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Sanders co-chair: Greenwald charges could cause 'chilling effect on journalism across the world'

Sanders co-chair: Greenwald charges could cause 'chilling effect on journalism across the world'

Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election MORE (D-Calif.), a co-chairman for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks What's behind the divisions over Biden's secretary of Labor? Young voters set turnout record, aiding Biden win MORE’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, spoke out Tuesday against charges by the Brazilian government against American journalist Glenn Greenwald, saying the country illustrated the need for Espionage Act reform in the U.S.

“Prosecuting reporters for doing their work will have chilling effect on journalism across the world,” Khanna tweeted Tuesday. “I'm crafting legislation to protect journalists from being prosecuted over their published work.”

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Khanna wrote he is currently developing legislation to amend the law, which was the basis for federal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeAi Weiwei stages silent protest against Assange extradition Psychiatrist says Assange told him he was hearing imaginary voices, music Assange extradition hearing delayed over coronavirus concerns MORE to ensure it cannot be used to indict journalists.

"The Trump administration charging Assange opened up a chilling effect on journalism," Khanna told CBS News.

"If you are the recipient of information that is sensitive and you haven't been involved in assisting the collection of information, but you're just receiving that information from a source and publishing it for journalistic purposes — then you can't be prosecuted.”

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Khanna said that he hopes to work with Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashIncoming GOP lawmaker shares video of hotel room workout, citing 'Democrat tyrannical control' Rundown of the House seats Democrats, GOP flipped on Election Day Romney congratulates Biden after victory MORE (I-Mich.), a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus who was later removed from it after leaving the Republican Party, as well as conservative members he believes may be similarly concerned about the potential for government overreach.

The eventual bill, he said, “will be a major protection for journalists' ability to work on these critical issues.”

Greenwald, who lives in Brazil, has been accused by prosecutors of cyber crimes in relation to his publication of private phone conversations involving high-level Brazilian officials. He has denied all charges and called them “an obvious attempt to attack a free press” in retaliation for his reporting on President Jair Bolsonaro's government.