Hillary Clinton on Thursday responded to news that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorean embassy, and may be extradited to the US to face charges related to hacking classified US documents, saying that Assange should “answer for what he has done.”
Wikileaks played a damaging role in Clinton’s failed presidential run in 2016, releasing an archive of over 30,000 emails sent from Clinton’s private email server while she was US Secretary of State, as well as internal communications between the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.
Speaking at an event in New York on Thursday, Clinton said Assange should “answer for what he has done.”
“The bottom line is that he has to answer for what he has done, at least as it has been charged,” she said of Assange.
President Trump and his associates have repeatedly denied knowledge of the Russia-backed campaign to hack into the DNC servers, though as a candidate he often referenced Clinton’s private emails and even expressed support for Wikileaks.
Referencing Trump’s hardline immigration policies, Clinton joked about Assange, saying: “I do think its a little ironic that hes the only foreigner this administration would welcome to the United States.”
Australian-born Assange was arrested by UK police on Thursday morning at the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he had been holed up for nearly seven years. After his arrest, Assange was taken to court and was convicted on a charge of skipping bail in 2012.
On Thursday, US law enforcement issued an extradition request in relation to Assange’s activities with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who was convicted in 2013 of leaking state secrets to WikiLeaks.
On May 2, he will appear in a London court via video link regarding the extradition request.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Assange would not receive special treatment , and that the Australian-born citizen would be at the mercy of the judicial system overseas.
“It doesn’t matter what particular crime it is they’ve alleged to have committed,” Morrison told the Australian Broadcasting Network on Friday local time. “That’s the way the system works.”