Julian Assange on Friday credited the Obama administration for putting him in place to publish sensitive documents through his WikiLeaks website, including Democratic emails released during the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
Mr. Assange made the remarks on Twitter in response to a tweet last month by Eric Holder, the former U.S. attorney general in office when the Justice Department initiated its investigation of WikiLeaks following its publication of classified U.S. diplomatic and military documents in 2010.
“Russian threat to our upcoming elections: do something! Do anything. Impose sanctions overwhelmingly approved by even this dysfunctional congress. Are you simply unfit, without the necessary nerve or do they have something on you? We were attacked!” Mr. Holder tweeted Feb. 20.
“Attacked? By what? The truth?” Mr. Assange responded Friday.
“It’s entirely your own fault, Eric. Thanks to your unconstitutional grand jury against @WikiLeaks you left me with nothing to do but work 24/7, in harsh conditions, for years—and I’m good, very good, at my job,” he tweeted.
Mr. Holder did not immediately respond to Mr. Assange’s remark.
Mr. Assange, 46, who has resided within Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012 in lieu of being arrested by British authorities over a matter unrelated to WikiLeaks, said he fears he’ll be extradited to the U.S. if he exits the building and charged in connection with his website’s publications.
He’s hardly relented in spilling U.S. secrets, however, evidenced most notably by WikiLeaks’ release during the 2016 presidential race of emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, chairman of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign.
Russian state-sponsored hackers penetrated the DNC and Mr. Podesta’s personal email account in order to steal material subsequently provided to WikiLeaks for publication as part of a Kremlin-authorized interference campaign targeting the 2016 race and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign in particular, U.S. intelligence officials have assessed with “high confidence.”
Moscow has denied hacking U.S. targets, and Mr. Assange has insisted that the documents published by WikiLeaks were provided by neither the Russian government nor any other “state parties.”
The Justice Department has not publicly charged Mr. Assange with any crimes, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously called prosecuting the WikiLeaks founder a “priority” for the Trump administration.
Mr. Assange, an Australian, entered the Ecuadorean Embassy in 2012 rather than answering questions in Sweden by federal prosecutors investigating allegations of rape. He received asylum that summer and was naturalized by Ecuador late last year.
Sweden dropped their rape investigation in 2017, but British authorities allege Mr. Assange was under house arrest when he entered the embassy and should be prosecuted for jumping bond, spurring an ongoing multinational impasse between London and Quito nearing the start of its seventh year this summer.