Julian Assange’s Lawyer Responds to Report Claiming DOJ is ‘Exploring’ a Plea Deal | The Gateway Pundit | by Cassandra MacDonald

Julian Assange’s Lawyer Responds to Report Claiming DOJ is ‘Exploring’ a Plea Deal

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the Justice Department is “considering whether to allow Julian Assange to plead guilty to a reduced charge of mishandling classified information.”

Julian Assange’s U.S. defense attorney, Barry Pollack, responded to the report by saying that as far as his office has seen, there is no indication that the government is easing up on its determination to seek his extradition.

Pollack said in a statement provided to the Gateway Pundit, “It is inappropriate for Mr. Assange’s lawyers to comment while his case is before the UK High Court other than to say we have been given no indication that the Department of Justice intends to resolve the case and the United States is continuing with as much determination as ever to seek his extradition on all 18 charges, exposing him to 175 years in prison.”

Pollack’s statement directly contradicts the WSJ’s claim that “Justice Department officials and Assange’s lawyers have had preliminary discussions in recent months about what a plea deal could look like, according to people familiar with the matter, a potential softening in a standoff filled with political and legal complexities.”

The Wall Street Journal report cites unnamed “people familiar with the matter” and speculated that “the possibility of a deal that would end a lengthy legal saga triggered by one of the biggest classified intelligence leaks in American history.”

Assange has been held at Belmarsh prison in London since April 2019 as the US government works to extradite him. Before his arrest, he had been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy with asylum since June 2012.

He is currently facing charges under the Espionage Act for publishing the Iraq and Afghan War Logs. If convicted, the publisher could face a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison for publishing the leaked materials.