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RFK Jr Pledges to Build Statues of Assange and Snowden, Pardon Both on Day 1 of Presidency

The independent presidential hopeful said the statues would serve ‘as a civics lesson to the Republic’

RFK Jr Pledges to Build Statues of Assange and Snowden, Pardon Both on Day 1 of Presidency

Democrat-turned-Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. pledged to build statues of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Edward Snowden if elected.

Kennedy also said both men will be pardoned on Day 1 of his presidency.

The candidate’s comments arrive the day after Assange’s hearing at the British High Court in London appealing his extradition to the United States came to an end.

After seven years in exile in a foreign embassy and five years in a United Kingdom prison, the hearing represents Assange’s last chance to avoid being taken to the U.S. to face charges of espionage.

The WikiLeaks founder faces a 175-year sentence in maximum security prison for publishing hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents, which were provided to him by U.S. army whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

“The CIA and the Biden administration claim that Julian Assange conspired with Chelsea Manning to ‘hack’ and therefore steal top-secret information,” Kennedy wrote in a Thursday afternoon X post. “Their entire case is hinged on this. But this has NEVER been proven and Chelsea Manning has repeatedly claimed this is false and that she NEVER had to 'hack' anything.”

The independent candidate added that Manning claimed to have “full, readily available access to the information she passed along to WikiLeaks.”

“I’m going to pardon Assange and Snowden on Day 1,” Kennedy continued. “I’m going to build a statue to Assange somewhere near the Washington Press Club and a statue to Snowden outside CIA HQ in Langley as a civics lesson to the Republic.”

“So, in essence, Chelsea Manning is the one who committed the crime of sharing state secrets and spent 7 years in prison for this,” concluded Kennedy, who has worked as an environmental lawyer for nearly four decades. “Yet, the publisher to whom she leaked the information is standing trial to be extradited to the United States to face a 175-year prison sentence.”

“Sounds fair… right?” he asked.

Kennedy then linked to the 2017 affidavit filed by the FBI against Assange, accusing the journalist of “conspiring to … access a computer” with classified documents and seeking “to obtain information” from a U.S. department or agency.

“Assange and his supporters argue he acted as a journalist to expose U.S. military wrongdoing and is protected under press freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” ABC News reports. “Among the files published by WikiLeaks was video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack by American forces in Baghdad that killed 11 people, including two Reuters journalists.”

Many of Assange’s supporters gathered in London for his two-day hearing, including his wife, Stella.

"What's at stake is the ability to publish the truth and expose crimes when they're committed by states,” Stella Assange said during a speech. “The country that is trying to extradite him, plotted to murder him.”

Current reports suggest a decision regarding Assange’s appeal could be expected as early as March 4.

Snowden, who witnessed the National Security Agency's mass collection of American citizens' data and provided the classified information to journalists, has been in exile in Russia since 2013.

In an interview with The Guardian last year, Snowden said, "I have no regrets."

Manning, who was initially sentenced to 35 years behind bars, served seven years once President Barack Obama commuted Manning's sentence in 2017.

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