My Letter to President Trump

The editor-in-chief has sent a message to the 45th president.

Dear President Trump,

You are right in many ways that the news media have become the enemies of the people and the friends of the powerful who treat the people as enemies. As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black wrote: “In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government.”

The role of the press is to keep powerful officials accountable to the electorate. The one journalist who has achieved this above all in recent years is the Australian Julian Assange. He is languishing in a British prison for exposing the powerful in the interests of the people. It is within your power to set him free. Please pardon him, Mr. President.

Joe Lauria

61 comments for “My Letter to President Trump

  1. January 20, 2021 at 12:37

    I knew this wasn’t going to work out – I said it to myself I think. It is not the “Hail Mary” that I would of sent, but I’m not Joe, and I reckon it didn’t hurt anything, and of course, the effort is applauded, but it was evident to me with a super high probability that it was futile.
    I think basically justice is literally in the People’s hands at this very moment in time, and history has some good lessons about what is learned when this sort of thing has happened in the past.
    Maybe this time will be better. Maybe the People have learned.
    Maybe, maybe not.

  2. Luc Pellerin
    January 20, 2021 at 02:09

    JULIAN ASSANGE is NOT on the list.

    Today we will be watching the staged return to power on this 20th day of January of the administration that continued the wars started by the Bush.

    The world will be witnessing a staged show. The swearing in of Joe Biden in a ceremony where the NATIONAL GUARDS will be standing between « WE THE PEOPLE » and the ??.


    • January 20, 2021 at 10:53

      All the world is a stage now and it should be abundantly clear that we are witnessing a sh*tshow. Excruciating.

  3. Miatadon
    January 19, 2021 at 23:07

    This is too much to expect from Trump, or Biden. On matters of state security, I think the philosophical differences between these two guys is not that great.

  4. G Aul
    January 19, 2021 at 20:47

    Please, Mr President!
    Free and protect Julian Assange
    Respectfully yours.
    An American

  5. Tom Kath
    January 19, 2021 at 19:47

    I also believe this is Trump’s acid test. If anyone could reveal the truth about the election, Assange could. Failure to free Assange will prove determination to hide the truth.

    As for commenters here who believe that anyone from Trump/Biden to Assange must be either 100% right and good or 100% wrong and evil, I find that perspective contemptible.

  6. Barry La Fontaine
    January 19, 2021 at 19:08

    Very brief – very powerful. Good on you Joe Lauria/Consortium News.

    It would be an excellent idea to send a letter to Australia’s Prime Minister, who should be protecting Australian publishers in foreign countries so they are not arrested at the behest of the US Government.

  7. RomeoCharlie29
    January 19, 2021 at 18:21

    Could you, morally, accept a pardon from Donald Trump? I know many would say, accept the pardon and be done with the near decade of persecution, but I do not think Assange would accept it. Desperate for an end to this ordeal he must be, but as his actions have shown, he has a high level of morality. I suspect he would reject a Trump pardon because of the company it puts him in — people whose actions have been anathema to him. However were such a pardon to be offered ( extremely unlikely I think) it might influence the. Brits to cease their separate persecution.

  8. Yezdyar Kaoosji
    January 19, 2021 at 17:30

    Good message in search of a good addressee!
    Trump will not do it because of his mantra – WIIFM?
    Biden will not do it either. He is complicit in Assange’s pursuit! Moreover, his plate is not just full but overflowing, and will at best ignore it diplomatically!

    But, you have certainly highlighted a wrong that needs correction, because we need the likes of Assange now more than ever! Thanks.

  9. molitor marc
    January 19, 2021 at 14:31

    Dear Joe,

    I fail to understand why you would ever think it necessary to “flatter” Donald Trump, the most unsavory, toxic, mafiosi and prefascist USA president of all times in order to demand him to “pardon” Julian Assange.

    I also don’t understand why you would exonerate his openly hostile attitude to the media in general and his constant lying to everyone, including perhaps himself ! If indeed one may justifiably criticize many journalists concerning their reporting on Assange, that, in my view, shouldn’t lead you to concur with the egregious remarques and attitude of Trump.

