The bipartisan effort spearheaded by Reps. Jim McGovern and Thomas Massie follows another led by Rep. Rashida Tlaib last spring.

By Prem Thakker, The Intercept

A bipartisan duo in Congress has launched a fresh effort to push President Joe Biden to drop the Department of Justice’s extradition request against Julian Assange and to stop prosecutorial proceedings against him.

Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange take part in a protest against the NATO leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium June 13, 2021

Reps. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and Thomas Massie, R-Ky., are asking their colleagues in the House to sign on to a letter to the Biden administration by Thursday, noting that opposing Assange’s prosecution is important not only for press freedom, but also to maintain credibility on the global stage.

McGovern, a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who co-chairs the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Congress, told The Intercept that the charges against Assange are part of an alarming global trend of increasing attacks against the press, including in the U.S. “The bottom line is that journalism is not a crime,” he wrote in a statement. “The work reporters do is about transparency, trust, and speaking truth to power. When they are unjustly targeted, we all suffer the consequences. The stakes are too high for us to remain silent.”

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