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Delegation of Australian lawmakers will visit US to push for Julian Assange’s release: ‘Powerful message’

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A cross-party delegation of Australian lawmakers will travel to Washington, D.C., later this month to urge officials to drop the prosecution against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is accused of publishing classified U.S. military documents leaked by a whistleblower.

The group will include former Deputy Prime Minister and National Party Leader Barnaby Joyce, Labor Party member of parliament Tony Zapia, Independent member of parliament Monique Ryan, Liberal Party member of parliament Alex Antic and Greens Party members of parliament Peter Whish-Wilson and David Shoebridge.

The Australian delegation will meet with House and Senate members, the State Department and the Justice Department to advocate against extraditing Assange to the U.S. to face charges for receiving, possessing and communicating classified information to the public under the Espionage Act. He also faces one charge alleging a conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, told Fox News Digital that the “All Party Australian delegation brings a powerful message from one of the U.S.’s closest allies, that the continued vengeful pursuit of Australian Publisher and Journalist Julian Assange is beginning to take its toll on the close friendship the two nations have enjoyed through history.”


Australian delegation speaking

Barnaby Joyce (second from the left) and other members of a delegation to secure the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speak to media at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on Sept. 5, 2023. (AP)

Greg Barns, human rights lawyer and Assange campaign adviser, said in a news release announcing the delegation that polling shows nearly 90% of Australians believe the charges should be dropped. Shipton said in the release that even Australians who do not support Assange’s actions believe he has suffered enough and should be released.

The prosecution against Assange is in connection with WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of cables detailing war crimes committed by the U.S. government in the Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, detention camp, Iraq and Afghanistan. The materials also expose instances of the CIA engaging in torture and rendition. WikiLeaks published hundreds of thousands of these classified U.S. military documents leaked by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

WikiLeaks also published its “Collateral Murder” video 13 years ago showing the U.S. military gunning down civilians in Iraq, including two Reuters journalists.


“The most ceaseless hounding, the most unscrupulous lies and the most malicious persecution over 13 years reveal to us a malignant disregard of magnificent civic treasures of human accomplishment,” Assange’s father John Shipton told Fox News Digital. “Fighting for Julian’s freedom embodies for all people iron hard determination to assert and continue asserting our indelible, inalienable rights.”

The Australian journalist has been held at London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison since he was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on April 11, 2019, for breaching bail conditions. He sought asylum at the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations he raped two women after Sweden failed to ensure he would be protected from a U.S. extradition. The investigations into the sexual assault allegations were eventually dropped.

In addition to meeting with U.S. officials and lawmakers, the Australian delegation will also sit down this month with civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression and the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders.


Julian Assange

The Australian delegation will meet in the U.S. with the State Department and Justice Department, and members of the House and Senate to call on the U.S. government to abandon efforts to extradite Assange. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

“We have grave concerns that if Assange is extradited and convicted for publishing truthful information, it will be a serious threat to investigative journalism in the United States and worldwide,” Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, told Fox News Digital.

The Obama administration decided not to indict Assange after WikiLeaks published the cables in 2010 because it also would have had to indict journalists from major news outlets who also published the materials. The DOJ under the Trump administration later indicted Assange under the Espionage Act and the Biden administration has continued to pursue his prosecution.

Former President Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year sentence, for violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, to seven years.

“The Justice Department and the State Department need to hear from allies that the continued efforts to imprison Assange are making things difficult and uncomfortable for friends and allies,” Wizner said. “So I think [the delegation] is very important, and also I think that it points the way to what could be a reasonable solution here that should satisfy all sides.”

The Justice Department and the State Department declined to comment on inquiries from Fox News Digital.


Julian Assange sign in Maryland

Demonstrators gathered outside Attorney General Merrick Garland’s house in August demanding that he drop the charges against Julian Assange. (Fox News Digital/Landon Mion)

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has repeatedly said in recent months that the U.S. should end Assange’s incarceration.

“The Australian Government has made clear its view that Mr. Assange’s case has dragged on for too long and that it should be brought to a close,” a spokesperson for the Australian government told Fox News Digital. “The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister have expressed this view to the governments of the United Kingdom and United States, and we will continue to do so. The Australian Government cannot intervene in another country’s legal or court processes just as they are unable to intervene in Australia’s.” 

The spokesperson added, “We continue to convey our expectations that Mr. Assange is entitled to due process, humane and fair treatment, access to proper medical care, and access to his legal team.”

