A pardon for Assange? How It Can Be Done Explained

images (3).jpegWith the United States DoJ looking to prosecute Julian Assange on espionage charges  under the outdated Espionage Act of 1911, and also for theft of gocernment property and also the recent threat of eviction from the Ecuador Embassy in London, it has become obvious that it is time for President Trump to act. According to several different sources, Jeff Sessions has reopened the case against Assange.  Seen here, iamwikileaks.org explains the charges:

Trump DOJ charges

In an April 2017 address to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s delivered a tirade against WikiLeaks, in which he declared the organisation a “hostile intelligence service” and said, “we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.”

Later that month, several media outlets reported that the Trump Department of Justice had prepared charges to prosecute WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, each with slightly different information about what the charges might entail.

The Washington Post reported that US officials are “taking a second look at a 2010 leak of diplomatic cables and military documents and investigating whether the group bears criminal responsibility for the more recent revelation of sensitive CIA cyber-tools, according to people familiar with the case.” During Manning’s court martial, the government’s lawyers attempted to prove that Assange “conspired” in the 2010 disclosures by “directing” Manning to leak certain documents. In her statement to the court explaining her actions, Manning directly rejected this claim, saying no one from WikiLeaks ever directed her, and the military judge acquitted her of “aiding the enemy.”

The Post also reported that prosecutors have been “drafting a memo possibly including conspiracy, theft of government property or violating the Espionage Act.” CNN reported that one of the key elements for investigators was related to WikiLeaks work assisting NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump praised WikiLeaks for publishing documents from the DNC, even saying, “I love WikiLeaks”, encouraging them to leak more documents, and publicizing DNC disclosures. In an interview with AP after the charge announcement, however, Trump said that “it’s OK with” him if Assange is arrested.

According to The Guardian seen here:

US authorities has been investigating Assange and WikiLeaks since at least 2010 when it released, in cooperation with publications including the Guardian, more than a quarter of a million classified cables from US embassies leaked by US army whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Republican politicians expressed fury at the time, accusing Assange of treason, and Trump himself told an interviewer: “I think it’s disgraceful, I think there should be like death penalty or something.”

The April statement made by Mr. Sessions saying that arresting Assange is a priority was shortly after the publication of Vault7 by Wikileaks which is documentation regarding the spying on of citizens by the CIA.  This enraged the former CIA director at the time and he made several statements making it clear he wanted Assange and Wikileaks prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Due to the imminent danger that this has put the publisher Julian Assange in, we need to push President Trump to pardon him. He has a simple option available to him to help free and save Julian Assange,which is a preemptive pardon.  “Julian Assange has not been convicted yet!”, many have stated. Let me explain to you what a preemptive pardon does and is.

The word preemptive according dictionary.com is:

taken as a measure against something possible, anticipated, or feared; preventive; deterrent:

And the definition according to the same site for pardon is:

Law.

  1. a release from the penalty of an offense; a remission of penalty, as by a governor.

the document by which such remission is declared.

So inevitably a preemptive pardon is a pardon before the courts have decided to convict.  In other words, President Trump could issue one in order to free Assange of charges written up by the DoJ.

According to Brown University found here:

The President’s pardon power is contained in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution: “The President…shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in the cases of impeachment.” (This exception has been attributed by some scholars to a 17th century English constitutional crisis that developed after King Charles II pardoned his friend, the Earl of Danby, who had been impeached by Parliament.) The pardon power is otherwise without limit. The president can pardon anyone for anything, subject only to judgment of public opinion. While it is clearly within the president’s power to issue a pardon in advance of an indictment or trial, it is also true that the pardon power had virtually always been used in a post-conviction context. 

 

My investigations into preemptive pardons led me here, where I learned of several preemptive pardons issued by former Presidents:

In the case of former President Richard Nixon, he was granted a pardon by President Gerald Ford for any crimes he might have committed during the Watergate scandal, even though Nixon wasn’t charged with or convicted of federal crimes. (This is known as a pre-emptive pardon.) Nixon was able to receive a pardon under the precedent of an 1866 Supreme Court ruling called Ex parte Garland, which allowed for a pardon granted by President Andrew Johnson to remain in force for a former Confederate politician.

Pre-emptive pardons remain rare. In addition to Ford’s Nixon pardon, President George H.W. Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and former CIA official Duane Clarridge in late 1992 before they were tried on Iran-contra Affair charges. (Four others were convicted in the case and also pardoned.)

Though they remain rare, President Trump is perfectly capapble of issuing one in the case of Julian Assange.  This is just one of several options he has in regards to ending the persecution of this journalist.  Another one would be to order the DoJ to end the investigation and drop all charges and the grand jury against Wikileaks and Assange.  In any case, something must be done to aid Julian. His health is deteriorating quickly and he has been detained illegally against 2 UN rulings for nearly 8 years, 6 of which have been in the embassy without fresh air, sunlight or proper medical care.

Please contact President Trump at the White House and demand that he free Assange before it is too late at

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

or call and leave a message at

202-456-1111

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s