

Recall that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is the individual who published supposedly hacked Democratic National Committee emails for the world to see, timed just prior the 2016 presidential election. But note that the recently unsealed U.S. indictment of Assange has nothing to do with any DNC hacking. According to the Mueller Report, as told by Attorney General Barr two weeks ago, the Russians were the sole culprits in the DNC hacking caper. And although Assange publicly dismisses the Russians had anything to do with DNC emails, the D.C. Democrats, American mainstream media, and Robert Mueller would have us believe differently.

The U.S. indictment unsealed against Assange last week simply charges, “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer.” Prosecutors alleged Assange conspired with pardoned Chelsea Manning to hack a government computer. The indictment questions whether prosecutors even possess jurisdiction over Assange, stating, the alleged offense was “begun and committed outside of the jurisdiction of any particular State or district of the United States.” 

So the strength of the government case against Assange hinges on proving several points. First, the government must prove U.S. jurisdiction over Assange having already admitted in the very indictment it may not. Did they have to admit that?  Next, it must prove that one particular text entry between Manning and an anonymous individual presumed to be Assange, but not verified, was indeed Assange, a message which read, “curious eyes never run dry in my experience.” Then it must prove that such a statement demonstrates the formation of a criminal conspiracy, by those words Assange encouraging Manning to redouble efforts to obtain hacked information. That’s it. That’s the charge for which Assange is indicted. And no hack attempt perpetrated after that text is alleged to have broken into a government computer.

And notably, the statute of limitations on such a crime, assuming it can be proved, expired three years ago. To extend the statute of limitations to include the date of Assange’s indictment, the act Assange allegedly performed in forming the conspiracy prosecutors allege must also be shown to be an act of terrorism. That’s quite a ball of yarn for the government to unroll for a jury, and for a crime that carries a maximum sentence of only five years. Why would the Justice Department pursue such a questionably winnable case for such a miniscule prize were prosecutors to prevail? 

Ask yourself, if the U.S. DOJ indicted Assange three years after the statute of limitations already expired, why not three years ago while the alleged offense might have stood on its own rather than prosecutors being forced to argue an implausible case of terrorism to qualify it statutorily? None of that really makes sense on the surface, which might explain why Assange offered his smiling “thumbs up” to a local photographer shortly after his arrest.

So the government case against Assange is weak at best. But just for kicks, for a moment let’s place ourselves in Hillary Clinton’s shoes, the shoes of her campaign chairman, John Podesta, or the shoes of anyone else named in the email trove Assange published shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Might we be getting a little nervous knowing that very soon President Trump will have the star witness against us quartered and safe from anyone who might try to harm him?

And look at the timing. First the long-awaited Mueller report effectively exonerates Trump. Next, to the dismay of the D.C. Democrats, Attorney General Barr states unequivocally that members of the Obama Justice Department and FBI spied on President Trump. And soon afterward, after almost eight years, out of the blue the Trump DOJ indicts Assange, the Ecuadorian President suddenly citing “aggressive behavior” by Assange and allowing his arrest. None of this really makes much sense, or does it?

So, do you think, just maybe the time was right to extricate Assange from his self-imposed dry dock and bring him to America as the only witness who can positively identify the true source of the DNC email hack, that source we all know being the murdered DNC staffer, Seth Rich, who Assange may now be inclined to identify noting that Rich is already dead?  Only Assange’s personal testimony might convince the hard left that Rich was indeed the hacker, which places a noose around the necks of Hillary, Podesta and the entire leadership of the then DNC. If I were them, I’d be real nervous.

Hank Sullivan is a Forsyth County resident, businessman, author and speaker on American history, economics and geopolitics.