Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, doubting that Hillary Clinton will be indicted by a Justice Department headed by an Obama appointee, said the organization is ready to release a new trove of emails from her private server. While not optimistic about the FBI’s investigation leading to criminal charges, he hopes that further leaks will pressure her to make policy concessions in a prospective Clinton administration.
His actions are viewed in some quarters as an attempt to deflect the flack surrounding his own predicament, and perhaps provide him with some leverage. Whatever the rational, this development is not good news for a Clinton team already badly battered by the strife swirling about the email issue, and hunkering down in an attempt to weather the storm. The prospective release will undoubtedly further enflame her detractors, and give new ammunition to her Republican opponent. Donald Trump, is already assailing her relentlessly over the email controversy.
Assange’s comments came in an interview on ITV. “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton … We have emails pending publication, that is correct,” he said. The WikiLeaks founder has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since July 2012, when he sought asylum in order to avoid extradition to Swden over an rape allegation – a charge he denies.
Assange is no admirer of Hillary Clinton, and views her as a “liberal war hawk,” and a proponent of regime change who led the campaign to oust Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi . As a result, the country is in a shambles, and he faults Clinton for the chaos which has ensued – as has Donald Trump.
Like many people in a position to know, Assange sees it as highly unlikely that the US attorney general, Loretta Lynch, will indict Clinton,
“She’s not going to indict Hillary Clinton, that’s not possible. It’s not going to happen. But the FBI can push for concessions from a Clinton government.”
He did not detail exactly what form those concessions might take, nor did he seem to consider that the FBI is not known for sacrificing its credibility by pulling their investigative punches. Regardless, the release of the emails is imminent. This will mark the second time that Wikileaks has leaked Clinton’s emails. It launched a batch exceeding 30,000 such emails sent to and from Clinton’s private email server while she was US Secretary of State.
Wikileaks’ prospective release of a new batch of emails comes at a bad time for Clinton, who has been garnering support for her stance. While in retrospect using a personal email system was a mistake, she did nothing illegal. Also, ignoring the State Department’s Inspector General’s 78-page report (.pdf) contradicting her assertions, she holds the practice of running a personal server to be permitted.
The Wikileaks action will keep the pot simmering through the summer at least, during which time the FBI will probably conclude their investigation. Hence she is likely to have to play defense at a time when she would like to be on offense against her opponent, Donald Trump.
It is unclear whether the new emails will reveal the existence of a “smoking gun”, which has thus far been absent. Nonetheless, the mere continued dribble of email information may be enough to convince voters that her pathological phobia, manipulation, deceit and shocking hubris are enough to disqualify her from occupying the White House. Stay tuned – it’s about to get more interesting!