    In my opinion, any flattery whatsoever in such a context would be even more conterproductive given that Trump really couldn’t care less about Assange or yourselves for that matter. Quite to the contrary, Trump and his sycophants could very well manipulate such requests coming from their adversaries on the left to further their own dastardly machinations.

    With very best wishes,

    Marc Molitor

    • January 19, 2021 at 17:51

      Trump is like a broken clock–he’s right every once in awhile. The media has been lying to us for decades, but never so much as since Trump became president. They don’t even pretend to have a veneer of objectivity. It certainly has increased the public’s distrust of the MSM and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, there are still many who swallow the slime that oozes out of their TV sets.

  10. DH Fabian
    January 19, 2021 at 14:29

    Just keep in mind what came after Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black — Reagan, with his “mass media reforms.”

  11. John Woodford
    January 19, 2021 at 13:57

    It would be a stunning and pleasant shock to see a president of the USA realize the justice and wisdom of this advice– and to follow it.

    • January 19, 2021 at 20:08

      John Woodford,

      Hello. It would also be a stunning and pleasant shock to see Hell freeze over, or pigs fly, because those potential developments have the same odds of occurring as either outgoing United States President Donald Trump or incoming President Joseph Biden doing the right thing and granting the rightful freedom of historic-magnitude peacemaker Julian Assange..

      Best regards.

      #FreeAssange Now!


  12. robert e williamson jr
    January 19, 2021 at 13:52

    Something that needed to be said and very well done Joe. This saga has been very frustrating for so many who understand the importance of the free press. An importance that cannot be overstated with respect to the success of a free society. Something the two – rolled into – the one corporate party system has ignored completely.

    It’s way past tim3e for the adults in this country to get the collective heads out of the anal vents and smell the polluted air. And no it doesn’t smell like money it smells like death.

    Now you might send the same letter to one President – elect Joe Biden. You could also remind him that such an action would be a great start to reunifying his own party, something he best start focusing on.

    Those over the age of ~ 55 in the democratic party may raise hell but that age group has been shrinking for all of recent history. If the dimocrats expect to survive much longer Joe needs to reach out to the left and soon, although I believe he needs two terms to solidify the parties strength against over whelming money interests from the right.

    No matter time is running out for the “good ole US of A”.

  13. Gary Sitter
    January 19, 2021 at 13:44

    Should this happen, President Trump would not only right a wrong, but regain respect and support from the vast majority of Americans and indeed the world’s population.
    However, at this point in time it is to late to benefit President Trump’s immediate need to overturn the election, hence the request with fall on deaf ears

  14. Donald Johnson
    January 19, 2021 at 13:18

    Very well said Mr. Lauria. Like everyone else who has offered comments, I too want to see Julian Assange walk out of HM Belmarsh Prison a free man, exonerated from all charges in the US Department of Justice indictment against him. However, I suspect like me you have little or no expectation that President Trump will actually look favorably on your plea. Whether or not President to be Biden would be any more inclined to squash the indictment against Julian Assange I don’t know. Perhaps not because of his relationship with the Clintons and and his obligations to the Democratic Party bosses. Nevertheless I can’t think of a better issue to put pressure on the next President of the United States to see just what kind of a man he really is.

    • January 19, 2021 at 14:55

      The assault on Assange began during the Obama administration, when Biden was VP, so there is very little likelihood that he would pardon him. I would say no chance, but I try not to be too cynical!

  15. Deborah Andrew
    January 19, 2021 at 12:47

    Thank you for writing this letter to President Trump. I am heartened by the quote that indicates that a pardon does not imply guilt. If there is any possibility of following up, may I suggest adding that Pardoning Assange would go down in history as one of the most invaluable contributions to transparency in government and the support of a free press that is essential to any democracy.

  16. January 19, 2021 at 12:31

    CN’s letter was right on. I just did what all should do, send something similar to this: Mr. President: You are right on when you say we have a corrupted press, uni-narrative press. That is why you should pardon Julian Assange to make clear to the country and the world that you believe in and this country really does believe in a free press.

  17. Bob Van Noy
    January 19, 2021 at 12:14

    Absolutely right Joe! Many thanks. I think you’ll find that your plea comes true!

  18. Mark L Beauchamp
    January 19, 2021 at 12:12

    And also please pardon Edward J Snowden, whose bravery and commitment to our Constitution have been clearly demonstrated, as he has sought to expose the corruption and malfeasance of the government of the United States.

