By Tristan [email protected]
The fiancée of Julian Assange has renewed her pleas for a pardon from President Donald Trump to stop the Wikileaks founder “falling into the hands of the Deep State”.
Stella Moris used an appearance on the right-wing Fox News channel last night to ask President Trump “show mercy” and drop the case against Assange before he leaves the White House.
Assange is currently being held in HMP Belmarsh, with a judge set to rule on January 4 next year whether he should be sent to the US to face trial over the leak of classified military cables relating to the Iraq and Afghan wars.
Ms Moris told Fox host Tucker Carlson she believes Assange will not get a fair trial if he is extradited.
“Everyone agrees this is a terrble case”, she said. “It is the end of the First Amendment if it comes to pass.
“Julian doesn’t face a fair trial in the US. He will be tried in Alexandria, Virginia where the jury pool will be composed of the people who live in Virginia who have a preponderance of people who work for security contractors and the Deep State.
“Essentially once he gets to the US he will be in the hands of the Deep State. That’s why I pleaded with the President to show the mercy the Deep State will not show Julian if he is extradited.”
US Presidents traditionally issue a series of pardons as they depart office, with speculation rife as to who Trump will select before his term ends in January.
In his extradition hearing at the Old Bailey this year, part of Assange’s case was that his prosecution was “politically motivated”, driven by President Trump and his aides after he refused to cooperate with them.
Assange also insists the 2010 leak of documents was done in the name of journalism, and the case mounted against him is an assault on free speech.
Carlson, an influential figure at Fox who has been touted as a possible political successor to Trump, repeated Assange’s case during the TV segment, calling him “effectively a journalist” and saying Ms Moris had made a “powerful case”.
“For what it’s worth I think the President probably does want to pardon him”, he said, adding: “I think there are a lot of sinister people who don’t want the pardon to happen. We will see what happens.”
However Trump’s affinity with Fox has disintegrated since the election due to the channel’s decision to call the result for Joe Biden, with the outgoing President launching a fresh broadside yesterday saying: “Fox News is dead”.
Ms Moris also told the programme she believe a trial of Assange could threatened the US Constitution’s right to free speech enshrined in the First Amendment.
“The only people who are pushing for this are the worse elements of the Deep State”, she said, with Carlson commenting: “It’s true.”
“Not just because they want to silence Julian but because they want to end the First Amendment, because they see the First Amendment as a threat to their malfeasance, their abuse being exposed. That’s what this case is about. ”
She added: “Basically this case is about revenge against Julian.
“The President has to think about what his legacy will be. Julian is perhaps the foremost free speech campaigner alive in the West and he is imprisoned.
“Does the President want that to be his legacy or does he want to ensure that the First Amendment survives this trial – survives by pardoning him and not have his trial.”
Assange is due to appear in court on January 4 next year for the ruling on his extradition to the US.