It looks like it’s Julian Assange’s time in the barrel. Over the past few months, a pair of storylines have been playing out in parallel. First, based on a long list of reports coming out of the grand jury, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been building a criminal case against Roger Stone with a heavy emphasis on his interactions with Assange. Second, the government of Ecuador has been coming closer to showing Assange the door. Now comes word that Assange is about to be imminently ejected from the Embassy, just as Mueller moves in.
Robert Mueller has already criminally indicted more than two dozen foreign nationals for their roles in the Trump-Russia election scandal, even though he’ll never be able to put most of them on trial. So it’s all but guaranteed that he’s working on indicting Julian Assange for his role in the scandal as well, whether or not he can get his hands on Assange. Based on everything that’s leaked out to various media outlets, the grand jury proceedings strongly suggest that Mueller plans to indict Stone and Assange in tandem. Further, those proceedings suggest that the indictment is coming very soon.
In fact the closer Mueller has come to indicting Stone (and presumably Assange), the more aggressive Ecuador has been in distancing itself from Assange. Palmer Report came to suspect awhile back that this was not a coincidence, and that Ecuador was afraid of defying a United States extradition request. Sure enough, just a week after Stone and Assange were referenced in the indictment of a dozen Russian government hackers, Ecuador now says it’ll imminently turn Assange over to British authorities.
This makes sense, as Julian Assange is currently in London. The big question now is what the British authorities will do with him. If Robert Mueller has already indicted Assange, he’s done a good job of keeping it secret. Is Mueller about to unseal an indictment and immediately request Assange’s extradition? If not, will the British hang onto Assange until Mueller indicts him? Will Donald Trump try to pressure the British into handing Assange over to Vladimir Putin instead? The race is on to see if Mueller can land Assange, which would shake up the Trump-Russia chessboard in a major way.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report