• 1660
  • More

Did The Wall Street Journal Try to Sabotage a Plea Deal for Assange?

March 25—Various informed sources say that the publication by The Wall Street Journal of a leaked report of a possible plea deal for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may have been an attempt to sabotage delicate talks between the Justice Department and Assange’s legal team. According to the account, first published in The Journal March 20, the deal would have Assange, who has been held in the maximum-security HM Prison Belmarsh  since April 11, 2019 awaiting a British court decision on his extradition to the U.S. where he faces espionage charges that could put him in prison for 175 years, plead guilty to a lesser charge of mishandling classified documents in 2010. Under the reported deal, he would be allowed to walk free, for time already served.

But sources say The Urinal’s reporting on the deal makes the sensitive negotiation more difficult. Lawyers for Assange said a day later that they had no evidence of such a deal, and that the U.S. is pursuing his extradition and trial on espionage with all its previous vigor. A source indicated that they had to say that to maintain the pressure on Britain’s High Court, which is hearing his fight against extradition.

Assange’s wife, Teresa, and his lawyers have said that his continued incarceration threatens to worsen health conditions that could kill him. They have argued that his case violates the U.S. Constitution, in which his right to publish documents that showed the U.S. government in violation of laws against spying on its citizens and other acts, is protected. His case has garnered worldwide support from civil libertarians and supporters of the fight to expose illegal government acts, and has produced demonstrations around the world demanding his freedom.

“The Urinal is up to its usual tricks,” said a source, with knowledge of the case. “Its editors would like to see Julian die for exposing government crimes—an action that much of the mainstream media supports—such as spying on citizens and even leaders of allied governments, and the organizing of covert dirty tricks operations globally. There is reason to believe that the Biden White House, under pressure from elements of the Democratic Party who still support freedom of the press, might want the Assange case to go away in an election year. The Wall Street Journal no doubt would be against that. Regardless, had they wanted to help justice, and see that it is rendered in this case, they would have not published anything at all.”

“We have not heard the final word on this,” the source concluded.

Comments (0)
Login or Join to comment.
Speir ADs