It was a busy Thursday at the Department of Justice as three major – yet separate – indictments against three politically charged players were brought too light.
Julian Assange, Founder of WikiLeaks
The first major announcement came this early this morning when across the pond Julian Assange was forced from his nearly seven year asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in the United Kingdom. He was taken into custody by British authorities and will be extradited to the United States.
Assange faces five years in prison for his role in obtaining and disseminating classified information from former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning. Manning, who has undergone gender reassignment, is now known as Chelsea Manning.
“Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties,” according to the Eastern District of Virginia press release. “A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.”
Assange’s lawyer told ABC news “we cannot lose sight, the Australian government cannot lose sight of the principals involved in this case. He’s an Australian citizen, who is a publisher, whose being sought for prosecution in the United States – an Australian ally – whose being sought for prosecution in the United States for publishing truthful information.”
Former Obama Counsel Greg Craig
Fox News reported Thursday afternoon that a former White House counsel for then-President Barack Obama indicted as well. He was charged with “making misleading” statements to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators about his relationship with Ukrainian officials.
“Greg Craig, former White House counsel for then-President Barack Obama, was indicted Thursday on two counts of making false and misleading statements to investigators — including Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team — in connection with his work on behalf of Russia-backed former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych,” reports Fox News.
And so it begins…https://t.co/tN8GvB5P8h
— Jon Miller (@MillerStream) April 11, 2019
The indictment also states that it is a “crime to knowingly and willfully fail to register, and to make false and misleading statements or material omissions in documents submitted to the FARA Unit under the law’s provisions.”
Interestingly, the indictment references Craig’s contacts in the media and that he lied about those contacts to investigators.
“It proposed leaking the report to a selected media outlet before it’s release, having a former Congressman of a U.S. based lobbying firm working for the Government of Ukraine pre-brief the selected journalist on the report, and then ensuring that the journalist “would be given an off-the record briefing call with [Craig].”
For the indictment read here.
Michael Avenatti, or as Tucker Carlson made famous, “Creepy Porn Lawyer”
Those with glass houses…Michael Avenatti the famed lawyer for porn-star Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the name Stormy Daniels, was also charged Thursday by federal prosecutors in California.
They slammed him with fresh charges in a 61-page federal indictment detailing 36 counts, that describe Avenatti’s alleged decade-long schemes to embezzle and hide money from clients, even a disabled client who won a $4 million lawsuit.
He could likely be looking at 300 years in federal prison for those charges. Yikes.
Remember when Avenatti called President Trump an imposter. It appears Avenatti was talking about himself. Avenatti announced his Democratic run for the White House last year, apparently he didn’t think any of his transgressions would ever be made public or he’s just a narcissist.
As of Thursday afternoon, Avenatti couldn’t help but declare his innocence of the alleged charges.
I intend to fully fight all charges and plead NOT GUILTY. I look forward to the entire truth being known as opposed to a one-sided version meant to sideline me.
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) April 11, 2019
The IRS investigators, however, say they’ve amassed enough evidence to fully take the flashy lawyer to court and seize his property.
“The money was used to fuel a lavish lifestyle that had no limits including making mortgage payments on a multi-million dollar home in Laguna Beach,” Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation Ryan Korner said during a press conference Thursday.
And by the way, Avenatti’s $5 million private jet was seized this week by federal agents.
I guess Tucker Carlson had it right all along.