In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Stella Morris described the U.S. government’s case against her partner as one that could decide the future of free speech and citizen journalism.
“This isn’t a matter of who is in office. Both sides of politics must know by now that the case against Julian is the single gravest threat to the First Amendment, and it comes at a time when the United States is experiencing a serious free speech crisis,” she said. “Julian’s case is also a major political problem for the U.S. government’s closest allies, the governments of Australia and the United Kingdom, who have played along even though their populations and the media are against it. There’s a lot of inertia that keeps the case trundling along, but really, it is against everyone’s interests to keep it going.”
Assange currently sits in a British prison cell after receiving a 50-week sentence in 2019 for violating conditions of his bail after seeking asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012.
Morris told the Washington Examiner that she believes the president is sympathetic to Assange’s case but is receiving resistance from the intelligence community. She claimed that many within the government are manipulating the press through selective leaks to give the impression that Trump has made up his mind against issuing clemency for Assange in order to demoralize her efforts.
Assange faces a litany of charges from the government, which opted to prosecute him under the rarely used 1917 Espionage Act. If found guilty, Assange could be sentenced to a maximum of 175 years in prison. Earlier this month, a British judge denied Assange’s bail request, claiming he was a “flight risk” following pleas from British prosecutors. That same judge denied a request from U.S. officials to extradite him just two days prior, leaving Assange in legal limbo.