Rep. Rashida Tlaib urges fellow House members to demand DOJ drop charges against Julian Assange

Julian Assange was punished for publishing without fear or favor: Gabriel Shipton

Representative Rashida Tlaib asked her fellow members of the House of Representatives to sign a letter calling on the Ministry of Justice to end its prosecution of the founder of WikiLeaks. Julian AssangeAccused of publishing confidential documents.

The letter, obtained by The Intercept, is currently circulating among members as they are urged to sign it and has yet to be sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland. The letter was signed by Democratic Representatives Jamal Bowman of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Corey Bush. The office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DNY, said she intends to sign the letter.

Tlaib’s letter to colleagues reads: “I know many of us have very strong feelings for Mr Assange, but what we think of him and his actions is really beside the point here.” “The fact of the matter is that prosecuting Mr. Assange under the notorious undemocratic Espionage Act seriously undermines freedom of the press and the First Amendment.”

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

Supporters of Julien Assange gathered in London for the largest physical display of classified documents

Julian Assange faces possible extradition to the United States for publishing classified documents.

Julian Assange faces possible extradition to the United States for publishing classified documents. ((AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

Assange faces a legal battle over possible extradition to the United States over the release of classified material detailing war crimes committed by the US government at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the detention camp, Iraq and Afghanistan. The materials also reveal cases in which the CIA was involved in torture and rendition.

If extradited to the United States, Assange will face 17 counts of receiving, possessing and communicating classified information to the public under the Espionage Act and one count of alleging conspiracy to commit computer hacking. He could be sentenced to 175 years in a US maximum security prison.

The founder of WikiLeaks has been held in Belmarsh maximum security prison in London since he was removed from the Ecuadorean embassy in 2019 for breaching prison terms. He had sought asylum at the embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations that he had raped two women. Investigations into allegations of sexual assault were eventually dropped.

Taleb cites an open letter last year from the editors and publishers of US and European news outlets that worked with Assange to publish excerpts from more than 250,000 documents obtained in the Cablegate leak.

“The New York Times, The Guardian, El Pais, Le Monde, and Der Spiegel have taken the unusual step of publishing a joint statement against the indictment, warning that it sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and freedom of the press.”

The New York Times, The Guardian, and other media outlets are contacting us to end the prosecution of Julien Assange

Representative Rashida Tlaib asked fellow House members to sign a letter calling on the Department of Justice to end its prosecution of Julian Assange.

Representative Rashida Tlaib asked fellow House members to sign a letter calling on the Department of Justice to end its prosecution of Julian Assange. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The congresswoman also warned that major news outlets could later be sued for publishing accurate information using classified materials if the case against Assange is successful.

“The trial of Mr Assange marks the first time in US history that the Espionage Act has been used to charge a publisher with real information,” she wrote. “The prosecution of Mr Assange, if successful, not only sets a legal precedent under which journalists or publishers can be prosecuted, but also political stories based on classified information, or, just as dangerously, they may refrain from publishing such stories for fear of prosecution.”

The Cablegate documents for which Assange faces trial were leaked to WikiLeaks by then-US soldier Chelsea Manning, who was convicted in 2013 of violating the Espionage Act and other crimes.

The Obama administration did not condemn Assange for WikiLeaks’ release of the cables in 2010 because it also had to do the same for other journalists from major news outlets. But ex-president Trump Department of Justice He later moved to charge Assange under the Espionage Act, and the Biden administration has continued to pursue him.

The US government has alleged that Assange’s release of classified material endangers its sources and allies, although this claim has no evidence.

Assange faces a legal battle over possible extradition to the United States over the release of classified material detailing war crimes committed by the US government.

Assange faces a legal battle over possible extradition to the United States over the release of classified material detailing war crimes committed by the US government. (Fox News Digital/Landon Muen)

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It is reported that the CIA during the Trump administration was plotting to kill Assange over the deployment of sensitive agency hacking tools known as “Vault 7.” The agency said the post represented “the largest loss of data in the history of the CIA.”

According to a 2021 Yahoo report, the CIA had discussions “at the highest levels” in the Trump administration during this time about plans to assassinate Assange in London. Acting on orders from the then Director of the CIA Mike Pompeothe agency had developed murder “sketches” and “choices”.

The agency had submitted plans to kidnap and extradite Assange, and made the political decision to charge him, according to the report.

Many Democrats still hold a negative view of Assange over posts blamed for hurting Hillary Clinton’s presidential chances in 2016. WikiLeaks published internal communications between the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s then-candidate campaign. The connections exposed the DNC’s attempts to boost Clinton in that year’s Democratic primary.

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