Vivek Ramaswamy Pledges To Pardon Julian Assange, Anti-American Publisher of US Secrets

(Photos by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images and Win McNamee/Getty Images)
August 31, 2023

Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy said that as president he would pardon anti-American hacker Julian Assange.

"I will pardon Julian Assange on Jan 20, 2025," Ramaswamy tweeted on Thursday. "It is downright shameful that President Obama commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the fashionably transgender government employee who *leaked* to Assange, while Assange himself still sits in a foreign prison in exile."

The U.S. government in 2019 indicted Assange, an Australian citizen, on 18 federal espionage charges. Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, published hundreds of thousands of American classified files that he had received from Manning, then an intelligence analyst. The government has long argued that Assange and Manning's actions put lives at risk.

Assange, who holed up for seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to escape Swedish sexual assault charges, is now in a U.K. prison on separate charges as British courts litigate whether to extradite him to the United States.

The WikiLeaks founder has publicly attacked "U.S. empire" and echoed left-wing radical Noam Chomsky, one of Assange's strongest supporters and a longtime hater of America and Israel.

Ramaswamy, meanwhile, has embraced a dizzying array of different positions on Israel. He said in June that he was open to cutting off all U.S. aid to Israel, then backtracked on that position. He said in a mid-August interview that he will wean Israel off U.S. aid before telling the Washington Free Beacon that he will continue the aid if his Middle East plan is unsuccessful.

The candidate this week changed his position once more, saying he will only cut the aid if Israel signs off.

Ramaswamy's campaign told the Free Beacon that his position on Israel has been consistent.