Assange fight draws in Trump's new intel chief Ric Grenell - 2020-02-24
Attorneys for Julian Assange, who is fighting a U.S. extradition request on espionage and computer hacking charges, plan to introduce evidence in the WikiLeaks founder's extradition hearing involving U.S. President Donald Trump's new intel chief Richard Grenell.
Gareth Peirce, a lawyer representing Assange in his extradition proceedings in London, plans to argue this week that the process to try to extradite her client was abused from early on. Representatives for Assange's defense team say they expect to introduce recordings and screenshots of communications of a close Grenell associate, including a secondhand claim that Grenell was acting on the president's orders.
Grenell's sudden embroilment in Assange's extradition fight comes at an inconvenient time, as Democrats and national security veterans criticize him as ill-suited and unqualified to be the acting director of national intelligence. And it threatens to spotlight his close relationship with President Trump, feeding the widespread perception that the president is politicizing intelligence work for partisan ends.