The Justice Department has filed charges under seal against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a person familiar with the matter confirmed Friday after prosecutors inadvertently tipped off the information in a court filing.
Any charges against Assange, who has been taking cover for years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, could help illuminate whether Russia coordinated with the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election. They would also suggest that, after years of internal wrangling within the Justice Department, prosecutors have decided to take a more aggressive stance against the secret-sharing website.
The person who confirmed that Assange had been charged spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the charges had not been made public. It was not immediately clear what charges Assange could face or when they might become unsealed.
The Washington Times
Two senior FBI officials told the bureau’s top lawyer they believed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was “serious” when he discussed secretly recording President Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office last year, according to sources close to a congressional investigation – an account that conflicts with claims from Rosenstein and others that the comments either were inaccurately reported or made in jest.
Former FBI General Counsel James A. Baker told congressional investigators during a closed-door deposition last week that then-FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page came to Baker "contemporaneously" after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. Baker said Page and McCabe relayed details of the meeting where Rosenstein made the comments.
Though he wasn't personally in that meeting, Baker told congressional investigators he took McCabe and Page's account “seriously,” the sources said. Further, Baker told congressional investigators he suspected “Rosenstein was coordinating with two people in the administration to invoke the 25th Amendment,” a source said.
Baker, whose testimony was described as deliberate and sober, added he had not done a legal analysis and was unsure whether it was “unethical or illegal,” the source added.
The testimony would appear at odds with other accounts of those explosive discussions.
The revelation was confirmed both in contemporaneous evidence and testimony secured by a joint investigation by Republicans on the House Judiciary and Government Oversight committees, my source tells me.
It means the FBI had good reason to suspect the dossier was connected to the DNC’s main law firm and was the product of a Democratic opposition-research effort to defeat Trump — yet failed to disclose that information to the FISA court in October 2016, when the bureau applied for a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“This is a bombshell that unequivocally shows the real collusion was between the FBI and Donald Trump’s opposition — the DNC, Hillary and a Trump-hating British intel officer — to hijack the election, rather than some conspiracy between Putin and Trump,” a knowledgeable source told me.