With the 2016 elections over and Trump as the President-elect, Julian Assange is finally asking for payment for his part in assisting the Trump campaign. Since 2011, Assange has been avoiding prosecution in the United States for leaking documents through his organization, Wikileaks, relating to foreign affairs with information that had been given “secret” classification by the U.S. government. In addition to this, he has also been avoiding prosecution in Sweden for a sexual assault case dating back to 2010. In order to escape and delay all charges, Assange sought political asylum in Ecuador in 2012, after being rejected for asylum in France on the grounds that he was in no imminent danger from U.S. prosecution.
While in Ecuador, Assange continued to released information through WikiLeaks, including but not limited to the DNC hack. Perhaps because Assange seems to think of Clinton as a personal enemy for her perceived involvement in prosecution against him, WikiLeaks began to publish information stoking the flames of anti-Clinton conspiracy theories, including an email Clinton received about a drug used to treat Parkinson’s in an attempt to paint Clinton as too ill for the presidency, despite the fact that there is no evidence Clinton requested the information. Assange continued to make assertions throughout the elections that he was on the verge of releasing more damning evidence against Clinton, though such evidence never came to fruition.
Though Assange’s influence in the election appears to be negligible, it was clear enough that he was attempting to influence it in Trump’s favor, to the point where Ecuador took away his internet access for fear of souring relations with the United States by allowing Assange to influence the election. In light of his anti-Clinton sentiment and despite the fact that he once likened Trump to cholera, Assange is now appealing to Trump to pardon him — the fact that he is currently under investigation and hasn’t actually been convicted of anything notwithstanding.
With a history of anti-semitism and misogyny behind him, Julian Assange would fit in well with the company Trump currently surrounds himself, including alt-right advocate Steve Bannon and of course, Trump himself.
Featured image via Democracy Now!