Trump says he would consider pardoning WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

 May 29, 2024

Donald Trump confirmed that he would consider pardoning WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if elected to another presidential term.

Assange is facing charges under the Espionage Act for leaking classified military secrets in 2010.

The Espionage Act is the same law that Trump is being prosecuted under in his classified documents trial.

The U.S. has fought to extradite Assange since 2019, when Trump was president. But many Trump backers support Assange as a champion of free speech against the secretive "deep state."

Trump on Assange pardon

During a podcast interview with Tim Pool, Trump said he would give a pardon for Assange "very serious consideration."

"We’re going to give it very serious consideration, and we’re going to have a couple of other things to say in the speech that I think you’re going to love,” Trump said.

Trump did not mention Assange in his speech at the Libertarian National Convention, where he sought to appeal to the anti-government audience by citing his indictments from the Biden "regime."

During the speech, Trump floated a pardon for Ross Ulbricht, who is serving a life sentence for his role in founding and operating the online black marketplace Silk Road.

Trump also repeated pledges to pardon some of his own supporters who participated in the January 6th riot.

Assange wins legal victory

Trump's dissident persona is something that he shares in common with Assange, whose activities have won him support on parts of the right and left that are skeptical of the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies.

Assange initially sought refuge from a since-dropped sexual assault investigation in Sweden at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he remained until his asylum was revoked in 2019. British police arrested him that year as the U.S. sought his extradition.

Assange was indicted in the U.S. for sharing military secrets about the U.S.-led War on Terror. A polarizing figure, Assange has been called a criminal who endangered lives and a free speech hero who exposed war crimes.

Assange won a critical victory last week when the British High Court ruled that he can appeal his extradition to ensure that his free speech rights are protected.

The British courts have also sought assurances that Assange, an Australian national, will not face the death penalty if sent to the U.S.

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