Yesterday, Wikileaks founder and director Julian Assange was arrested outside of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Service, and he is currently in police custody.
Upon hearing the news of his arrest, Democrats shared their thoughts on what Assange’s arrest indicates.
The controversial figure has drawn supporters and detractors, and Assange and Wikileaks gained prominence during the 2016 Presidential elections where Wikileaks brought to light emails sent and received from Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State. In addition, Wikileaks also released content from the Democratic National Committee, which showed that the DNC favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primaries. This led to the resignation of the party chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Her long-time political rival and critic, Tim Canova, a Florida law professor, who was endorsed by Bernie Sanders in his first run against Wasserman Schultz, took to instagram to share why he thought that Assange’s arrest is troubling.
In the Instagram post, Canova shared a picture of Assange being arrested, and Canova captioned that Assange was being “prosecuted for publishing leaks of official corruption & war crimes, smeared with lies by US intel liars.” In addition, Canova noted that the “1st amendment is supposed to protect publishers & press freedoms, but it’s no match for deep state criminals.”
Canova concluded by stating, “welcome to 1984.”
Another critic of the arrest is 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, who took to twitter to comment on the arrest, explaining that “the purpose of arresting Julian Assange is to send a message to the people, especially journalists, to be quiet and don’t get out of line. If we, the people, allow the government to control us through fear, we are no longer free, we are no longer America.”
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Gabbard elaborated on her thoughts, saying that Assange’s arrest is an example of the Government saying “this is what happens when you release information that we don’t want you to release.”
The purpose of arresting #JulianAssange is to send a message to the people, especially journalists, to be quiet and don’t get out of line. If we, the people, allow the government to control us through fear, we are no longer free, we are no longer America. pic.twitter.com/2sedynREP9
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) April 11, 2019
Assange faces extradition and prosecution in the United States on charges of conspiracy to hack United States computers that had classified information.