Journalist Max Blumenthal says assault charges against him have been dropped by the US government partially because the case would have turned into a great embarrassment for the Secret Service.
Blumenthal was subjected to an early morning arrest in October on a five-month-old warrant, which stemmed from an accusation against him and fellow activist Ben Rubinstein. A Venezuelan opposition activist said they attacked her when they were delivering food to people who took cover in the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC trying to prevent supporters of US-backed self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido from taking over the place.
The journalist says the charge was bogus from the start, but his defense took a surprising turn when Blumenthal’s lawyer requested exculpatory evidence in the form of logs from the US Secret Service, whose agents were present at the scene. If agents failed to call an ambulance after a violent incident resulting in an injury, a lack of such call would indicate that the allegations were false, he reasoned.
However, the logs for the day were completely missing. Blumenthal believes the Secret Service obstructed the request because the logs would confirm that they were acting hand-in-glove with the crowd trying to take over the diplomatic mission, he told RT.
“What I think could be the case here is that they are concerned that their collusion with this right-wing band of hooligans, who were used to do what the Secret Service was legally forbidden from doing, which is prevent food and medicine from getting into the embassy,” would have been exposed, he said.
[Releasing the logs] would have exposed that collusion and embarrass the Secret Service.
The Grayzone journalist said he was obviously targeted with a false accusation because he personally and his colleagues were vocal opponents of Guaido and his Washington-backed attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government. The opposition activists simply used the friendly US government to harass their critics, and there needs to be a push-back against such malpractice, he believes.
“It’s really scary that someone could be hauled out of his house by a team of cops, listed falsely as ‘armed and dangerous,’ and then jailed for two days and possibly put on trial because someone who doesn’t like their political views decides to level a false allegation against him,” he said. “There has to be some deterrence against this happening again.”
The confrontation at the embassy happened between April and May, and resulted in the pro-Guaido crowd taking over the building. Two Grayzone journalists were covering the tense standoff from inside the embassy.