Although Barack Obama's administration declined to pursue the prosecution of Julian Assange and Donald Trump's government failed to extradite him to the United States, journalist Glenn Greenwald believes Joe Biden's team will continue to pursue charges against him.
In an interview with Reason, Greenwald noted the Obama administration's decision to forgo prosecution of Assange was before the 2016 election when the writer's organization — WikiLeaks — released damaging information on Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.
"They now hate him even more, and so I'm sure they're going to continue that prosecution as well," Greenwald said.
"So I'm very worried about what a Biden-Harris administration is going to do when it comes to leakers and whistleblowers and sources, except for the ones who are leaking to their approved journalists for reasons that are designed to advance their interests."According to Greenwald, the United States government wants Assange to "die in prison," but not because he is a continued threat. Instead, he argued that the activist is being persecuted to "create a climate" where whistleblowers will think twice before exposing intelligence that would reveal government crimes.
Per NPR, Zachary Terwilliger, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia — who is seeking to try Assange on Espionage Act charges — said he isn't sure whether Biden's administration will continue the effort to extradite the controversial publisher from the United Kingdom.
"There'll be some decisions to be made. Some of this does come down to resources and where you're going to focus your energies."Still, Biden's past comments on the case don't appear promising for Assange. Per The Guardian, Biden previously called him a "hi-tech terrorist," which the publication said was the strongest criticism from the Obama administration at the time. Biden also suggested that Assange put lives at risk, which echoed Clinton's suggestion that the WikiLeaks founder spearheaded an "attack" on the world.
As The Inquisitr reported, Assange allegedly tried to warn Clinton's State Department of an incoming leak of U.S. diplomatic cables. The leak reportedly came from a former WikiLeaks employee and the U.S. government ultimately pinned the blame on Assange. In an alleged audio recording of the warning, then-State Department attorney Cliff Johnson expressed appreciation for the journalist's offer to help mitigate the fallout.
British judge Vanessa Baraitser recently rejected the U.S. government's request to extradite Assange, claiming it would be "oppressive" and dangerous to his mental health. The writer has allegedly been cut off from lawyers, family, and friends, and has reportedly showed signs of mental torture.