Now that a British court has ruled Wikileaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to the United States to face charges of espionage regarding the publication of State and Defense Department files provided by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, we may finally get to know the full details about just how much former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign conspired with Russia to rig the presidential election.
What Julian Assange has to say, according to former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzi, may well lead to yet another legal headache for the failed, one-term, twice-impeached president:
For one thing, Assange could prove helpful in closing the gap between mere collusion and a criminal conspiracy. If crimes can be proven, the Justice Department could then indict anyone who participated in them, including Donald Trump and members of his family and/or campaign who helped Russia tamper with the 2016 election:
Assange got the Democratic National Committee data dump from an entity long suspected to be a front for the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service. In fact, WikiLeaks actively sought them out. Why? The Mueller team indicted 12 GRU officers for that hack. But what did candidate Trump know about the WikiLeaks–Russia connection, and when did he know it?
Obstruction of justice also remains on the table when it comes to Trump and others who were part of his inner circle during the 2016 presidential race:
During his last news conference before the 2016 election, in response to a question about the DNC hack, Trump infamously said, “Russia, if you’re listening — I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens.” Trump says he was kidding, but the Russian intelligence service took him seriously. That same day, Russian intelligence targeted servers and domains related to Clinton and her campaign.
So while prosecutors in New York and Georgia continue to pursue investigations of Trump and the Trump Organization while the House Select Committee looks closer at Trump’s role in the Capitol insurrection, Assange’s return to the U.S. may wind up opening up another front on the Donald’s endless legal problems.