The arrest of Julian Assange would be Trump’s biggest move yet to distance himself from the Russia scandal and avoid impeachment.
CNN reported that US authorities are preparing charges to arrest Julian Assange:
US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.
The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.
Why would Trump choose to go after Assange now? The answer can be found in the Russia scandal. If one believes the evidence that Wikileaks collaborated with Russia to help Trump win the presidential election, Donald Trump has a lot to lose if Assange ever decides to talk and say what he knows about the Russian election interference. If Assange ever spilled the beans, the result could mean more evidence that would point towards impeachment for Trump.
The best way for Trump to make sure that Assange is discredited and out of the public eye is to convict him and lock him up in a federal Supermax prison somewhere in the United States. Trump is pulling a page out of the textbook that has been used authoritarians throughout world history. Once the authoritarian gains power, they try to remove anyone who could potentially incriminate them. This isn’t about whether one views Assange as a hero or a villain, but what he knows and what he could say.
Trump is desperately trying to outrun a Russia scandal that is gaining on him with each little drip of new information. He needs a big gesture that would both make it appear that he is distancing himself from the scandal, while potentially silence anyone who could help bring him down.
Arresting Julian Assange checks both boxes.
Donald Trump will stop at nothing to keep the Russia scandal covered up.
When viewed in this context, the plan to arrest Julian Assange makes perfect sense.