Bringing charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act is one thing, but legal extradition is going to be far more difficult for merely publishing stolen material, not actually stealing it, according to legal expert Alan Dershowitz.
"I think the Trump administration has overplayed its hand, so did the Justice Department," Dershowitz told "The Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM-N.Y.. "They had a very strong case for extradition when they initially accused him of breaking into a password [-protected machine] to try to get classified material, that's a crime.
"But publishing materials? That's very different. That's The New York Times and The Washington Post, and I think Great Britain is going to have a lot of difficulty extraditing Assange to the U.S. to face trial for merely publishing material stolen not by him but by others."
The case will not be one of espionage but a case of free speech and the First Amendment, according to Dershowitz.
I think we're in for a very interesting First Amendment case, probably the most interesting First Amendment case involving national security since Pentagon Papers."
Dershowitz was one of the lawyers of the Pentagon Papers case related to Watergate and the ultimate impeachment proceedings and resignation of former President Richard Nixon, taking the case to the Supreme Court.
"I suspect that is where this case is headed as well," Dershowitz told host John Catsimatidis.
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