Julian Assange's Partner Begs Donald Trump to Pardon Him on Thanksgiving

The partner of Julian Assange, attorney Stella Morris, pleaded with President Donald Trump on Thanksgiving to pardon the Wikileaks boss who is currently fighting extradition to the United States.

Morris is a 37-year-old, South African-born lawyer who began a relationship with Assange in 2015 after years of providing legal aid in his fight against extradition. During that time, Assange was seeking diplomatic asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Morris shared a photograph of the couple's two children on social media on the morning of Thanksgiving Day, directly urging Trump to pardon the Wikileaks chief. On Wednesday, Trump pardoned former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn, prompting speculation the president is set to offer pardons to a wide array of controversial figures — including himself.

"These are Julian's sons Max and Gabriel. They need their father. Our family needs to be whole again. I beg you, please bring him home for Christmas @realDonaldTrump. #PardonAssange #FreeAssangeNOW," Morris tweeted Thursday morning.

Morris and Assange had their first child, Gabriel, in 2016 prior to the couple's 2017 engagement. Morris gave birth to the pair's second son, Max, in February 2019, in a birth which was recorded using a GoPro. Morris told the Daily Mail in September that parenting has been "lonely, challenging" at time with the boys' father still in prison.

"Julian brought up his oldest son, mostly on his own, from when he was a toddler to adulthood so his default mode as a father is hands-on," Morris told the U.K. tabloid last month. "He's warm, easygoing and, above all, proud. Our boys are happy children, they love seeing their daddy's face and hearing his voice."

Assange is currently being kept in the high-security Belmarsh prison in the U.K., and has been since April 2019. At that time, he was forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London to face U.S. extradition charges. Assange had been hiding out in the embassy for seven years after he sought diplomatic asylum there from alleged sexual offense charges in Sweden.

Assange long maintained that the Swedish charges were just a ruse for U.S. intelligence officials to capture and extradite him to America.

The ex-Wikileaks boss is charged with conspiring with Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst, to hack into a Pentagon computer network and publish a trove of previously unreleased video and documents. U.S. prosecutors allege 17 charges under the Espionage Act against Assange in addition to one charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. If convicted, Assange could face up to 175 years in prison.

The "#FreeAssangeNow" hashtag has joined several similar social media calls over the years to pardon the Wikileaks founder. Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard joined Morris in pleading with Trump to release Assange before he leaves office on January 20, 2021. Gabbard also urged the president to pardon National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, who is currently avoiding U.S. prosecution in Moscow. Snowden has been receiving asylum in Russia since he fled the U.S. in June 2013.

Newsweek reached out to the Trump White House for additional remarks Thursday morning.

stella morris julian assage pardon
Stella Moris (C), the partner Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, arrives with Australian human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson, at the Old Bailey court in central London on September 7, 2020, for Assange's extradition hearing. - A London hearing resumes on Monday to decide if WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to the United States to face trial over the publication of secrets relating to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The 49-year-old Australian, who is currently being held on remand at a high-security jail, faces 18 counts from US prosecutors that could see him jailed for up to 175 years. TOLGA AKMEN / AFP/Getty Images