Espionage

Top Democrats send letter to Barr questioning his independence

Top Democrats in both the Senate and House sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr on Thursday reiterating their demands for him to release the full, unredacted Mueller report to Congress — while also condemning him for comments he made on Wednesday suggesting that intelligence officials "spied" on the Trump campaign in 2016.

"[W]e would be remiss not to express profound concern about your comments before the Senate Appropriations Committee regarding your apparent view of the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Your testimony raises questions about your independence, appears to perpetuate a partisan narrative designed to undermine the work of the Special Counsel, and serves to legitimize President Trump's dangerous attacks on the Department of Justice and the FBI."

What they're saying: Lawmakers, press activists react to Assange arrest

In this image, Julian Assange looks out a vehicle window.
Julian Assange arrives at Westminster Magistrates court on April 11 in London. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested Thursday with "a federal charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion" related to Chelsea Manning's 2010 leak of State Department cables.

What they're saying: Although the DOJ's charges are more about Assange the hacker than Assange the journalist, some legal and media personnel are still concerned about the implications his arrest could have for press freedom. That concern is not shared among lawmakers on the Hill.