Edward Snowden, the man who has taken refuge in Moscow to avoid American authorities, is among the first 100 people who signed an open petition to President Donald Trump. The petition is asking for clemency for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, as well as other members of Wikileaks staff.
The letter states,
“It is reported that charges, including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act are being considered against members of WikiLeaks, and that charging WikiLeaks Editor, Julian Assange, is now a priority of the Department of Justice.”
“We call on you as President of the United States to close the Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks and drop any charges planned against any member of WikiLeaks.”
Other high profile signers of the petition include MIT linguist Noam Chomsky; leaker of the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg; and film maker Oliver Stone.
Julian Assange himself has been given asylum by Ecuador and has spent the last 5 years living at the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Fear of extradition has kept him from leaving the small building. Guards surround it, and Assange believes that he will be arrested and shipped to America should he set foot off the property.
Earlier this year Assange had a close call when he became an issue in the Ecuadorean presidential election. One candidate vowed to kick Assange out. Lucky for the Wikileaks mastermind, this candidate lost, and he is being allowed to stay.
As for Edward Snowden, since revealing secrets about the NSA’s domestic surveillance program in 2013, he has been living in Moscow, Russia. Snowden has stated publicly that he is willing to return to America and stand trial. He only demands that the trial be free and open to the public.