Massie urges Biden to drop prosecution of Julian Assange, brings his brother to State of the Union

Gabriel Shipton, Assange's brother, says Assange's health is deteriorating after suffering a mini-stroke
Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, March 2022

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., is calling on President Biden to drop of the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is bringing Assange's brother, Gabriel Shipton, to the State of the Union address on Thursday evening to call attention to the issue.

The U.S. government is prosecuting Assange for publicly publishing classified U.S. documents on Wikileaks. Assange is currently in prison in the United Kingdom and fighting extradition to the United States.

"It's very clear, just drop the prosecution, and, you know, we're in election year, and most Americans are on Julian Assange's side. I hear from constituents in Kentucky that they are concerned about this case of Julian Assange," Massie said during an interview ahead of the State of the Union address on Thursday night.

"You know, whichever presidential candidate weighs in on this, I think stands to gain. In the meantime, there's a third party candidate who's going to take votes from either of those candidates who has been in support of Julian Assange," he added, referring to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Shipton, Assange's brother, said that Assange's health has been deteriorating since he suffered a "mini-stroke." Shipton recently visited Assange in prison on February 23.

"The U.N. has found that he's suffering the effects of psychological torture and that has worn down his body. He had a mini-stroke, I think, two years ago, he recently wasn't able to attend his own hearings because he was unwell. So it's this grinding jetlag, grinding him down. And I think that's part of this endless process," Shipton said.

"I think the DOJ is almost washing this prosecution through the U.K. system, in order to really suppress the reporting on it here in this country. They can establish this precedent that publishing is a crime, but not have the attention on it that it would if it was here in the United States," he added.