MINNEAPOLIS — As WikiLeaks prepares to publish more of Hillary Clinton’s emails, the organization’s founder, Julian Assange, suggested they show Clinton violated the law.
“We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton,” Assange told Robert Peston, host of the ITV News program “Peston on Sunday” on June 12:
“WikiLeaks has a very big year ahead,” Assange added.
He spoke with Peston by remote video from the Embassy of Ecuador in London, where Assange has lived on asylum since 2012.
The WikiLeaks archive of Clinton’s emails already contains more than 30,000 emails sent to and from her private email server while she was secretary of state. The documents were provided in PDF format by the State Department and converted into a searchable format by WikiLeaks.
Clinton is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation over the contents of her private email server. While Assange asserted that the emails provide enough evidence of criminal wrongdoing for an indictment, he also speculated that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will never allow it.
“She’s not going to indict Hillary Clinton, that’s not possible that could happen,” he said.
Instead, he suggested, “The FBI can push for concessions from the new Clinton government in exchange for its lack of indictment.”
As one example of the “very strong material” concerning Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, the family’s charitable organization, Assange cited an email in which Clinton asked an aide to send a classified fax via email, and appears to instruct him to strip off the header marking the information as classified before doing so.
In the June 17, 2011 email, the aide, Jake Sullivan, told Clinton, “They say they’ve had issues sending secure fax. They’re working on it.” Clinton responded, “If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.”
“Of course, I think, personally, a lot of of these [classification] procedures are ridiculous, but Hillary Clinton has been pushing to prosecute others, and so has Barack Obama, who violate technically these procedures,” Assange told Peston.
Last year, the Justice Department convicted Jeffrey Sterling, a CIA whistleblower, on nine felony counts, including espionage, based on largely circumstantial evidence that he’d provided classified information to New York Times reporter James Risen about a failed effort to undermine Iran’s nuclear program.
Peston asked Assange whether his criticism of Clinton means he is endorsing Donald Trump for president. Assange responded by criticizing both candidates.
“Trump is a completely unpredictable phenomenon,” he said of the presumptive Republican nominee. “You can’t predict what he would do in office. You can predict a bit more what the Republican Party would do in office.”
However, Assange also suggested that he feels personally threatened by a potential Clinton presidency. “From my personal perspective, the emails we’ve published show that Hillary Clinton is receiving constant updates about my personal situation.”
A search of the WikiLeaks archive of Clinton’s emails shows Assange is mentioned 51 times.
“She has pushed for the prosecution of WikiLeaks,” he added. “So, we do see her as a problem for freedom of the press more generally.”
He also called Clinton a “lethal war hawk” and attacked her support for the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi, which he said opened the door to “ISIS taking over” Libya. The WikiLeaks archive shows Clinton negotiating with France and the United Kingdom over who would lay claim to the country’s resources after the fall of the Gadhafi government.
It’s not the first time Assange has criticized Clinton’s foreign policy. In a February editorial published on WikiLeaks, “A vote today for Hillary Clinton is a vote for endless, stupid war,” Assange concluded:
“Hillary’s problem is not just that she’s war hawk. She’s a war hawk with bad judgement who gets an unseemly emotional rush out of killing people. She shouldn’t be let near a gun shop, let alone an army. And she certainly should not become president of the United States.”
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