Julian Assange has said his possible extradition to the U.S. is in the hands of the Department of Justice (DoJ), according to the Guardian. The founder of WikiLeaks has made it clear that the ball is in America’s court in regards to whether or not his offer to go to the United States still stands now that Chelsea Manning will be released. On January 17, Obama commuted Manning’s sentence.
Full Assange TV interview from this morning on Clinton, Trump, Manning, his extradition: 'ball is in DoJ court' https://t.co/8hrkFY7AcF
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 30, 2017
Former President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, 29, a former army intelligence analyst who was convicted of providing classified military documents to WikiLeaks. The whistleblower was sentenced to 35 years in prison in August 2013 and will now be released in four months, instead of the year, 2024, as per the Independent.
However, Assange has remained in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. According to Russia Today, Julian Assange live-streamed a pseudo press conference via Periscope and said that he still stands by his former claims of extradition.
“If to settle the matter requires going to the United States under certain circumstances where my rights are protected, that’s something we want to discuss, but the ball is in the DoJ court… We had a major strategic victory in liberating Chelsea Manning – the most significant alleged whistleblower in the last 10 years – but of course saying I’m willing to accept extradition doesn’t mean I’m saying, I’m willing to be a complete idiot and throw all my lawyers away.”
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 19, 2017
The WikiLeaks editor was grilled by Robert Peston on his ITV show on whether Assange would honor his pledge to be extradited. Julian seemed to suggest that his next steps would be a tactical one. Assange did not rule out going to the U.S., “under certain circumstances.” When asked if he would be leaving the embassy after the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence, Assange said that it was an “enormous victory” for WikiLeaks.
“This is a matter of chess. There are opponents to that clemency within the Democratic party. Why were they opposed? They were opposed because he’s famously an alleged source of mine.”
Peston interrupted the WikiLeaks leader and inquired more about the risks involved in leaving the Ecuadorian embassy.
“People really care about this and they care about what happens to you. Are you saying that you’re not yet ready to take the risk of leaving the embassy?”
Assange revealed that he and his team had approached the Department of Justice in regards to dropping his case.
“We have approached the DoJ [Department of Justice] … saying are they going to drop this case? We say its unconstitutional, it is unlawful, that it should not be pursued. What are they going to do?”
Preston then asked Assange if he would patiently wait for a response from the U.S.
“We haven’t heard back from the DoJ yet, the ball is in their court… If to settle the matter requires going to the United States under certain circumstances where my rights are protected, that’s something we want to discuss, but the ball is in the DoJ court.”
The DoJ has not yet commented on Julian Assange’s case.
RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE INQUISITR:
Julian Assange: WikiLeaks Did Not Receive Podesta, DNC Emails From Russian Intel, ‘Our Source Is Not The Russian Government’
Sarah Palin Apologizes To Julian Assange After Comparing The WikiLeaks Founder To Al-Qaeda And The Taliban
FBI Attempt To Frame Julian Assange Thwarted By Icelandic Government, Former Icelandic Minister ClaimsWikiLeaks Founder Says He Stands By His Extradition Offer
The Vindication Of Julian Assange
Julian Assange appeared in a surprise interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity and denied reports that claimed the Podesta and DNC emails were passed to WikiLeaks by the Russian government. Assange blasted U.S. media outlets and spoke out about the recent news regarding assessments of Russia being the source of the email leaks.
Hannity interviewed WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange on his nationally syndicated radio show, The Sean Hannity Show. Assange insisted the allegations of Russia being the source of WikiLeaks’ documents are a “foolish” and “dangerous” effort by Democrats to nullify Trump’s presidential win.
“Our source is not the Russian government.”
Several days after the interview, Sarah Palin apologized for comparing Julian Assange to al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders. The former governor of Alaska apologized to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a Facebook post on Wednesday. The apology followed the airing of Assange’s interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
To Julian Assange: I apologize.
Please watch Sean Hannity's interview with Julian Assange (Wikileaks)…. https://t.co/UZpt4MMX2J
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) January 4, 2017
Sarah Palin took to both her Twitter and Facebook account to apologize to Assange, according to the International Business Times. In another shocking post, Palin recommended her fans to watch Oliver Stone’s film, Snowden. Palin even called the film “quite enlightening.”
“To Julian Assange: I apologize…. The media collusion that hid what many on the Left have been supporting is shocking. This important information that finally opened people’s eyes to democrat candidates and operatives would not have been exposed were it not for Julian Assange.”
Sarah’s apology is assumed to be for insulting Assange as a journalist and comparing him to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. During the 2008 election, WikiLeaks posted hacked emails from Sarah Palin’s account. Just two years ago, she called Assange “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands” following the publishing of diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks. Palin insisted the site should be shut down permanently, according to the Business Insider.
“[Assange] is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”
Assange, who is Australian, has said he fears deportation to Sweden and the United States, where he could be charged for the publication of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables. According to the Wall Street Journal, Julian also believes if he is extradited to Sweden, he will then be extradited to the U.S., where he could face espionage charges due to leaking thousands of classified documents on the WikiLeaks website.
The WikiLeaks founder maintains that he has been robbed of his freedom for the last six years, according to the Guardian. The situation has also taken a toll on Assange’s physical well-being. Assange’s health deteriorated significantly since his confinement. He developed an arrhythmia, high blood pressure, chronic cough, and a Vitamin D deficiency, according to the Observer.
[Featured Image by Carl Court/Getty Images]