Just 44 days before Joe Biden’s inauguration as President of the United States, crypto players are asking Donald Trump to use his forgiving power for the founder of the Silk Road, Ross Ulbrecht.
In a recent tweet from Jason Williams, co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital Assets called on Trump to “do the right thing” by forgiving Ulbricht and whistleblower Edward Snowden. Peter McCormack of the podcast What Bitcoin Did followed a few days later adding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the list of potential pardons.
The three – Snowden, Albrecht and Assange – are some of the many names made by conservative advisers, analysts and commentators as Trump spends the rest of his presidential term. Ulbricht, founder of the dark Internet marketplace Silk Road, is currently serving two life sentences without parole after he was found guilty on federal charges of money laundering, computer hacking and conspiracy to smuggle drugs.
Snowden, a former entrepreneur at the National Security Agency, became a whistleblower after leaving the United States in 2013 and applying for asylum in Russia. The Ministry of Justice charged him with violating the 1917 Espionage Act and embezzling state property. Since then, it has been announced that he will be applying for Russian citizenship.
Despite being an Australian citizen, Assange has been tried by more than one national authority, including sexual assault charges in Sweden. In 2019, the United States accused him of violating the 1917 Espionage Act in connection with the publication of documents provided by US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning on WikiLeaks. Assange is currently in a British prison awaiting his extradition for trial in the United States.
According to the Supreme Court ruling, the authority of the President of the United States to pardon anyone is “limitless” – although this ruling is being questioned in the media amid rumors that Trump is considering giving himself up before leaving the White House on January 20, 2017. Pardon Or reduce or overturn the sentences handed down against 45 individuals accused of federal crimes.
Since there is no cap on the number of federal pardons Trump can issue, the decision about who gets them may be just a reaction to public outrage or personal preference. Trump said in August that he “should begin to consider forgiving Snowden,” while Assange’s attorney argued that the former Republican congressman had also offered the founder of WikiLeaks a presidential pardon. While Snowden could be pardoned, he also said that Assange should be pardoned in his stead.
Without a final statement from the US president and without an expiration date, cryptocurrency players seem to be hoping to put Assange, Snowden, Ulbricht or a group at the top of the list – or at least the Twitter note – to capture Trump’s attention.
Not all cryptocurrency users wanted Ulbricht to be free due to the controversial nature of the Silk Road as a middleman in buying and selling medicines.
“I will never understand why so many bitcoin fanatics seek forgiveness from Ross Albrecht,” said Jax Draper. “I think he received a harsh sentence and it could be changed, but it is far from innocent.” “