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Assange Visitors Sued Pompeo Now Amend Complaint By Jan 27 To Add Injunction Request

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 20 – When jury selection was completed for the retrial of accused CIA Vault 7 leaker Joshua Schulte, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jesse M. Furman told the jurors, Do not read or say anything about the case. Inner City Press was there, and live tweeted here.

[July 20 denial of access here; Brutal Kangaroo]

On August 15, 2022 after conviction Schulte, a group of lawyers and journalist who visited Julian Assange in the Ecuador Embassy in London sued Mike Pompeo for surveillance in violation of the US Fourth Amendment. They held a press conference, and Inner City Press asked if they will seek emergency relief. Not for now (video here; Complaint here).

On October 12, plaintiffs' counsel asked to adjourn and postpone the October 17 conference in the case: "Plaintiffs had difficulty locating the accurate addresses for the two Spanish defendants, David Morales (“Morales”), a Spanish citizen, and Undercover Global S.L. (“UC Global”), a Spanish corporation."

On January 13, 2023, the US Attorney's Office wrote to Judge Koetlt requesting a pre-motion hearing for them to dismiss the complaint against Pompeo and the CIA.  DOJ argues that there is no "Bivens" remedy available, and states that "matters intimately related to foreign policy and national security are rarely proper subjects for judicial intervention."

On January 18, the plaintiffs responded that the CIA and Pompeo have defaulted, and waited until the last day to filed a letter for a pre-motion conference. They note they are not suing the CIA for money, only an injunction against sharing information. They say the Court will conclude that the Defaulted Defendants motion to dismiss should be denied.

On Saturday, January 14, Judge Koeltl ordered that "the parties are directed to appear on January 20, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. (Signed by Judge John G. Koeltl on 1/13/2023) (jca)

On January 20, Inner City Press covered and live tweeted it, thread here:

Judge Koeltl: The defendants want to make a motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs say the motion would be without merit. The one issues raised in the correspondence is whether the claim against the CIA does not seek damages only injunctive relief. Mr. Barnea?

 SDNY Assistant US Attorney Jean-David Barnea, for Pompeo: There is no injunctive relief available under Bivens. Plaintiffs' counsel: The allegations are that the CIA and Pompeo copies everyone's phone and laptop who visited Julian Assange

 Plaintiffs' counsel: It is amazing they were taping those who met with Julian Assange, including his lawyers in the DOJ case against him. So the goal is to expunge and never use this information. They violated the 4th Amendment and privileges

 Judge Koeltl: The complaint alleges only one cause of action, under Bivens. The issue is not what you are trying to do, but what you have pleaded. Do you want to amend? Plaintiffs' counsel: If I have to add, plaintiffs seek an injunction --

Judge Koeltl: I'll let you amend.  Plaintiffs' counsel: We'll do it in a week, or let you know we're ready to proceed on this complaint. [Sounds like amendment is the way to go - add more causes of action, for injunction]

 Judge Koeltl: Amend by Jan 27... Plaintiffs' response by March 10, defendants' reply by March 17. If an answer, a report by March 10. If motion to dismiss, no further pre-motion conference is needed. Adjourned.

 Inner City Press  will stay on this.

Back on October 13, Judge Koeltl pushed the initial pre-trial conference back to February 21, 2023: "ORDER granting [13] Letter Motion to Adjourn Conference. Adjourned to Tuesday, February 21, 2023, at 2:30 PM. SO ORDERED." 

On November 29 Morales' and UC Global's lawyer filed a denial full of misspellings, such as pointing to Wikipedia to state that "purpouse [sp] far from acting as journalistic information whose sole purpose is dissent and media manipulation in order to influence public opinion with the clear intention of destabilizing the interests of Western countries," etc.

On December 8, Judge Koeltl ruled starting "  ORDER: The plaintiffs in this action have served all four of the defendants. See ECF Nos. 15-19. For two of those defendants, the Central Intelligence Agency ("CIA") and Michael R. Pompeo, the deadlines to answer were November 9, 2022, and November 18, 2022, respectively. To date, neither of those defendants has answered or otherwise responded to the complaint. The time for these two defendants to answer is extended-" full Order on Patreon here.

And this: "NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Jean-David Barnea on behalf of Central Intelligence Agency, Michael R. Pompeo..(Barnea, Jean-David)."

 Inner City Press will continue to cover the case.

Back in August, Inner City Press immediately asked the United Nations, from which it remains banned, "What are the comments and actions if any of SG Antonio Guterres on lawsuit filed Aug 15, 2022 in SDNY alleging that lawyers and journalists visting Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London were spied on?" No answer. 

On August 16, the case was assigned to SDNY District Judge John G. Koeltl, of whom Inner City Press has so far reported on 223 cases. It will report on this one. There was an earlier notice: "info for these parties has been modified: Margaret Ratner Kunstler, Deborah Hrbek, John Goetz, Charles Glass, CIA, Michael R. Pompeo, David Morales Guillen, Undercover Global S.L.," tweeted here.

It is Kunstler, et al. v. Central Intelligence Agency, et al., 22-cv-6913 (Koeltl)

***

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