Will President Trump Pardon Wikileaks Whistleblower Julian Assange?

WikiLeaks Julian Assange by ssoosay is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Julian Assange is most well-known as the head of Wikileaks, an organization which released crucial documents exposing war crimes and corruption across the world.

Now he is dying in prison and asking President Donald Trump for a last-minute pardon.

Will Trump Pardon Assange?

Even though he is an Australian citizen, Assange is currently jailed in the UK after being arrested out of the Ecuadorian embassy where he’d been given sanctuary that was later removed.

He is wanted for extradition to the United States to face numerous charges relating to espionage. Assange’s supporters say the charges are politically motivated and argue that as a third party service Wikileaks was not responsible for the legality of the publication.

Assange faces up to 175 years behind bars due to publishing information that the US government – particularly the Deep State and Obama Administration – did not want Americans to know about.

He is currently jailed at HP Belmarsh Prison in the UK where some of the worst terrorists and criminals are kept and is in very poor mental and physical health. He reportedly blocks off his window with a stack of books because of the freezing temperatures and cold air getting inside.

Assange’s has two young kids with his fiancé Stella Morris, who has requested a pardon in the past. However she has now filed a formal request with the White House.

The Case in Defense of Assange

In 2018 Trump’s top lawyers made the case to defend Assange after Democratic operatives claimed he had worked with top Trump aide Roger Stone and Russian spies to release the DNC emails ahead of the election to help Trump win.

In that argument, Trump’s lawyer Michael Carvin cited Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which clearly reads that “a website that provides a forum where ‘third parties can post information’ is not liable for the third party’s posted information.”

As Carvin notes: “That is so even when even when the website performs ‘editorial functions’ ‘such as deciding whether to publish. Since WikiLeaks provided a forum for a third party (the unnamed ‘Russian actors’) to publish content developed by that third party (the hacked emails), it cannot be held liable for the publication.”

Furthemore, Assange’s work that exposed criminal wrongdoing including war crimes and possible illegal activity such as in the e-mails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta would make him a hero, not a villain. It is clear that many powerful people want Assange dead and buried, but will the President come through and make a stand against the fake news media and those who want to destroy the truth?

Free Julian Assange – Free Bradley Manning – Support Wikileaks by John Englart (Takver) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

What Happens Next?

It is not clear whether Trump will actually pardon Assange, although it is possible. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden fled to Russia after having his passport blocked in Hong Kong. Although many US government officials – including previously Trump – have called Snowden a traitor, there is no actual evidence that he released any intelligence to the Russians or betrayed the United States.

Snowden fled the US after releasing troves of intel about the government’s surveillance and tracking of citizens, has encouraged the President to pardon Assange, saying that “the case against Assange is based on a legal theory that would criminalize the work of every journalist, both at home and abroad.”

Snowden urged Trump to pardon Assange, saying “you alone can save his life.” It is clear that Assange’s health is failing fast and that he needs a miracle at this point to save his life.

What do think? Should the President pardon Julian Assange or not?