Assange would face trial in Alexandria, Virginia, if he is extradited to the U.S., where he could be sentenced to as many as 175 years in an American maximum security prison.

“I think the structure of the Espionage Act means that there cannot be what I would consider to be a fair trial,” Wizner said. “And I say that because the fact that the disclosures in 2010 informed the public, led to journalism awards, changed policy for the better. All of that would be irrelevant and inadmissible in a trial under the Espionage Act. The only thing the government needs to show under its theory is that WikiLeaks published the materials that the government insists are national defense information … If this case is allowed to go forward, he’ll really be arriving here not for trial, but for sentencing.”

Some presidential candidates – Democrats Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, and Republican Vivek Ramaswamy – have expressed support for Assange, stating that they will drop the charges against him if elected to the White House in next year’s presidential election.

“Mr. Kennedy has pledged to drop all charges against Julian Assange, and, if he has been convicted by the time Mr. Kennedy takes office, to pardon him,” a spokesperson for Kennedy’s campaign told Fox News Digital. “He believes it unlikely that Mr. Assange will receive a fair trial, given that the entire case against him was a political vendetta from the outset. The prosecution of Mr. Assange is an assault on journalism as well as free speech.”

Last year, editors and publishers of U.S. and European news outlets that worked with Assange to publish excerpts from the more than 250,000 documents he obtained in the Cablegate leak – The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El País – wrote an open letter calling for the U.S. to end its prosecution of Assange.

Julian Assange sign

Assange could be sentenced to as many as 175 years in an American maximum security prison if he is extradited to the U.S. (Fox News Digital/Landon Mion)

On Capitol Hill, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., led a letter to the DOJ earlier this year demanding that it drop the charges against Assange. Fox News Digital reached out to Tlaib’s office for comment about the Australian delegation, but a spokesperson only pointed to a statement from April announcing the letter to the Justice Department.

Under the Trump administration, the CIA allegedly had plans to kill Assange over the publication of sensitive agency hacking tools known as “Vault 7,” which the agency said represented “the largest data loss in CIA history,” Yahoo reported in 2021. The CIA had discussions “at the highest levels” of the administration about plans to assassinate Assange in London and allegedly followed orders from then director Mike Pompeo to draw up kill “sketches” and “options,” according to the report.

The agency also had advanced plans to kidnap and rendition Assange and had made a political decision to charge him, Yahoo reported.


WikiLeaks also published internal communications in 2016 between the Democratic National Committee and then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign that revealed the DNC’s attempts to boost Clinton in that year’s Democratic primary.

“The job of the media is to challenge the government’s monopoly on secrets,” Wizner said. “And if Assange is convicted, it will open the door to threatening news organizations and their reporters with imprisonment if they disregard the government’s commands not to publish information even in the public interest … You don’t need to think that Julian Assange should win journalism awards to be very, very worried about the impact of this case on the freedom of the press.”



Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC backs candidate who signed ‘Black New Deal’ demanding reparations

The House’s leading progressive political arm is throwing its weight behind a candidate who signed onto a “Black New Deal” that contained radical demands such as reparations, eliminating school officers and stopping criminal enforcement during the pandemic, Fox News Digital has found.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC, whose House counterpart is guided by Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, wired $5,000 to California Democrat candidate Lateefah Simon’s campaign in early August, according to recently released filings. 

Simon is the first 2024 candidate the group endorsed. She’s attempting to fill Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee’s seat, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

“With more than a quarter century of work organizing for civil rights and social justice, Lateefah Simon is a proven leader and the best candidate to represent California’s 12th congressional district,” the PAC’s co-chairs, including Jayapal, wrote in their endorsement. “Lateefah’s track record speaks for itself – she has effected material change in her community, championing critical progressive priorities like transit justice, economic equality, and women’s rights.”


Lateefah Simon

Lateefah Simon, a longtime progressive activist, is running for Congress in California’s 12th District. (Lea Suzuki / San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images / File)

Simon, who Vice President Harris tapped to lead an initiative to reduce youth recidivism rates as San Francisco’s district attorney, is a longtime Oakland and Bay Area political activist and organizer.

The Democrat hopeful joined a cadre of liberal activists who used the pandemic to make extreme requests on public officials.

According to a letter on Justice Teams Network, which seeks to eradicate all forms of “State violence” and “criminal acts” against prisoners, the far-left coalition sought to implement dozens of radical initiatives.

In May 2020, Simon signed the letter alongside the likes of former Black Lives Matter leader Patrisse Cullors, which they had sent to elected and appointed officials with regard to concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted “Black people inequitably in Oakland and what the long-term consequences will be.”

It contained a link to its “Black New Deal,” which Simon had also co-signed, and stated that they remained committed to implementing those demands. The deal includes its most extensive list of orders, including “reparations for Black people,” which it categorizes as a long-term demand.


Pramila Jayapal

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal acts as a co-chair of their PAC. (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images / File)

To the group, reparations include a laundry list of items such as “debt forgiveness, free education, free healthcare, enforcement of CA Slavery Era Insurance Registry & similar local slavery era disclosure ordinances including mandatory reporting, imposition of maximum fines & penalties, mandatory fund contribution from companies that have disclosed already, and distribution of funds to Black-led organizations serving Black populations.”

“Possibly even expand law to include profiteers from the housing/financial crisis and carceral systems,” the group wrote.

The Black New Deal also pushed for the likes of removing police from schools and ending cash bail. During the pandemic, specifically, the group wanted the “decarceration” of prisons, “ceasing police use of pandemic to conduct raids” and no National Guard or military enforcement, among other radical requests.

The Community Ready Corps and The Anti Police-Terror Project convened “a range of Black leaders” to develop the letter and its vast list of far-left demands.

Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota

Rep. Ilhan Omar co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus. (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images / File)

Simon currently serves on the Bay Area Rapid Transit board of directors and is one of three candidates that the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC has endorsed for the 2024 election cycle, according to its website.


During the 2022 election cycle, the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC raised more than $4 million and helped elect 17 people to Congress, the group says.

Simon’s campaign and the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC did not respond to a request for comment.

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Hold Biden accountable for broken border; impeach Mayorkas

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President Joe Biden’s dereliction of duty at the southern border is quite literally, destroying innocent American lives — and has the potential to put thousands more at risk.  

The situation at the southern border has degraded for years, if not decades. Yet, it shows signs, after four years of marked improvements under President Donald Trump’s administration, of sinking into a full-blown catastrophe.  

Americans are desperate for accountability, and it may be time for Congress to employ the full weight of constitutional action against the president and appropriate officials if they will not uphold their oaths of office. 


Last month, it was revealed that the FBI has been attempting to track down members of a group of illegal migrants who were allowed to enter the country after requesting asylum. It was not until Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials cleared these migrants (as is standard protocol for thousands of illegal aliens every day), that the FBI discovered the connection of an ISIS-affiliated smuggler who was facilitating these travelers’ journey into the United States.  

Mayorkas grilled by the House Judiciary Committee

Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), speaks during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, July 26, 2023. The hearing is titled “Oversight of the US Department of Homeland Security.”  (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The FBI and other officials will tell everyone that this situation is proof that the system works, and that the federal government will eventually find out who is a potential threat to this nation and track them down in the homeland.  

However, Americans who have been witnessing the breakdown of law and order at the southern border know differently. The case of this ISIS-affiliated smuggler is likely one of countless security nightmares at the border taking place every month — and the Biden administration is allowing the chaos and lawlessness to get worse, not better. 

We know from U.S. Customs and Border Protection that the border patrol has encountered 146 suspected terrorists between ports of entry at the southern border just this fiscal year alone. This number is up from 98 in Fiscal Year 2022 and 15 in Fiscal Year 2021.  

There are also thousands of aliens who are arrested by border officials every year who have criminal records from previous stays in our country. Many of these criminals have committed very serious offenses in America, and yet they migrate back to our communities. 

Lest the government again inform you that the apprehension of these suspected terrorists and criminals is Exhibit A of the system working to perfection, the number of arrests from border officials is always a fraction of the total number of individuals crossing the border. 

Since Biden took the oath of office on January 20, 2021, more than 1.5 million illegal aliens (otherwise referred to as ‘gotaways’) have escaped apprehension by law enforcement, making their way into communities across the country.  

Their identities and motives are largely unknown to everyone in our government. There could very well be terrorists, gang members and hardened criminals setting up shop in a neighborhood near you — all due to the Biden administration’s refusal to enforce the laws and secure the border. 

With facts such as these, the debate over securing our border should be largely settled. All elected officials, regardless of their party affiliation, should desire to protect their constituents and come together to do what is right for our nation’s future.  

We know from U.S. Customs and Border Protection that the border patrol has encountered 146 suspected terrorists between ports of entry at the southern border just this fiscal year alone. This number is up from 98 in Fiscal Year 2022 and 15 in Fiscal Year 2021.  

Sadly, this has not been the United States’ reality for several years. Instead of upholding their oaths of office, politicians have decided to promote radical open-borders agendas that give complete deference to cartel killers over American boys and girls.  

The time for talk is now over. It’s clear that the Biden administration will not be moved from their acquiescence of lawlessness. Members of Congress have a constitutional obligation to hold this administration accountable and to show our constituents that we will do everything in our power to protect them and their communities.  

I’ve been supportive of efforts to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. His department is at the front lines of this border crisis, and his leadership has largely contributed to the utter collapse of the rule of law at our southern border. We may not be able to immediately turn around the border crisis, but we should assign guilt appropriately to whom it is due.  

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Biden wants to destroy America’s hunting, fishing heritage to satisfy the radical left

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In just three years under President Joe Biden, our hunting-and-fishing heritage is under attack in ways we could have never thought or imagined. 

Through the weaponization of federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and even the Department of Education, the Biden administration is pandering to the anti-hunting, anti-fishing extreme flank of supporters and launching an all-out assault on our outdoors way of life. 

With the help of Biden and the federal government, activists are pulling out all stops to not only chip away at our hunting-and-fishing heritage, but to abolish it altogether.  


Maintaining their promises and commitments to extreme anti-hunting, anti-gun radicals, the Biden administration last year started a process to ban lead ammunition on federal public land. Through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, regulations were proposed that ban lead ammunition in national wildlife refuges across the country.  

father and son are hunting

President Theodore Roosevelt pioneered the North American model of conservation. Hunting and fishing remain a vital part of maintaining the outdoors. (iStock)

By all accounts, the action by the USFWS is the first step toward complete prohibition of lead ammunition and tackle on any public lands where you would hunt and fish. 

Earlier this year, the Biden administration blocked key federal funding under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for schools with hunting and archery programs. This federal funding cut would negatively impact millions of American students who participate in those hunting and archery programs.  

According to the National Archery in the Schools Program, 1.3 million students from 9,000 schools across 49 states are enrolled in archery courses. The number of students participating in hunter education programs in our schools is even higher.

Beholden to radical activists, Biden’s Department of Education is depriving millions of kids of longstanding educational and enrichment programs that help foster relationships with role models, build self-esteem, and develop lifelong skills that last well beyond their school years.  

In fact, according to a Forbes report, many experts are warning that defunding hunting and archery programs will contribute to the current mental health crisis. 

While some try to downplay the federal government’s anti-outdoors agenda, the threat to our hunting and fishing way of life is very real. 

It is abundantly clear that the activists who want to put an end to our outdoor heritage are determined, but they should be warned: so are we. 

We won’t take this lying down. We are resolved. And we are willing to fight. 

The Biden administration is taking the first step toward complete prohibition of lead ammunition and tackle on any public lands where you would hunt and fish. (iStock)

The International Order of T. Roosevelt is a proactive hunting-and-conservation foundation focused on protecting the rights of hunters and sustaining the North American model of wildlife conservation.  

Through our advocacy arm, T. Roosevelt Action, we are in statehouses around the country promoting the right to hunt and encouraging states to push back against this anti-hunting, anti-fishing radicalism by securing a constitutional amendment enshrining their sacred right to hunt and fish.  

Successfully establishing a right to hunt in every state will play a direct role in ensuring we can grow our sport, allow new hunters to join our ranks and protect the land that T. Roosevelt set aside for such use and charged us to use responsibly. 


Did you know that less than half of the states in the U.S. have an explicit state constitutional right to hunt and fish? That’s right, just 23 states enjoy constitutional clarity affirming our outdoor heritage and confirming our God-given right to hunt and fish. 

T. Roosevelt Action is fighting for hunting and fishing freedom and is bound and determined to grow that number in the next couple of years. As part of that fight, we are engaging a blitz to strategically reach outdoors enthusiasts in four states, educating the public on their right to hunt and fish.  

We are working in Iowa, Ohio, Florida and South Dakota – all priority states with strong hunting-and-fishing traditions that currently lack a constitutional right to hunt and fish. 


It was President Theodore Roosevelt who pioneered the North American model of conservation – the idea that conservation efforts are crucial to our hunting way of life, and that hunters and anglers are crucial to successful conservation. The fight against these anti-hunting and anti-fishing threats is just getting started.  

We will not allow these activists to dismantle and ultimately destroy Roosevelt’s great legacy. Join us in this fight. Stand in the arena with us and do the hard work necessary to protect your right to hunt and fish. Together, we can protect our outdoor heritage for future generations. 

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