President Barack Obama's decision on Tuesday to commute Chelsea Manning's sentence brought fresh attention to another figure involved in the Army leaker's case: Julian Assange.
On Twitter last week, Assange's anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks posted, "If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case."
Obama's move will test the promise. The president commuted Manning's 35-year sentence, freeing her in May, nearly three decades early. Manning has acknowledged leaking a trove of diplomatic cables and national security documents to WikiLeaks in 2010.
In a statement, Assange called Manning "a hero, whose bravery should be applauded."
Assange went on to demand that the U.S. government "should immediately end its war on whistleblowers and publishers, such as WikiLeaks and myself," but he made no mention of the Twitter pledge. His lawyer said he has been pressing the Justice Department for updates on an investigation concerning WikiLeaks.
Assange has been holed up for more than four years at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He has refused to meet prosecutors in Sweden, where he remains wanted on an allegation of rape, fearing he would be extradited to the U.S. to face espionage charges if he leaves the embassy.
The Justice Department has never announced any indictment of Assange, and it's not clear that any charges have been brought under seal.
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