News Release

Biden Continuing Assange Prosecution, Launched By Trump DOJ


KEVIN GOSZTOLA,, @kgosztola
Managing editor of Shadowproof, Gosztola just wrote the piece “Assange Prosecution, Launched By Trump Justice Department, Will Continue Under Biden.”

He writes: “The Justice Department under President Joe Biden plans to continue the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that was launched under President Donald Trump.

“‘We continue to seek his extradition,’ Justice Department spokesperson Marc Raimondi told Reuters, days before February 12, the deadline for the United States government to submit its ‘grounds for appeal.’

“The statement represents a departure from President Barack Obama’s administration, which declined to prosecute Assange. Justice Department officials were reportedly concerned about the threat it would pose to press freedom.

“On January 4, British district judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected the U.S. government’s extradition request and concluded Assange’s mental condition was ‘such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America.'”

Gosztola notes that earlier this week “a coalition of civil liberties, press freedom, and human rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, Center for Constitutional Rights, Committee to Protect Journalists, Fight for the Future, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Human Rights Watch, PEN America, Project on Government Oversight, and Reporters Without Borders, signed on to a letter demanding that the Biden Justice Department drop the charges against Assange. …

“During Biden’s first foreign policy speech on February 4, he proclaimed, ‘We believe a free press isn’t an adversary; rather, it’s essential. A free press is essential to the health of a democracy.’ …

“However … U.S. security agencies believe they should monitor, neutralize, and even target dissident media organizations that may employ practices pioneered by WikiLeaks.”

See Gosztola’s extensive reporting on Assange’s trial, which he covered in London.

While vice president, Biden likened Assange to a “hi-tech terrorist.”