Assange’s legal team plans to request asylum in France to avoid U.S. extradition

John Shipton, the father of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives for a press conference in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

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UPDATED 1:11 PM PT — Thursday, February 20, 2020

Jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is reportedly planning to seek political asylum in France. According to his legal team, the attorneys are hoping to negotiate asylum for their client with French President Emmanuel Macron.

They warned that Assange’s possible extradition to the U.S. could set a dangerous precedent for journalists all over the world.

“The case that is in front of us concerns all democracies and our vision of what rights does a man have,” stated attorney Antoine Vey.

The WikiLeaks founder is currently being held in the U.K.’s Belmarsh Prison. His extradition trial is expected to end in May.

Spanish human rights lawyer and Julian Assange defense team member Baltasar Garzon, second left, John Shipton, the father of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, center, and lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti attend a press conference in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Assange’s lawyers argued their client has already suffered enough and must be released.

“This is a man that was prevented from sun exposure for years,” said Vey. “He wasn’t able to walk in an open place and he endured huge pressure.”

Earlier this week, the White House said President Trump was not considering a pardon for Assange.

RELATED: U.K.’S Johnson, Corbyn Oppose Assange’s Extradition To U.S.

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President Trump’s legal team could opt for shorter defense

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow speaks to the media during a break in the impeachment trial of President Donald, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)

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UPDATED 1:31 PM PT — Friday, January 24, 2020

The president’s legal team is preparing to start its opening arguments on Saturday. The defense is pushing ahead with the plan, despite the potential for further declining viewership, and may opt for a much shorter defense strategy.

On Thursday, attorney Jay Sekulow told reporters the president’s legal team will present a vigorous defense of the facts and a rebuttal of the Democrats’ claims. He also said the defense team isn’t planning on running out the clock.

“We’re going to use a sufficient amount of time to defend our case and point out the inconsistencies of their case. We’re not going to try to run the clock out. We’re going to do what our legal team thinks is appropriate to present our case.” – Jay Sekulow, Counsel for President Trump

He went on to say the president’s defense will make a decision on the time frame and depth of their arguments after the Democrats finish theirs.

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow, left, walks with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, right, as they arrive at the Capitol in Washington during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Earlier this week, Sekulow said Democrats are failing to present a coherent impeachment case. While speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the attorney said Democrats have tried to deny the president his constitutional rights by dismissing executive privilege.

He stressed executive privilege is protected by Supreme Court decisions and added any attack against it amounts to an attack on the U.S. Constitution.

RELATED: House Prosecutors Rehash Old Arguments On Second Day Of Senate Trial, Cry Corruption

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Elizabeth Warren reveals she made $1.9 million from private legal work over 3 decades

closeMarsh: Warren vs. Buttigieg is the fascinating Democrat matchup to watchVideo

Marsh: Warren vs. Buttigieg is the fascinating Democrat matchup to watch

Math and history favor the one who wins at least one of the first contests and Super Tuesday, Democratic political analyst Mary Anne Marsh says.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., received $1.9 million from private legal work during her time as a law professor stretching back three decades, according to a release by her campaign.

The work, since 1986, included fees from large corporate clients, her campaign said in the release.

Some of her clients included the attorneys for Rabobank, a Dutch financial institution that became a creditor in the Enron bankruptcy; former directors of Getty Oil, who were involved in Texaco’s bankruptcy; and women whose allegations of harm from silicone breast implants produced by Dow Corning were imperiled when the company filed for bankruptcy.

In May, Warren released a list of 56 cases on which she worked as an attorney going back to the 1980s, as The Associated Press reported; 15 pages of newly released data showed she was paid over $1.9 million on nearly 40 of those cases in total.

WARREN IN POLLING SLIDE AMID MEDICARE-FOR-ALL PLAN CRITICISM

The release Sunday came against the backdrop of an escalating feud between Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana. The senator has condemned the closed-door fundraisers that the mayor has attended, suggesting Buttigieg could be making secret promises to top donors.

Buttigieg and his campaign responded that Warren should release past tax returns that detail her work for corporate clients. Warren previously had released 11 years of tax returns.

“We must nominate a candidate who can create the most robust possible contrast against Republicans on conflicts of interest and corruption issues. … Elizabeth does not sell access to her time — no closed door big dollar fundraisers, no bundling program, no perks or promises to any wealthy donor,” said Warren Communications Director Kristen Orthman.

She added: “Any candidate who refuses to provide basic details about his or her own record and refuses to allow voters or the press to understand who is buying access to their time and what they are getting in return will be seen by voters as part of the same business-as-usual politics that voters have consistently rejected.”

Tracking Pete Buttigieg's rise from relatively unknown Midwestern mayor to Democratic presidential contenderVideo

Warren’s campaign said Sunday’s information provides more details on her business income that her returns did not provide because they didn’t fully itemize earnings.

