Plaintiff in CIA Lawsuit will Speak at MKE Unitarian Forum
On November 13, the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee will host a Forum co-sponsored by Peace Action Wisconsin with lawyer, Deborah Hrbek, and former head of the National Lawyers Guild, Marjorie Cohn titled, “Can a Lawsuit against the CIA affect the U.S. Attempt to Extradite Julian Assange?”
Deborah Hrbek will discuss the lawsuit against the CIA, Mike Pompeo, the security firm, UC Global, and its CEO David Morales filed August 15 by Hrbek, her law partner Margaret Ratner Kunstler, and two American journalists. The plaintiffs allege their constitutional rights as U.S. citizens - to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by the US government- were violated when they visited Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
The lawyers and journalists claim that information copied from their electronic devices - such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets - that they were required to surrender upon entering the Embassy, was shared without their knowledge with the CIA, as were their privileged conversations with their client Assange while in the Embassy.
The suit additionally cites the illegal seizure of privileged information from Assange’s visitors who are U.S. citizens, including: his U.S. defense attorneys, “human rights attorneys with active cases defending Guantanamo Bay Detention Center detainees,” “national security journalists whose sources might be in jeopardy if exposed” and physicians.
Based on evidence revealed in an ongoing Spanish case against defendant, David Morales, the plaintiffs further allege that former CIA Director Mike Pompeo approved this “unreasonable search and seizure” in violation of U.S. citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights.
Hrbek will discuss the implications of that lawsuit on the Assange extradition matter, while Marjorie Cohn will unpack the extradition request and indictment. Both will discuss why press freedom and government accountability is at stake if the Department of Justice continues to prosecute Julian Assange and seek his extradition.
Margaret Ratner Kunstler et al., vs. CIA et al.: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/22136088-margaret-ratner-kunstler-et-al-v-cia-et-al-complaint
August 20, 2022, in Truthout by Marjorie Cohn, “Mike Pompeo and CIA Sued for Illegal Surveillance of Assange’s Visitors”
August 16, 2022, Interview of Deborah Hrbek on Democracy Now!, “Mike Pompeo and CIA Sued for Spying on Americans who Visited Julian Assange in Ecuadorian Embassy in U.K.”
Deborah Hrbek is a partner at HRBEKKunstler and has represented WikiLeaks reporters and filmmakers since 2015.
Marjorie Cohn, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, is a retired criminal defense attorney and Professor Emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law who writes for Truthout.