WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Washington lawmakers are offering mixed reaction on Thursday to Julian Assange’s arrest.
Assange was arrested in London, but in Washington, lawmakers like Senator Mark Warner, of Virginia, say it’s about time.
“He and Wikileaks have been operating almost as an arm of the Russian government and their efforts [are] to undermine our democracy,” Sen. Warner said.
The Justice Department has unsealed an indictment charging the Wikileaks founder with conspiring to hack government computers.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warran said she’s not rushing to judgement.
“It’s important that it all plays out in the court of law,” she said.
In 2016, then candidate Donald Trump repeatedly promoted WikiLeaks’ work.
“…Wikileaks. I love Wikileaks,” he previously said.
But Thursday in the Oval Office, Trump said, “I know nothing about Wikileaks. It’s not my thing.”
American authorities want British police to send Assange to the US to face the charges.
“He will be offered a fair trial. The wheels of justice are finally turning. He’s never been a hero,” said Senator Lindsey Graham.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said a Wikileaks trial could answer key questions that have eluded US intelligence agencies.
“I think it’s extremely important. I think it’s very good to get him finally on US soil so we can investigate, so we can basically cross examine him,” he said.
Assange’s lawyers say they plan to fight extradition and the charges brought against him.