  19. January 19, 2021 at 12:05

    If i believed in a God I’d pray for an intervention.
    But i think the only reason Trump would help Assange would be to piss off Hillary Clinton.

    • January 19, 2021 at 13:55

      If only he did pardon him to piss her off I would die happy?

    • maxine
      January 19, 2021 at 17:04

      It would piss off EVERY right-wing politician, Republican or Democrat.

    • maxine
      January 19, 2021 at 17:21

      It would piss of EVERY Right-Wing politican, Republican or Democrat.

  20. January 19, 2021 at 12:03

    If only!!!! He and Edward Snowden.

  21. $outhpaw
    January 19, 2021 at 12:00

    Anyone who believes that Donald Trump is in favor of an unfettered, free press, that is able to hold the powerful to account, is either drunk, delusional, or dishonest.
    Which administration is actively attempting to extradite Julian Assange to the US.
    Which administration appealed the British court’s decision not to extradite Mr. Assange to the US, thereby causing Julian to continue to be held in a torturous state of custody.
    Donald Trump’s legal machine is responsible for this outcome.
    Genuflecting to this tyrant is beneath you.
    I spent over six years of my life in a maximum security prison system, for a crime that I did not commit.
    I paid great sums of money to free myself, through the appeals process.
    I never asked for anything from the corrupt people who tried to put me away forever.
    Today, I may be in poor financial straits, but I have an abundance of self respect for not getting into the gutter with slime.
    Julian Assange should do what Bill Bellichek did, and say no thanks creep.
    How about we people of good character fight for Assange’s release, instead of turning to a despot to do it instead?
    Why no march on Washington, asking for justice for Julian?
    No guns, or KKK memorabilia will be required.

      January 19, 2021 at 13:52

      I wrote this letter when I saw a tweet from Assange’s mother, Christine Assange, saying it was the last day to write to Trump to ask for a pardon for her son. There is absolutely no harm in anyone doing so. — Joe Lauria

      • Eddie S
        January 19, 2021 at 21:40

        Might as well try a ‘Hail Mary’ pass – once in awhile they actually work. Trump seems more unpredictable than most politicians, so it might just catch him in ‘a moment’. Nothing to bet-the-farm-on, maybe a 1 in 100 chance, but as the cliche goes, “you’ll never know if you don’t try”.

        Thanks for all your attention to this issue.

  22. Juliette Bouchery
    January 19, 2021 at 11:29

    That would be a true test of Biden’s determination to do right.

  23. Anonymot
    January 19, 2021 at 11:28

    The first wall Trump built was eensy-teensy and fitted in front of his ear drums.

    The second wall built by Trump was made of tiny-tiny mirrors and slipped into place, mirror side inward in front of his cornea.

    The third miniaturization was the easiest for when he was conceived he had this wee-little brain and it never grew.

    Despite those limitations Trump grew to be King of America and as such, Joe, you were absolutely right to give it a try. Without that pardon Assange rests but half a step in front of the maws of Hillary, the other eternally vengeful one, and the CIA.

  24. Khethwie
    January 19, 2021 at 11:04

    Thank you for adding your voice to the campaign to have Julian Assange released from this unjust bondage by the British government on behalf of the US Administration.

  25. Vera Gottlieb
    January 19, 2021 at 10:59

    Will Trump read this letter? And if he did…will he understand what it is all about? The letter certainly was worth the try. I just fail to understand why Australia has kept so quiet…the silence is deafening.

    • TS
      January 19, 2021 at 13:19

      > I just fail to understand why Australia has kept so quiet

      It’s really quite simple: their current government is a gang of corrupt sleazebags in the pockets of their coal industry and other environmental wreckers, and of Washington. To get some idea of this, do a Web search for “Honest Government Ad” — a hilarious series. Warning for genteel snowflakes: the Australian slang term “shitfuckery” gets a lot of usage.

  26. Ray Hrycko
    January 19, 2021 at 10:54

    Mr. Lauria, good on you for at least trying!

    Unfortunately, Trump is an extremely selfish, corrupt male who should serve hard time in prison (as should Dubya Bush & Obomber). I highly doubt the Tweetster will do any such honorable deed – after all, he has to pardon dozens of actual criminals who may help the Donald stay out of prison himself, right?

