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Rep. Rashida Tlaib urges fellow Home members to demand DOJ drop fees towards Julian Assange

Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., is asking her fellow Home members to signal a letter calling on the Justice Division to finish its prosecution of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who’s accused of publishing categorized paperwork.

The letter, which was obtained by The Intercept, is at present circulating amongst members as they’re urged to signal it and has not but been despatched to Legal professional Common Merrick Garland. Democratic Reps. Jamaal Bowman, N.Y., Ilhan Omar, Minn., and Cori Bush, Mo., have signed the letter. The workplace of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., mentioned she intends to signal the letter.

“I do know many people have very robust emotions about Mr. Assange, however what we consider him and his actions is admittedly moreover the purpose right here,” Tlaib’s letter to her colleagues reads. “The very fact of the matter is that the through which Mr. Assange is being prosecuted underneath the notoriously undemocratic Espionage Act severely undermines freedom of the press and the First Modification.”

The letter comes simply forward of the fourth anniversary of Assange’s April 11, 2019, detention.


Assange is dealing with a authorized battle over his potential extradition to the U.S. concerning the publication of categorized supplies detailing battle crimes dedicated by the U.S. authorities within the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention camp, Iraq and Afghanistan. The supplies additionally expose cases of the CIA partaking in torture and rendition. 

If he’s extradited to the U.S., Assange would face 17 fees for receiving, possessing and speaking categorized info to the general public underneath the espionage act and one cost alleging a conspiracy to commit pc intrusion. He may very well be sentenced to as many as 175 years in an American most safety jail.

The Wikileaks founder has been held at London’s high-security Belmarsh Jail since he was faraway from the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2019 for breaching jail circumstances. He had sought asylum on the embassy in London to keep away from extradition to Sweden over allegations he raped two ladies. The investigations into the sexual assault allegations have been finally dropped.

Tlaib’s cites final 12 months’s open letter from the editors and publishers of U.S. and European information retailers that labored with Assange on the publication of excerpts from greater than 250,000 paperwork he obtained within the Cablegate leak.

“The New York Occasions, The Guardian, El Pais, Le Monde, and Der Spiegel have taken the extraordinary step of publishing a joint assertion in opposition to the indictment, warning that it ‘units a harmful precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Modification and the liberty of the press,’” Tlaib wrote to Home members.


The congresswoman additionally warned that main information retailers may later be prosecuted for publishing correct info utilizing categorized supplies if the case towards Assange is profitable.

“Mr. Assange’s prosecution marks the primary time in US historical past that the Espionage Act has been used to indict a writer of truthful info,” she wrote. “The prosecution of Mr. Assange, if profitable, not solely units a authorized precedent whereby journalists or publishers may be prosecuted, however a political one as nicely. Sooner or later, the New York Occasions or Washington Put up may very well be prosecuted once they publish vital tales based mostly on categorized info. Or, simply as harmful, they might chorus from publishing such tales for concern of prosecution.”

The Cablegate paperwork for which Assange is dealing with prosecution have been leaked to WikiLeaks by then-U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, who was convicted in 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and different offenses.

The Obama administration didn’t indict Assange over Wikileaks’ publication of the cables in 2010 as a result of it could have additionally needed to do the identical to different journalists from main information retailers. However former President Trump’s Justice Division later moved to indict Assange underneath the Espionage Act, and the Biden administration has continued pursuing his prosecution.

The U.S. authorities has purported that Assange’s publication of categorized materials put its sources and allies in peril, though this declare is with out proof.

And the CIA through the Trump administration, reportedly had plans to kill Assange over the publication of delicate company hacking instruments generally known as “Vault 7.” The company mentioned this publication represented “the most important information loss in CIA historical past.”

In keeping with a 2021 Yahoo report, the CIA had discussions “on the highest ranges” of the Trump administration throughout this time about plans to assassinate Assange in London. Performing on orders from then-CIA director Mike Pompeo, the company had drawn up kill “sketches” and “choices.” 

The company had superior plans to kidnap and rendition Assange and had made a political determination to cost him, in line with the report.

Many Democrats nonetheless maintain a damaging view of Assange over publications blamed for hurting Hillary Clinton’s presidential possibilities in 2016. Wikileaks had printed inner communications between the Democratic Nationwide Committee and then-presidential candidate Clinton’s marketing campaign. The communications revealed the DNC’s makes an attempt to spice up Clinton in that 12 months’s Democratic major.

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