It comes as no surprise that President Biden doesn’t plan to let up on the US pursuit of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, after widespread hopes and expectations that Trump was going to pardon Assange during his last days in office, which didn’t happen.
Despite the US losing its push in a London court for the UK to extradite him in a ruling early last month on grounds that he would likely be subject to cruel punishment, the US government now has until a February 12 deadline to submit its “grounds for appeal”. It’s now been confirmed that the Biden administration intends to do just that.
“We continue to seek his extradition,” said Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi on Tuesday. This is exactly what Assange’s legal team and supporters feared — Washington plans to drag this out as long as possible, leaving him to languish at Belmarsh prison, tied up in the seeming endless legal process.
Biden is Trump with a facelift. Literally. https://t.co/Q0jTtlFxvV
— Sharmine Narwani (@snarwani) February 9, 2021
Initially last year the Trump administrated formally indicted Assange on 17 counts of espionage and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime, which together would mean 175 years in prison if convicted.
Interestingly, Biden’s stance is however a departure from the prior Obama policy. As one of the journalists most closely following Assange’s confinement and trial notes:
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.
If he were brought to the United States it would most certainly mean he’d spend the remainder of his life at the notorious at ADX Florence, the supermax facility that currently houses terrorists, murderers, and traitors to the US government – where inmates spend 23 out of 24 hours in a small cell with no view of the outside world.
Biden’s DOJ has until Friday to appeal a UK judge’s decision not to extradite Julian Assange.
Does the Biden admin believe in press freedom or not? If it does, it will not appeal and will end the persecution of Assange.
It’s that simple. https://t.co/WJ3V0Z5ZCo
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) February 9, 2021
Based on this British district judge Vanessa Baraitser’s January 4th decision cited that Assange’s fragile mental state was “such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America.”
Thus it appears the legal saga and Assange’s imprisonment could press on for months more, and according to the worst-case scenario, even years.
Via Zero Hedge