Stella Moris has issued a last minute appeal to President Donald Trump Wednesday during his last hour in office. She is asking him to pardon her partner and father of her two children Wikileaks fonder Julian Assange, who is now being held in a prison just outside of London, as U.S. officials continue to pursue charges against Assange for publishing a trove of classified U.S. documents.
A litany of Assange supporters have come forward to appeal for Assange’s pardon but the list of pardons released from the White House Wednesday morning did not include Assange’s name.
“I am issuing a last minute plea to the President to do the right thing,” said Moris. “He can still do it. Mr. President you can still pardon Julian if you want to. The first amendment is on the verge of extinction, and pardoning Julian can save it. People from across politics are clamoring for this to happen. It is the most popular move that you can possibly make as you leave your presidency.”
Jordan Schachtel, an independent journalist, brought up an important point on Twitter regarding the intelligence community’s pursuit of Assange and how some of the bureaucracies senior officials target Trump:
“It’s difficult to interpret a non pardon on Snowden and Assange as anything other than bending the knee to the deep state,” he Tweeted. “Rough way to go out. Full surrender to the people who made it there mission to ruin him (Trump). Mission Accomplished.”
(NOTE: Schachtel included Edward Snowden, but in my opinion Snowden who worked as a contractor for the U.S. government and signed a non-disclosure agreement under his security clearance was under far different circumstances than Assange)
In early January, British District Judge Vanessa Baraister ruled that Assange should not be extradited to the U.S. to face charges. However, the judge refused to grant bail to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He is in a prison just outside London. r
The U.S. government is continuing to pursue charges against him and Trump’s outspoken stance on against the actions of the U.S. intelligence community during his tenure had given Assange some hope that his case would be pardoned.
It still might be.
On Monday, the same magistrate, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, ruled that Assange should not be extradited to the United States to face charges of violating the Espionage Act, because he is at extreme risk of suicide and might not be protected from harming himself in a U.S. prison.
Assange has been held in London’s Belmarsh prison since leaving the Ecuadoran Embassy two years ago after his asylum was revoked. The U.S. has charged him with 18 federal crimes, including conspiring to obtain and disclose classified diplomatic cables and sensitive military reports from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s interesting that senior Obama officials were and are so intent on getting Assange (who is not an American citizen and operated as a publisher) when President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning on May 27, 2010 who actually held a security clearance and literally handed over troves of classified information to Assange’s WikiLeaks.
Manning, who received a gender reassignment, walked out of Fort Leavenworth and with Obama’s commutation avoided a 35 year prison sentence.
You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC