Julian Assange and Wikileaks made headlines during the 2016 Presidential elections, and now Julian Assange is back in the political arena.Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, teaming up with Democratic Representative Eliot Engel, have written a letter to Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno concerning Assange’s stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been granted asylum for to avoid being arrested for parole violations.
In the letter, both Representatives write, “We write today to acknowledge the significant progress your administration has made since you took office. Many of us in the United States Congress are eager to move forward in collaborating with your government on a wide array of issues, from economic cooperation to counternarcotics assistance to the possible return of a United States Agency for International Development mission to Ecuador. However, in order to advance on these crucial matters, we must first resolve a significant challenge created by your predecessor, Rafael Correa – the status of Julian Assange.”
The continue, “We are very concerned with Julian Assange’s continued presence at your embassy in London and his receipt of Ecuadorian citizenship last year. Most recently, we were particularly disturbed to learn that your government restored Mr. Assange’s access to the Internet. On numerous occasions, Mr. Assange has compromised the national security of the United States. He has done so by publicly releasing classified government documents along with confidential materials from individuals connected to our country’s 2016 presidential election. As you yourself have noted, he has repeatedly used his standing in the international media to meddle in the affairs of foreign governments such as Spain and the United Kingdom. This has frayed Ecuador’s relations with like-minded governments. Mr. Assange also remains wanted by British authorities for a bail violation. It is clear that Mr. Assange remains a dangerous criminal and a threat to global security, and he should be brought to justice.”
Finally, both members of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee conclude, explaining that they “fully recognize that this is a problem that your administration did not create. We are hopeful about developing warmer relations with your government, but feel that it will be very difficult for the United States to advance our bilateral relationship until Mr. Assange is handed over to the proper authorities. Thank you for your attention to this critical issue.”