U.S. Lawmakers welcome news of Julian Assange’s arrest

Daniel Jativa – Washington Examiner April 11, 2019

Lawmakers welcomed the news of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s arrest in London Thursday.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who has repeatedly denounced those who support Assange as enemies of the U.S., cheered Assange’s arrest in a statement via Twitter, saying “he has never” considered the whistleblower a hero.

“I’m glad to see the wheels of justice are finally turning when it comes to Julian Assange. In my book, he has NEVER been a hero. His actions – releasing classified information – put our troops at risk and jeopardized the lives of those who helped us in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he tweeted

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., urged authorities to bring Assange to justice immediately, approving of the charges that were unsealed by the Department of Justice.

“Under the guise of transparency, Julian Assange and Wikileaks have effectively acted as an arm of the Russian intelligence services for years. Mr. Assange engaged in a conspiracy to steal classified information, putting millions of lives at risk all over the world. Hopefully, he will now face justice,” Burr said in a statement.

Vice-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner, Va., the highest-ranking Democrat on the committee, commended the arrest, saying that Assange deliberately worked with the Russians to undermine the U.S. and called for his extradition.

“Whatever Julian Assange’s intentions were for WikiLeaks, what he’s become is a direct participant in Russian efforts to weaken the West and undermine American security. I hope British courts will quickly transfer him to U.S. custody so he can finally get the justice he deserves,” Warner said.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who faces a tough 2020 reelection race, also applauded the arrest in a statement via Twitter.

“I commend British police for the arrest of Julian Assange after nearly 7 yrs in self-imposed exile inside the Ecuadorian Embassy. I call for the immediate extradition of Assange to the US where he’ll answer for aiding & abetting a foreign power to undermine US democracy & laws,” he tweeted.

First-term Rep. Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who was born in Ecuador and represents a heavy Ecuadorian community in South Florida, applauded the Ecuadorian government’s decision to end its protection of Assange in its London embassy.

“Every chance I’ve had to speak with Ecuador’s government, I pushed them to stop protecting Assange, and I’m glad they’ve finally done so,” Mucarsel-Powell tweeted.

Assange became a player in the 2016 presidential race when WikiLeaks released thousands of emails that had been stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. American intelligence officials concluded the hacking was orchestrated by the Russian government. The whistleblower made clear he was no fan of Clinton but has insisted that he did not get the emails from Russia. Democrats, meanwhile, have consistently sought to link Assange and WikiLeaks to the 2016 campaign of President Trump.