Bipartisan House Lawmakers Are Demanding That Biden Drops Julian Assange Case

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Julain Assange

House members from opposing sides of the aisle have joined forces in demanding that the Biden administration drop its case against Julian Assange

The Wikileaks founder’s extradition to the US is reportedly imminent.

The two congressmen have asked fellow House members’ to join their bipartisan attempt urging the Biden administration to withdraw the US extradition request.

InfoWars reports: On Monday, Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and James McGovern (D-Mass.) addressed a joint letter to fellow House members asking for their support and signatures to “strongly encourage the Biden administration to withdraw the U.S. extradition request currently pending against Australian publisher Julian Assange and halt all prosecutorial proceedings against him as soon as possible.”

According to Fox News, Massie’s and McGovern’s letter to fellow House members notes Assange’s case represents an attack on press freedom:

“Deep concerns about this case have been repeatedly expressed by international media outlets, human rights and press freedom advocates,” Massie and McGovern wrote in the letter. “Last April, several Members of Congress argued to Attorney General Merrick Garland that ‘[e]very day that the prosecution of Julian Assange continues is another day that our own government needlessly undermines our own moral authority abroad and rolls back the freedom of the press under the First Amendment at home.’ One example: the Assange case has been cited by officials of the People’s Republic of China to claim that the U.S. is ‘hypocritical’ when it comes to support for media freedom.”

[…]

“Mr. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, faces multiple charges under the Espionage Act due to his role in publishing classified documents about the U.S. State Department, Guantánamo Bay, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the letters to House members and the president read. “He has been detained on remand in London since 2019 and is pending extradition to the U.S., having lost his appeal of the extradition order in the courts of the United Kingdom.”

A separate letter addressed to Biden discusses how various media outlets in the past have expressed similar concerns over Assange’s extradition:

“Deep concerns about this case have been repeatedly expressed by international media outlets, human rights and press freedom advocates, and Members of Congress, among others,” the letter to Biden reads. “To cite only a few of the commentaries, in November 2022, The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, DER SPEIGEL and El País came together to express their grave concerns about the continued prosecution of Julian Assange for obtaining and publishing classified materials, arguing that ‘publishing is not a crime.’”

[…]

“We believe the Department of Justice acted correctly in 2013, during your vice presidency, when it declined to pursue charges against Mr. Assange for publishing the classified documents because it recognized that the prosecution would set a dangerous precedent,” the letter to Biden reads. “We note that the 1917 Espionage Act was ostensibly intended to punish and imprison government employees and contractors for providing or selling state secrets to enemy governments, not to punish journalists and whistleblowers for attempting to inform the public about serious issues that some U.S. government officials might prefer to keep secret.”

The letter adds: “We are aware that the Assange case has been cited by officials of the People’s Republic of China to claim that the U.S. is ‘hypocritical’ when it comes to its purported support for media freedom. We are also well aware that should the U.S. extradition and prosecution go forward, there is a significant risk that our bilateral relationship with Australia will be badly damaged.”

Fox News reports: “Assange would face trial in Alexandria, Virginia, if he exhausts his legal appeals and is extradited to the U.S. He is facing 17 charges for allegedly receiving, possessing and communicating classified information to the public under the Espionage Act and one charge alleging a conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.”

Niamh Harris
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