Ecuador won’t last forever: Assange will likely stand trial in US, ex-CIA director says
Asked by MSNBC’s Brian Williams on Monday if he thought “we’ll ever seen Julian Assange on American soil” or “inside an American courtroom,” the Obama-era top spook responded in the affirmative.
"I think we already know that there are charges against Julian Assange, and I don’t believe he’s going to stay in the Ecuadorian Embassy for the remainder of his days,” Brennan replied. “And once he leaves that embassy, I think then that he’s going to be subject to arrested detention, and the United States certainly has extradition arrangements with the United Kingdom. So, I do think he’s going to be charged in some venue, whether in the United States or somewhere else. But I think the United States is a pretty good chance.”
Last week, it was revealed that the Wikileaks co-founder faces secret charges in the US which prosecutors have been keeping under seal. The news has been hailed by leading voices in the anti-Trump #Resistance, who subscribe to the theory that Assange is part of a vast Kremlin conspiracy that put Trump in the White House.
Others, however, have warned that the journalist’s prosecution would set a dangerous precedent for press freedom.
Although the specific charges remain a closely-guarded secret, the Department of Justice is feeling “increasingly optimistic” about the possibility of having Assange extradited to the US, the Wall Street Journal reported, especially in light of the growing rift between Assange and the Ecuadorian government.
Assange was granted asylum inside Ecuador’s UK embassy in August 2012, avoiding extradition to Sweden. Sweden has since dropped the case against him, but Assange still fears that British authorities will detain him and extradite him to the US if he were to leave the diplomatic compound.
The US intelligence community has never tried to hide its antipathy for the Wikileaks editor.
“Dictators and terrorists have no better friend in the world than Julian Assange, as theirs is the only privacy he protects,” a CIA spokesperson told RT in an email last year.
For his part, Assange characterized the CIA as one of the world’s “most dangerously incompetent" spy agencies. The agency “has armed terrorists, destroyed democracies and installed and maintained dictatorships the world over,” Assange said in a 2017 statement.
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