Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made a significant campaign promise to pardon whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Julian Assange should he become President.
In his most recent tweet, Kennedy wrote that the United States does not champion free speech, but instead persecutes journalists and whistleblowers.
Kennedy wrote: “Instead of championing free speech, the U.S. actively persecutes journalists and whistleblowers. I’ll pardon brave truth-tellers like Julian Assange and investigate the corruption and crimes they exposed.”
In a secondary tweet, Kennedy pledged to also pardon other journalists and whistleblowers who have faced persecution, including John Kiriakou, Chelsea Manning, Reality Winner, Daniel Hale, Thomas Drake, Jeffrey Sterling, and Edward Snowden.
Among all of the Democratic presidential candidates, Kennedy is the only candidate who has pledged to grant pardons to both Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.
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Edward Snowden presently resides in exile in Russia, as the Department of Justice has filed three charges against him, including two under the Espionage Act.
These charges stem from his purported release of classified information from the NSA in 2013, which exposed the Obama administration’s unlawful surveillance of American citizens.
Julian Assange, the creator of WikiLeaks, is currently being held in a London prison and is appealing his extradition to the United States.
The U.S. government has leveled 17 espionage charges against him for allegedly publishing classified US government documents on WikiLeaks.
Joe Biden has expressed his refusal to pardon Julian Assange and has publicly declared that he has no plans to grant pardon to the Australian whistleblower.
“No, I’m not. We have a lot on that guy,” Biden replied to a question if he is planning to pardon Julian Assange.
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