WikiLeaks' long-broken website spurs freakout that Biden got Assange to remove DNC emails in plea

Salma Bashir/ShutterStock Cancillería del Ecuador/Flicker (Licensed)

WikiLeaks’ long-broken website spurs freakout that Biden got Assange to remove DNC emails in plea deal

Assange’s plea deal does not mention the deletion of already published files.

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Conservatives are spreading the false claim that WikiLeaks was forced to delete a cache of emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as part of the plea deal that saw Julian Assange released from custody this week.

Assange plead guilty to one felony charge of conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information in exchange for his release, thus putting an end to his 14-year legal battle.

Following his release, WikiLeaks website—which, as reported by the Daily Dot, has been slowly following apart for years—has seen an influx of visitors.

WikiLeaks has struggled to maintain the site as the bulk of its funding has been going to defending Assange.

But conservatives visiting the site became convinced that its years-long technical issues, such as the DNC emails becoming sporadically unavailable, was evidence of suppression in the wake of Assange’s plea.

The claim was spread by prominent far-right accounts such as “Catturd,” who vaguely claimed that “something is way off” about Assange’s situation, given that his deal came under the Biden administration.

“From the weird plea deal, sudden release, and Wikileaks deleting their DNC files – I don’t know what it is, but something doesn’t smell right about the Julian Assange release,” Catturd wrote. “Something is way off. Anyone else feeling this?”

The DNC leak was a cache of emails released in the run-up to the 2016 election that sparked numerous conspiracies and some believe swung the election to former President Donald Trump.

Mario Nawfal, another popular X user known for spreading sensational claims, likewise told his more than 1.5 million users that the DNC emails had disappeared.

“Following Julian Assange’s guilty plea to unlawfully obtaining and disclosing classified documents related to national defense, WikiLeaks has removed all DNC emails from its platform; all emails appear with an Internal Server Error Message,” Nawfal said.

The claim was spread to millions more by Andy Ngo in a post on the right-wing outlet The Post Millennial.

“Around 45,000 DNC emails appear to have been removed from Wikileaks following Julian Assange pleading guilty and being released to his native Australia,” Ngo said. “Those emails showed how the DNC favored Hillary Clinton & attempted to undermine Bernie Sanders.” Read:”

But Assange’s plea deal does not state that WikiLeaks must delete information hosted on its website, such as the DNC emails. Instead, the deal specified that WikiLeaks must return or destroy any classified information that it has not made public.

Not only that, the DNC emails continue to be hosted by WikiLeaks, although server issues cause them to become temporarily unavailable at times.


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