@themtchair on Assange-Manning extradition ‘deal’: “Everything that he has said he’s standing by.”
That was posted on Twitter less than 24 hours ago. Does this mean that part of the “deal” for Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, to be extradited to the United States was President Obama pardoning Chelsea Manning?
If you remember, back in September of 2016, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange agreed to serve prison time in the United States in exchange for President Barack Obama granting clemency to Chelsea Manning. WikiLeaks even stated it on Twitter:
“If Obama grants Manning clemency, Assange will agree to US prison in exchange — despite its clear unlawfulness,” the group said.
This tweet offering the deal was posted along with a letter from the attorney for Assange, Barry Pollack, and addressed to Attorney General Loretta Lynch that pressed the Department of Justice to provide information about its ongoing criminal investigation into his client.
Back in September 2016, Pollack argued in the letter, that over the course of the investigation into Assange, which is in its sixth year, the Justice Department “revised the department’s regulations with respect to obtaining evidence from and charging members of the news media.”
That was then….this is now. Jump to January 18, 2017…Obama commutes Chelsea Manning’s sentence.
H/T The Hill:
The attorney for Julian Assange said President Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence does NOT meet the conditions of the WikiLeaks head’s offer to be extradited to the United States if Manning were pardoned.
Say WHAT?! That’s right! Check it out….
Obama on Tuesday commuted Manning’s sentence for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, leading many to wonder whether that meant Assange was ready to surrender to the Department of Justice.
“Mr. Assange welcomes the announcement that Ms. Manning’s sentence will be reduced and she will be released in May, but this is well short of what he sought,” said Barry Pollack, Assange’s U.S.-based attorney, via email.
“Mr. Assange had called for Chelsea Manning to receive clemency and be released immediately.”
Assange has not been publicly charged with a crime in the United States, but his legal team believes he may be charged “under seal,” where charges are kept secret to prevent a suspect from preparing an escape.
WikiLeaks tweeted on Jan 17th:
Manning’s clemency stifles howls over Obama’s failure to pardon Snowden, keeping civil-liberties crowd & NSA+CIA+IC onside for war v Trump.
On January 18th, WikiLeaks added:
Is Julian Assange finally on the path to freedom? (August, 2016) Newsweek:… The Nation:
Assange is still happy to come to the US provided all his rights are guaranteed despite White House now saying Manning was not quid-quo-pro.
So stay tuned! We should find out soon whether it will be President Obama or President Trump who actually pardons WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange or if this will be one of the DOJ’s and AG Jeff Sessions first cases.
Julian Assange has been detained for almost 6 years and has yet to be charged with a crime. Not sure, but at this point in time he’s got to be missing his family and the fact he hasn’t been outside that whole time…that’s incredible.
One thing’s certain, WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange believes investigative journalism will no longer be what it has been and that it will actually cease to exist.
Assange’s journey has been difficult. It’s been about principles, truth and his struggle with keeping by his principles while giving up freedom. Not once has he ever been wrong in 10 years of reporting. What’s the price he’s paid for it? He hasn’t seen or been outside for over 4 years. That price – living free, and the price of not seeing his family are taking a hard toll on Julian Assange. It’s a big price to pay for honesty don’t you think?