Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to his role in one of the largest breaches of information in U.S. history.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that Assange had also been charged with conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information, conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, and multiple counts of obtaining and disclosing national defense information.
“According to the charging document, Assange and others at WikiLeaks recruited and agreed with hackers to commit computer intrusions to benefit WikiLeaks,” the DOJ said in a statement.
The indictment cites several past cases in which Assange is alleged to have broken the law, such as allegations that he obtained Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs, U.S. State Department documents, and “secret” Iraq rules of engagement.
There was “reason to believe that the information was to be used to the injury of the United States and the advantage of any foreign nation,” the indictment alleges.
“In 2010, Assange gained unauthorized access to a government computer system of a NATO country,” The Department of Justice statement said. “In 2012, Assange communicated directly with a leader of the hacking group LulzSec, and provided a list of targets for LulzSec to hack.”
The court documents also mention Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of leaking over 700,000 government documents and sentenced to 35 years in jail in 2013.
President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in 2017. However, Manning was returned to jail after refusing to testify in the WikiLeaks trial.
Court documents from Wednesday revealed that the U.S. Government has evidence that Manning and Assange began communicating back in 2010.
Assange faces up to 10 years for 17 out of the 18 counts and five years for the remaining count. He is currently in the United Kingdom on an extradition request from the United States, according to the Department of Justice statement. Assange was arrested in April 2019 by British authorities after living in the Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012, the Times reported.
Democrats also blamed Assange for his role in WikiLeaks releasing emails from members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 election.
Last year, a federal judge tossed a lawsuit from the Democratic National Committee alleging that President Donald Trump’s campaign and former Trump adviser Roger Stone conspired with Russia and WikiLeaks to publish hacked DNC emails during the 2016 presidential election.
U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle ruled that the lawsuit was too flimsy for the case to proceed.
The DNC’s multi-million dollar lawsuit against Trump’s campaign, WikiLeaks, and Russia was nothing more than a publicly stunt Democrats who still cannot fathom that Trump is the duly elected president.
The lawsuit claimed WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, stole the documents and emails from the DNC on behalf of the Russian government. It then contended that WikiLeaks and Russia worked with the Trump campaign through back-channels to undermine Clinton’s campaign, which is why they claim she lost.
Rather than admit Clinton was an awful and corrupt candidate, the DNC conjured up a phony lawsuit in an attempt to invalidate the duly elected president.