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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain in this February 5, 2016.

    Trump Efforts to Prosecute Julian Assange 'Spurious', Ex-US Army Lawyer Says

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    A retired US Army lawyer has called the attempts of the Trump administration to prosecute WikiLeaks founder and head Julian Assange "spurious," saying the government is seeking to eliminate those who expose information of its war crimes.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Trump administration is trying to prosecute and jail WikiLeaks founder and head Julian Assange on false charges for exposing Washington’s own criminality and war crimes, retired US Army lawyer and historian Todd Pierce told Sputnik.

    "Spurious grounds, is all," Pierce said in assessing the credibility of reports last week that the US Department of Justice is ready to formally file charges against Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks website.

    US authorities have found a way to prosecute Assange for a 2010 leak of confidential federal documents and a recent release of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) secret files, CNN claimed.

    However, Pierce, who served in the Judge Advocate General (JAG) office of the US military, maintained that Assange, who is not a US citizen and is not resident in the United States, had acted lawfully in revealing criminal behavior by official federal institutions.

    "WikiLeaks revealed information of criminality and war crimes by our government," he said.

    Far from acting in a criminal manner, Assange and WikiLeaks had been performing the most essential services required by any democracy of ensuring that the public had access to the information it needed in order to make responsible decisions, Pierce pointed out.

    WikiLeaks under Assange had provided "exactly what we demanded as a democracy must know to make wise choices in our democratic processes," he explained.

    In November 2010, the Justice Department opened a probe into potential crimes committed by Assange and the investigation remained ongoing.

    However, Pierce said this kind of official response was the inevitable reaction, not of a law-abiding government, but of one that did not respect its own laws and constitutional constraints.

    "In this country today, one gets prosecuted for revealing information of criminality by our government," he stated.

    Assange applied for asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 out of fear of being sent to Sweden, where he has been accused of sexual assault and rape. Assange has denied all allegations against him, claiming they were a ruse organized by the US government to extradite him to the United States.

    In March 2016, WikiLeaks published over 8,700 classified CIA documents that revealed the agency's hoarding hacking technologies and listed major operating systems vulnerabilities.

    The day after the release, Assange proposed assistance to technology manufacturers in sharing information to help them fix the vulnerabilities mentioned in the leak.

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    Tags:
    war crimes, prosecution, Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Donald Trump, United States
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