January 20, 2021
Mitch McConnell Threatened Donald Trump Against Pardons For Assange & Snowden, Commentator Suggests

Conservative commentator Mike Cernovich on Tuesday suggested that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's speech on the upper chamber floor the same day was a veiled threat aimed at Donald Trump to prevent him from pardoning Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

"Mitch's shot across the bow, letting Trump know he had better keep his dog collar on and NOT pardon Assange and Snowden," he tweeted.

Per NPR, McConnell used his speech to condemn Trump for his purported role in the riots at the U.S. Capitol.

"The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government, which they did not like."
Elsewhere, journalist Cassandra Fairbanks claimed on Twitter that Trump is being prevented from pardoning Assange, Snowden, and Ross Ulbricht by White House counsel Pat Cipollone. Fairbanks claimed that Cipollone is telling the president that pardons for these individuals would anger the Senate and push them to indict him for incitement as revenge.

"This is batsh*t insanity. They will do it anyways," she argued.

Snowden also suggested that the outgoing head of state is getting pressured to pass on pardoning Assange.

"Reports that Trump has let himself be bullied out of pardoning Assange, mistakenly believing Senate Republicans won't vote to impeach him if he caves," he tweeted.

Cernovich pushed back on claims that Trump is being "blocked" by Cipollone and argued that it's ultimately the president's decision on how to use his pardon power.

According to Snowden, the upper chamber is going to vote to impeach Trump after he leaves the White House regardless of his pardons.

After the Capitol riots, McConnell notably turned on Trump and has expressed openness to voting to impeach the U.S. leader in the forthcoming trial. As of now, NPR reported that it's unclear when the trial will begin.

U.S. President Donald Trump stands with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell during a campaign rally at the Rupp Arena on November 4, 2019 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Getty Images | Bryan Woolston

Per CBS News, McConnell previously called Assange a "high-tech terrorist" for releasing classified government materials. As The Inquisitr reported, Assange released information that exposed the United States' alleged war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. The WikiLeaks founder is currently imprisoned in a London prison typically reserved for seasoned criminals and has reportedly been cut off from friends, family, and legal counsel. In addition, reports have suggested that the journalist has shown signs of psychological torture.

As reported by NPR, Snowden is currently in Russia after leaking National Security Agency information that revealed the American intelligence agencies' surveillance of ordinary citizens of the country. Like Assange, he is accused of violating the Espionage Act, which has been used to prosecute whistleblowers on many occasions. Notably, Jameel Jaffer, head of the Knight First Amendment Institute, said the legislation is not able to differentiate between spies and whistleblowers.