President Donald Trump is locked into a showdown with the so-called “intelligence community” a.k.a. the deep state over the results of the 2016 presidential election. Their investigation of Russian collusion has lasted for years and embarrassed the country, but Trump can bring this to an end with one simple move: Pardoning Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.
Assange, who is currently holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in Britain, is likely going to be handed over to British authorities in the upcoming days. It is possible that the United States could extradite him. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has claimed that prosecuting Assange for leaking secret information is a priority, and others in the Trump administration have talked in similarly harsh terms about Assange.
But Trump has bucked his advisors and underlings before and doing so this time could yield huge results. Assange obviously knows who leaked the Democratic National Committee emails to WikiLeaks, and Trump could promise a pardon in order to obtain that key intel. Assange can exonerate the Russians or even prove that the Russians did in fact hack the DNC. Assange has made comments heavily implying that former DNC staffer Seth Rich leaked the documents.
“Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks,” Assange said back in 2016. “A 27-year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.”
Assange then walked his comments back a bit following that bombshell, but he still aroused a great deal of suspicion.
“We don’t comment on who our sources are. We have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States. Our sources face serious risks, that’s why they come to us, so we can protect their anonymity,” Assange said.
“Others have suggested that [Rich was murdered for being the source]. We are investigating to understand what happened in that situation with Seth Rich. I think it is a concerning situation. There’s not a conclusion yet, we wouldn’t be willing to state a conclusion, but we are concerned about it,” he said.
ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 9, 2016
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 11, 2016
Rich, who was a fervent supporter of Bernie Sanders, was shot dead shortly after the DNC emails were leaked. Although police listed the cause of death as a robbery gone bad, his parents noted that the official story did not seem quite right.
“If it was a robbery, it failed, because he still had his watch, he still had his money, he still had his credit cards, still had his phone, so it was a wasted effort except we lost a life,” his father Joel told a local TV station.
Assange is potentially the key to bringing all of this information to light and stopping the open-ended ‘Russian collusion’ investigation that is making a farce of the US government. With Assange in such dire straits in Britain, that may give Trump the leverage he needs to make a deal that will spare Assange jail time if he is willing to prove that it was Seth Rich – not Russian hackers – who leaked DNC emails and exposed their corruption.