President Barack Obama has offered up a historic number of pardons and commutations during his presidency, and he’s gone into overdrive his final year in office. Now, with just days until his term is over, many are speculating who he’ll save to pardon on his final day (when presidents tend to offer up their most controversial pardons). Among those who’ve been the subject of speculation include Chelsea Manning (previously known as Bradley Manning) and Edward Snowden.
According to a report published Wednesday by NBC News, Obama is seriously considering a pardon for Manning- and today, Julian Assange made an offer of his own that makes such a pardon even more likely.
According to The Hill; WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he will agree to be extradited to the United States if President Obama grants clemency to Chelsea Manning, the organization tweeted Friday.
If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case https://t.co/MZU30SlfGK
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 12, 2017
Assange has been in self-imposed exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than four years, avoiding extradition to Sweden, where he faces sexual assault charges. Assange could also face possible espionage charges in the United States. Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified material, is reportedly on the shortlist for a possible sentence commutation by Obama. Manning, who is transgender, officially asked Obama for clemency in November.
Her lawyers say she has already served the longest sentence of “any whistleblower in American history.” In December, a petition asking Obama to commute Manning’s sentence had more than 100,000 signatures.
Think Obama will take him up on this offer? If he truly was already considering pardoning Chelsea Manning in the first place, it’s hard to imagine why he wouldn’t.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]