Tell Attorney General Merrick Garland: End Trump’s War on Journalism

Attorney General Merrick Garland and the U.S. Department of Justice

Tell Merrick Garland to #FreeAssange!
Assange Defense

Journalists, legal scholars, human rights activists, and concerned citizens are calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Biden administration to put a stop to one of Donald Trump’s most shameful abuses of power.

Trump’s 2019 decision to prosecute publisher Julian Assange was an unprecedented attack on the First Amendment. Commentators decried Trump’s War on Journalism, calling the prosecution of Assange “the biggest threat to press freedom in generations” and noting that the reckless effort to extradite a foreign publisher could “destroy investigative journalism as we know it.”

Sadly, the end of Donald Trump’s presidency didn’t bring with it an end to the War on Journalism he started. Attorney General Garland is continuing to seek Assange’s extradition. The Biden administration’s continuation of Trump’s policy is a stark departure from the policy of the Obama-Biden administration, which determined that Assange’s activities were protected by the First Amendment.

The Obama-Biden administration determined that any prosecution of Assange would trigger “the New York Times problem” – essentially criminalizing routine journalistic practices used by The New York Times and every other major press outlet.

Attorney General Garland has dragged his feet long enough. It’s time to end this dangerous Trump policy. It’s time to end the War on Journalism. It’s time to drop the charges against Julian Assange.

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To: Attorney General Merrick Garland and the U.S. Department of Justice
From: Jacqui Deveneau

It’s time to end one of President Trump’s most dangerous policies and return to the sanity of the Obama-Biden years. Under Attorney General Eric Holder, the Department of Justice determined that attempting to prosecute publisher Julian Assange would trigger “The New York Times problem,” effectively criminalizing newsgathering and publishing activities that are practiced by major press outlets around the world.

For some reason, your administration has dragged its feet on this case and has allowed the government’s extradition efforts to continue for more than a year.

While you dither, the chilling effect of Trump’s reckless policies grows stronger. Assange has remained in a maximum security British prison for more than 1,000 days as lawyers bicker over whether to extradite a foreign citizen to the United States for the “crime” of publishing truthful information in the public interest.

Enough is enough.

You have the power to end the madness today. You have the power to withdraw the extradition request. You have the power to drop the charges. You have the power to show that the new administration respects the First Amendment and is not seeking to continue the lawless policies of Donald Trump.