Also Sunday, Warren said she believed Americans would be ready for a presidential ticket with two women at the top, rejecting concerns from some Democrats that a woman couldn’t beat Trump.

“Sure, why not?” she told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of a town hall campaign event in Charleston, South Carolina. “I think (voters) would support a lot of different combinations.”

Kamala Harris out of the 2020 presidential primary runningVideo

Warren has said she’d consider picking California Sen. Kamala Harris as a running mate. She also told the AP she would be “open” to asking former Vice President Joe Biden to reprise his old job.

“Look, it would be presumptuous of me to be talking about individuals, but I’m open to getting this right because that’s what we want to do,” Warren said. “We want to build a Democratic ticket and a stronger Democratic Party that’s ready to get out there and compete at the national level, at the state level, at the local level.”

Last week, Harris abruptly dropped out of the race for the presidential nomination, prompting a debate about whether a party claiming it valued diversity and inclusion was shortchanging candidates of color and women.

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Other than Warren, the top tier of Democrats has been made up entirely of white men.

Warren argued that voters were worried less about identity politics than the messages that candidates were offering.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Nunes looks at legal options after Schiff releases phone records in impeachment inquiry

closeRep. Nunes says he will pursue legal action on release of phone recordsVideo

Rep. Nunes says he will pursue legal action on release of phone records

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes on Schiff obtaining phone records.

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is looking to fight back after Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., subpoenaed and released his phone records in connection with the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Nunes on Sunday warned his fellow Republicans that the same thing could happen to them, although he pointed out various legal grounds he was exploring to prevent this from happening again.

"I'm in California, so for sure, state law, you cannot release somebody's phone records. So, for sure, that right has been violated. But, we also have to look at the constitutional aspects of this, and do all the members of Congress have a right to privacy, and can just one member, because he doesn’t like someone and he’s a political opponent of someone, can that member just subpoena records and then release just to embarrass or to create a distraction or to build whatever fantasy-land narrative that they continue to build?"

LINDSEY GRAHAM TORCHES SCHIFF OVER IMPEACHMENT TACTICS: HE 'IS DOING A LOT OF DAMAGE TO THE COUNTRY, AND HE NEEDS TO STOP'

Nunes pushed back against claims that the records were in connection to the Republican trying to get an ambassador fired, insisting that if he wanted to do this, he would be able to call Trump directly, "and I'm quite sure the president would probably listen to me."

One of the individuals linked to Nunes' office through the phone records was Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who recently was indicted over alleged campaign-finance violations.

Nunes explained how he came to be linked to Parnas. "I got a call from a number that was Parnas' wife. I remember talking to someone and I did what I always do, which is if I don't know who they are, you put them to staff and you let staff work with that person," he said.

Schiff obtains, publicly releases phone records of political opponents and conservative journalistVideo

Nunes noted that his office went through all of their records, and "we have no information from Parnas. We have no documents, we have nothing. We have no emails, so there's nothing that we have in our control from Parnas."

The Republican insisted Democrats were targeting him because "they don't like that we exposed them for the Russia hoax that they were involved in, that's what this is about."

Later in the interview, Nunes addressed the Russia investigation again, in light of the pending release of the report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz about possible Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA] abuse by the FBI during the probe.

The report, which is expected to be released Monday, may confirm or refute assertions made by Republicans and Trump regarding the acquisition of a warrant to conduct surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Nunes was at the forefront of the GOP's attack on the FBI's methods, claiming they misrepresented evidence and left out exculpatory information about Page that affected the court's decision to grant the warrant and subsequent renewals.

"They key is whether or not what the House Intelligence Committee Republicans gave to the American people in February of '18, whether or not that was true or not true," Nunes said referring to his claims about possible FBI misconduct. "The additional evidence that Horowitz comes up with, that'll be great for us, because we're really interested if he found the exculpatory evidence that wasn't provided to the FISA court.

"We also want to know if he got to the bottom of the insurance policy. So, we know what the insurance policy is, it's something very specific. We want to know if he got to the bottom of that." This likely was a reference to the mention of an "insurance policy" against Trump that was discussed in text messages between former FBI attorney Lisa Page and agent Peter Strzok, who both worked on the investigation. Strzok was removed from the investigation after his politically charged messages were discovered, and he was fired after a watchdog report found his political leanings could have influenced his work.

Nunes signaled he was not overly eager with anticipation of the upcoming report, noting that it was very limited in scope.

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"He's only looking at FISA abuse. All of that evidence needs to be sent to Durham, the U.S. Attorney from Connecticut." U.S. Attorney John Durham has been tasked with a more comprehensive investigation of the origins of the Russia investigation. Unlike Horowitz, Durham has the authority to file criminal charges.

"That’s ultimately going to be the key," Nunes said, "is, what does Durham find in looking at this entire debacle, which is targeting a political campaign by the FBI and the Department of Justice."

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