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Trump Attempting to Blow a Hole in the First Amendment

Courtesy: The Times of Israel

17th October 2019

BY BRIAN HEWS

When the United States and the Trump administration first indicted Julian Assange it was for computer hacking

Now his corrupt Attorney General Bill Barr has handed down additional indictments, this time the administration wants to prosecute Assange, who is the Publisher of Wikileaks, Trump’s favorite news outlet during his campaign, under the Espionage Act.

And with that move, Trump and Barr want to eviscerate the First Amendment.

As it stands, newspaper and online publishers and reporters cannot be prosecuted for accepting highly sensitive classified information.

The person who works for the government who gave the reporter the information can be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.

Clinton prosecuted, Bush prosecuted, and Obama prosecuted, in record numbers, government employees who leaked information.

But what Trump and Barr is doing will send a chill through every investigative reporter working in the U.S.

If it was not for leaked classified information, The New York Times would have never published the Pentagon Papers, a classified history of US involvement in Vietnam,  or we would not have known the many things Bush perpetrated or the Obama drone program.

But the most chilling aspect of this attempt is the power that it will give Trump to jail reporters he does not like, the definition of political retaliation.

What’s to stop somebody in the Trump administration from purposely leaking sensitive material to a reporter, that reporter writing an article, and then getting thrown in jail?

Where will the motivation be to accept sensitive information?

Thank goodness Julian Assange is sitting in the UK and that he has to be extradited.

Current British officials seem reluctant, even before this attempt by the Trump administration, to extradite Assange.

Let’s hope British officials do not extradite Assange to the United States, at least until after Trump is impeached.

 

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