Judge’s Ruling May Help Assange In His Extradition Case

Federal judge John G. Koeltl ruled on July 30th to dismiss the DNC case against Wikileaks citing the Pentagon Papers and the First Amendment. By doing so, he may very well have thrown a huge wrench in the espionage case against Assange. In his ruling, he stated the following (ruling can be found here):

If WikiLeaks could be held liable for publishing documents concerning the DNC’s political financial and voter-engagement strategies simply because the DNC labels them ‘secret’ and trade secrets, then so could any newspaper or other media outlet.

This would put every news source in the world in danger of prosecution. It would set a precedent against press freedom we would never recover from.

Here is another remark he made:

T]he First Amendment prevents such liability in the same way it would preclude liability for press outlets that publish materials of public interest despite defects in the way the materials were obtained so long as the disseminator did not participate in any wrongdoing in obtaining the materials in the first place.

A person is entitled to publish stolen documents that the publisher requested from a source so long as the publisher did not participate in the theft.

‌By making the above statement, Assange and Wikileaks cannot be charged for obtaining the Afghan war logs and cablegate. The judge’s ruling would forbid the prosecution of Assange based on the First Amendment.

In other words, if they prosecute Assange, they must prosecute every media outlet who has ever published leaked content such as the New York Times and the Guardian.

Recently, Jennifer Robinson stated in a media conference that Assange has been ill from the permanent effects of his prolonged stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

It is time that President Trump tells his DOJ to drop charges and free Assange. This is an international travesty against human rights and must end now.

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