Reps. Thomas Massie and Others Lead Bipartisan Push Against Julian Assange’s Extradition Amid Press Freedom Debate

by | Oct 30, 2023 | News

In a bipartisan endeavor, Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) are mobilizing their peers in the House to join a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to cease the extradition and prosecution efforts against Julian Assange.

A report from the Intercept highlights how the initiative underscores the importance of press freedom and the necessity of upholding global credibility. This call to action denotes journalism as an essential pillar for transparency, trust, and accountability, warning against the ramifications of suppressing the press. The move aligns with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s U.S. visit, spotlighting the cross-partisan Australian backing to free Assange, an Australian citizen.

The letter to Biden invokes the precedent set in 2013 when the Department of Justice opted not to charge Assange for disseminating classified documents, recognizing the perilous precedent it would establish. It calls attention to the original intent of the 1917 Espionage Act to penalize government personnel divulging state secrets to adversary governments, not journalists and whistleblowers enlightening the public on critical issues.

RELATED: Federal Judge’s Ruling Against California Gun Ban Could Impact Illinois Case

The communique mirrors concerns raised earlier this year by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) regarding the U.S.’s moral authority on press freedom.

Since his 2010 document leak, Assange has faced relentless legal challenges, seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012 until his 2019 arrest. He remains in a London prison, resisting U.S. extradition efforts over 18 criminal charges, 17 alleging Espionage Act violations.

His brother, Gabriel Shipton, appreciates the bipartisan support, seeing it as a growing acknowledgment of the scandal entailing the prosecution of journalism. He emphasizes the importance of the exposed war-related information and urges for a judicious resolution to the matter, hinging on the indispensable role of free journalism in democracies.

NEXT: 15 U.S. House Members, 5 Senators Won’t Seek Reelection in 2024

AMP America

Get Amp’d in your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter to get videos, articles, and more sent right to your inbox daily. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This