  27. Em Sos
    January 19, 2021 at 10:45

    A long time, retired Federal Prosecutor, Glenn Kirchner, recently discussed this very issues of pardons.
    According to legal opinion anyone of the hundreds who are about to be pardoned, if they accept the pardon, are acknowledging their guilt.
    I was not aware that an American president has the international authority to pardon foreigners, and especially those who have not been convicted of any crime.

      January 19, 2021 at 11:43

      Though not American he has been indicted for allegedly breaking American laws so an American president can pardon him in advance of conviction and it implies no guilt. According to an 1866 Supreme Court ruling a pardon “may be exercised at any time after [the act’s] commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency or after conviction and judgment… pardons have no formal, legal effect of declaring guilt.”


      • Em Sos
        January 19, 2021 at 16:02

        So, in other words, by long established actions, America can enact any laws it deems appropriate to its hegemonic interests; which everyone, in all other sovereign countries, has to comply with. Anyone, anywhere, can be indicted, for anything, at the discretion of a U.S. president.
        By what international juridical process does a U.S. president have this arbitrary right to determine wrong from right, guilt or innocence, especially when that president is the clown prince of criminality?
        We’re in the throes of yet another unfolding, and very tragic, American sponsored, political crime!
        Where does the International Criminal Court of Justice come into the picture? This is but another instance of hegemonic U.S. foreign policy in play; simply circumventing international justice, wherever it sees fit? Yet another demonstration, for all the world, of corrupted power, in action!
        In fact, isn’t this what the Assange case is all about, in the first place?
        He, and WikiLeaks, being the scapegoat, this time around.

          January 19, 2021 at 16:46

          Assange can be charged under the Espionage Act because of a 1961 amendment that gave it universal jurisdiction.
          Explained here: hXXps://

          There is an International Court of Justice and an International Criminal Court, and neither have any jurisdiction over this case. There is no International Criminal Court of Justice.

          • Em Sos
            January 19, 2021 at 18:01

            I think this is precisely the point I’m attempting to convey: Global human rights are what the U.S. and its cohort say they are!
            They change seasonally!
            With the ever-changing content in the alienated American character; the foundations of which are rooted in the power of boom and bust global economic power, world stability is teetering on the brink.
            Human rights are reduced to just another commodity in ‘the market’, and as is quite obvious, appear to fluctuate maniacally. (Whatever the market will bear!)
            As was this election, so too the Julian Assange saga.
            They represent the most consequential events in recent world history, and as Chris Hedges and others point out, it does not bode well for humanity with America still sitting atop the pyramid.
            Thanks for permitting me freedom of expression!

  28. January 19, 2021 at 10:42

    Agreed. Pardon Julian Assange.

  29. Sigurd Wenneberg
    January 19, 2021 at 10:24

    Sometimes the unthinkable happens. Reality is more fantastic then my ability to fantasise. If nowbody stands up for Assange he will not be pardoned. Thank you Mr Lauria. The world is watching.

  30. Nestor Makhno
    January 19, 2021 at 10:20

    The right of free speech is seriously in danger. If Julian Assange is condemned by US justice, the right on Free Speech forever is gone. The Middle Ages are starting again.

  31. doris
    January 19, 2021 at 10:18

    Thank you, Joe Lauria! I hope he replies and pardons him, but won’t the Biden administration come up with other bogus charges, or maybe pull an Obama and assassinate him without due process? Does due process apply if he’s not an American citizen?

    It’s so disgusting to live in a nation where the war criminals hold the highest office and truth tellers are imprisoned. Now they’re trying to legally curb free speech.


  32. Nylene13
    January 19, 2021 at 10:16

    Dear President Trump,

    Please Pardon Julian Assange.
    Freedom of the Press is perhaps our most important Freedom as a Country.

    “Without a Free Press, there can be No Democracy”.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Please President Trump. Think how angry you will make the DNC.

    • January 19, 2021 at 12:41

      You’re right Nylene. Revenge would probably be the best motivation Trump would have to pardon Julian. At this point though, I don’t care why he does it, just so he does it!

