By John Ribeiro
Jan. 19, 2017
In a letter to Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. Attorney General, Assange's lawyer in the U.S., Barry J. Pollack, wrote in August that although the Department of Justice had publicly confirmed through court documents and statements to the press that it was conducting an on-going criminal investigation of Assange, the department did not provide him substantive information on the status of the investigation. The letter was published online by WikiLeaks.
The pending investigation into Assange, mentions of which are said to have been made in court documents in the Manning case, is plainly based on his news gathering and reporting activities, Pollack wrote. Its intention was not to aid U.S. enemies or obstruct justice but to inform people about “matters of great public interest,” he added.
In a statement on Obama's decision to commute Manning's sentence, Assange said that "in order for democracy and the rule of law to thrive, the Government should immediately end its war on whistleblowers and publishers" such as WikiLeaks and himself. The statement did not refer to his promise to face extradition to the U.S.
"Mr. Assange should not be the target of any criminal investigation. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss with the DOJ the status of its investigation, any request it wants to make for extradition, and its basis for such a request," Pollack wrote in an email late Tuesday.