Wikileaks has tweeted an offer for founder Julian Assange to leave the Ecuadorean embassy where he has been a political asylum seeker since 2012, and turn himself in for a US jail sentence, if President Obama grants clemency Chelsea Manning, who is serving a 35-year sentence for providing documents to Wikileaks while serving in the US Army.
The Swedish government wants to question Assange as part of a rape investigation, and can't seem to do so at the Ecuadorean embassy, seemingly needing Assange to travel to Sweden (whence he fears he will be extradited to the USA for a secret trial under the Espionage Act).
Assange's legal team has released documents stating that his health is declining as a result of his long confinement in the embassy.
It's not clear whether US authorities are taking Assange's offer seriously. When reached by CNN, the Justice Department said it was not aware of any deal offered by Assange. As The Daily Dot notes, Obama has the power to commute Manning's sentences, and has granted 575 commutations during his presidency. Rights groups including the ACLU, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch also called on the president this week to pardon Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked troves of documents detailing US surveillance practices.
Julian Assange says he'll turn himself in if Obama pardons Chelsea Manning
[Amar Toor/The Verge]
If Obama grants Manning clemency, Assange will agree to US prison in exchange — despite its clear unlawfulness https://t.co/MZU30S3Eia
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 15, 2016