News Release

Espionage Act Misreporting and the Prosecution of Assange


While Politico reports “FBI search warrant shows Trump under investigation for potential obstruction of justice, Espionage Act violations,” some are cautioning that the Act has a long history of abuse.

The U.S. government is trying to extradite WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange from Britain and prosecute him under the Espionage Act for publishing material like the “Collateral Murder” video, which showed the U.S. military killing Iraqi staffers for Reuters. This prosecution has been condemned by numerous human rights and press freedom groups.

On Monday at 11:00 ET, WikiLeaks is holding a news conference on a lawsuit regarding illegal spying in the case of Assange.

The British Telegraph recently reported in “Did the U.S. plot to assassinate Julian Assange? A judge wants answers from Mike Pompeo” that: “Judge Santiago Pedraz of Spain’s National Court sends request to U.S. authorities to call the former secretary of state as a witness.”

Roger Waters in his current “This is not a Drill” tour defends Assange. He plays Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. One image regarding Assange exposing U.S. war crimes states: “Jail the killers NOT the messenger.”

CHIP GIBBONS,, @ChipGibbons89
Policy director for Defending Rights & Dissent, Gibbons participated in a discussion Sunday with journalist Kevin Gosztola and said today: “No one, not even Donald Trump is above the law. The American people deserve a transparent investigation into his many crimes. But the Espionage Act, with its pageantry of secrecy, is unlikely to satisfy such a requirement. On top of that, many media commentators are now misrepresenting what the Espionage Act, a law with a troubled history of abuse, is and what is required for conviction. Some have gone so far as to equate criticisms of the law with disloyalty to the nation. Neither an assertion that Donald Trump is above the law nor an unqualified veneration of the national security state can be good for the future of American democracy.”