Game up for Julian Assange
Fate is, indeed, closing in on Julian Assange. He had walked into the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 19, 2012, to claim political asylum. He has been there ever since, a total of 2,230 days, rarely seeing daylight. But, multiple sources say his situation is now untenable and, whether he wants to or not, he would have to leave soon. What, then, will happen to Assange as and when he does walk out of his bolt-hole around the corner from Harrods in London? The recent indictments issued by the US Special Counsel Robert Mueller imply that Assange and WikiLeaks were a conduit for Russian intelligence in distributing hacked Democratic Party emails in 2016. According to the indictment document, "The conspirators discussed the release of the stolen documents and the timing of those releases with Organisation 1 to heighten their impact." It has been established that Organisation 1 is WikiLeaks. According to US officials, charges have been drawn up relating to previous WikiLeaks disclosures of classified US documents. Assange would, in all likelihood, face arrest if or when he leaves the embassy. Assange's lawyers fear his arrest would be swiftly followed by a US extradition request. The Ecuadorean government wants the case resolved. Ecuador's recently elected president, Lenín Moreno, said in Madrid last week that his government was in a dialogue with the UK and wanted a solution that would guarantee that Assange's life would not be in danger. Downing Street confirmed discussions were "ongoing". Complicating the situation is the fact that Assange was granted Ecuadorean citizenship last December. Assange's situation is also a dilemma for the British government, aware that he inspires both passionate support and visceral animosity. On that issue, Assange's lawyers and Ecuadorean officials agree. Assange's isolation deepened in March. His access to the internet and phone were cut off, in part because Ecuadorean officials said he had violated an agreement that prevented him from commenting on the internal affairs of other countries. On their own admission, Assange's legal team is in the dark about any negotiation that might be going on about Assange's future. The irony is that Assange fears extradition to a country whose President proclaimed himself as a big fan of WikiLeaks when running for office. Donald Trump mentioned WikiLeak's hacking of Hillary Clinton's emails more than 100 times in the last month of the 2016 election campaign. At one point he said: "I'll tell you this Wikileaks stuff is unbelievable. It tells you the inner heart, you gotta read it." He even went so far as to say: "I love WikiLeaks." Trump's Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and the US Justice Department appear to think very differently. They believe Julian Assange should be brought in front of a US court. Then, indeed, the game would be up for Assange and plenty of suspected details would come tumbling out.