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Assange Visitors Sued Pompeo For 4th AM Violations Now Get 1 Month Extension to File

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 5 – 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.

On February 16, US DOJ requested and obtained another 30 day extension, saying the Fourth Amendment claim requires it. The plaintiffs did not consent, but the extension was granted. Letter on Patreon here.

On March 16, Judge Koeltl granted a joint request under which the CIA and Pompeo expanded their word limit to 14,000 - and the plaintiff's delayed their opposition to May 8, reply May 30.

But on May 4, plaintiffs' counsel wrote in asking for an additional money due to being on trial and traveling. On May 5 Judge Koeltl granted the extra month.

On March 20, the US filed its 42 page motion to dismiss, arguing among other things that Plaintiffs Had No Reasonable Expectation in their alleged conversations with Assange, and that the "incident" capture of US Citizen info during extraterritorial surveillance of foreign targets does not violation the 4th Amendment." More on Substack here. Inner City Press will stay on the case.

 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)."

On February 21, Judge Koeltl ordered: "on December 8, 2022, the Court directed those defendants to obtain local counsel and to ensure that such local counsel filed a notice of appearance and, if necessary, an application for admission pro hac vice on or before January 30, 2023. See ECF No. 21. The Court also directed those defendants to submit a letter, with local counsel's assistance, indicating whether the November 29, 2022 submission was intended as an answer to the complaint or a motion to dismiss. Id. That letter was due no later than February 10, 2023. To date, there has not been any appearance by local counsel for Mr. Guillen or for Undercover Global S.L., and the requested letter was never filed. The Court notes, as it did in its prior Order, that Mr. Guillen may proceed prose, but that Undercover Global S.L., as a corporate defendant, must appear by counsel. The time for Mr. Guillen and Undercover Global S.L. to retain local counsel is extended to March 21, 2023. Local counsel should file a notice of appearance and, if needed, an application for admission pro hac vice by that date. By April 7, 2023, local counsel for Mr. Guillen and for Undercover Global S.L. (or for only Undercover Global S.L., in the event Mr. Guillen chooses to proceed prose) should file a letter indicating whether the November 29, 2022 submission (ECF No. 20) was intended as an answer or as a motion to dismiss. If local counsel wishes to file a new responsive pleading or motion, local counsel may request an opportunity to do so in that letter. If Mr. Guillen chooses to proceed prose, he should file his own letter meeting the same requirements by the same deadline. The plaintiffs are directed to serve a copy of this Order and of the Court's December 8, 2022 Order (ECF No. 21) on both Mr. Guillen and Undercover Global S.L. and to file proof of such service on the docket by March 3, 2023. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge John G. Koeltl on 2/21/2023)."

 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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