Assange Offers to Trade Himself for Chelsea Manning

He says he'll surrender if Obama frees her
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2016 3:52 AM CDT
Updated Sep 16, 2016 6:32 AM CDT
Assange: Free Manning and I'll Surrender to US
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stands on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

Julian Assange says he's willing to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for an American prison cell—as long as President Obama frees Chelsea Manning first. "If Obama grants Manning clemency, Assange will agree to US prison in exchange—despite its clear unlawfulness," WikiLeaks tweeted on Thursday, hours after urging Obama to pardon Edward Snowden. Manning, who recently ended a hunger strike, is serving time in a military prison for passing more than 750,000 pages of classified information to WikiLeaks. Assange is still being investigated in the US for alleged espionage, and his lawyer says he has asked US authorities to release information on the probe, CNN reports.

There has been no comment yet from the Justice Department or the White House, which has the power to commute Manning's 35-year sentence, the Daily Dot reports. Engadget notes that even if Assange does leave the embassy where he has been holed up since 2012, Sweden, which wants to question him on sex crime allegations, will still have first dibs. "Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and I have one thing in common: The same US prosecutor," tweeted Kim Dotcom after Assange made his offer. (Vladimir Putin says it wasn't Russia that provided WikiLeaks with hacked DNC emails.)

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