  33. Colin Royle
    January 19, 2021 at 10:15

    Unless Julien kicks in a few million to the DJTrump Legal Defense Fund, then he can get f**ked.
    Says the Don – “The pardon, I mean, what’s in it for me?”

  34. Rose Crayton
    January 19, 2021 at 09:34

    If any pardon is justified, this one is. Julian Assange is a true patriot!

  35. January 19, 2021 at 09:19

    Thank you for this Joe!
    We have been forced to bear witness to the slow torturous death of Assange and the free press for far too long.This is the fight now for our own lives , our own freedom.

  36. January 19, 2021 at 09:02

    Liberdade Assange

  37. MornaJean Mashrick
    January 19, 2021 at 08:56

    I agree that the truth must be told and if it is hidden, and a journalist finds it, then that is the work of journalist done well and good. It matters not the content, it only matters that it be told and not silenced – like J. Assange – free him.

  38. Terzaki Petroula
    January 19, 2021 at 07:32

    The letter of editor Joe Lauria, looks like a good will political advice to 45th President of US, from a specialist. And only this act from part of Mr. Trump, to release the Arbitrary Detained editor J. Assange will increase the numbers of his politic audience, followers. But President 45th, will not act in to favor of USA politic dialogue . He will not use this legal politic power for the benefit of USA society. For out siders ( not US citizens) that understand any political progress towards Humanitarian Values, Rule of Law in US will benefit all of us; and we need a progress to begin the “Era Pandemic”. We need work publisher Assange with Wikileaks, more and more .. how we carry on, deprivate from accurate, secure informatics, data verified, from inside the state administration, with documents. HELL,WHY WE CONSTRAC ALL THESE ? AND WE NOT WORK IT ?

  39. Mikael Andersson
    January 19, 2021 at 06:24

    One cannot be pardoned before one is found guilty. That sequence is backwards. Joe’s request to Trump must be to call of the assault on Assange. Call off the attack. Call off the dogs. Call off the prosecution. Call off the grand jury. Call off the torture. Call it all off. This has nothing to do with a Presidential pardon. It’s about stopping the US war on Julian Assange. Donald Trump has that power.

      January 19, 2021 at 10:46

      Wrong. According to an 1866 Supreme Court ruling a pardon “may be exercised at any time after [the act’s]
      commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency or after conviction and judgment.”


  40. January 19, 2021 at 04:34

    Wonderful words of truth, but Jesus told the truth and the people crucified him. We have a wonderful world but always there is element of power and money which overrides common sense. I watched our Australian Premier of the day saying stupid comments about Julianne seeking attention. I never dreamed that this could ever happen to him but the idol of the day was the USA. The war Mongers of the earth.
    Yes we need a better way of showing that we care about people and one another. Now Australia being led by the nose to build battle ships and submarines to appease the US. After WWII we all believed this would never happen again and I was taught at school as a mere child “While humans prepare for war there will always be war. China teaches their children to be kind and sharing to one another.
    So then were have Pr1ofessor Rory Medcalf of the Lowly Institute advising Australia to prepare for war from China.
    A brilliant journalist making big money out of giving the wrong advise.

  41. January 19, 2021 at 02:39

    Deer joo

    Im not gonna pardon him cos hes a soshulist commy and Borris Jonsun hates him. Anyway, the cops are comin for me later this week, so Im too busy shredding all the evidence.


    • MornaJean Mashrick
      January 19, 2021 at 08:56

      : ))

  42. Dr. Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib
    January 19, 2021 at 02:06

    Joe Lauria is ABSOLUTELY right in voicing out for Assange, who, as a responsible journalist, was only playing his due role.

    Every sane person the worldover who stand for upholding the truth in humanitys’ interest are and should stick out for Assange.

    In short, the world is AssANGE-RED over Assange’s over punishment and Trump is urged to exonerate him BEFORE departing from his presidential tenure !

  43. January 19, 2021 at 02:04

    Well done Joe Lauria, editor in chief of Consortium News. This is exactly what should be said at this time in history of America and for the dire political situation in the world. If only Trump would pardon journalist Assange for letting the world know about appalling crimes committed committed in America’s terrible wars. Trump could then leave office with some grace, if he did this.

    • January 19, 2021 at 12:45

      I agree. He could actually have a legacy to be proud of.

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