Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been summarily “dismissed” from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Assange was arrested on an extradition request from the U.S. and for violating UK bail conditions after being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven years. Now, two of the people that helped make him a household name –President Trump and Hillary Clinton– are reacting…though very differently.
- For his part, the President he deferred questions to the Justice Department, saying he “knows nothing about WikiLeaks” and “it’s not my thing.” Of course, that’s very different than the way he continuously praised the group during his 2016 presidential campaign.
- As for Mrs. Clinton, she thinks that Assange needs to answer to his charges, Clinton also dismissed suggestions that the arrest is an attack on journalists. “I think it is clear from the indictment it's not about punishing journalism,” she notes. “It's about assisting the hacking of a military computer to steal information from the US government.”
Meanwhile, lawyers for Assange are fighting his extradition request from the U.S. UK officials have confirmed the request for extradition is for alleged an "computer related offense," and WikiLeaks Editor in Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson says UK officials must stop this petition. Until it gets sorted out, Assange will remain jailed in London for the bail condition charge – at least until his extradition hearing on May 2nd.
- To review, the Justice Department charges are connected to the Wikileaks release of classified documents from former Army private Chelsea Manning(who you’ll recall was court-martialed in 2013, imprisoned until 2017 when President Obama commuted her sentence). Manning went back to the last month for her continued refusal to testify before a grand jury against Assange.