Juan Branco, Julian Assange’s legal advisor released a statement during the Web Summit, the world’s leading technology event taking place in Lisbon.
Juan Branco participated in the talk “Should the Internet be a safe place?” in the “Future Societies” stage with Salil Shetty from the Amnesty International, Laurie Penny (New Statement), Rabia Chaudry from Adnan’s Story and the artist Helly Luv.
Following his talk, Juan Branco released the Julian Assange statement saying WikiLeaks publication of material linked to Hillary Clinton was not based on any desire to influence the U.S. election.
Julian Assange said in the statement that recently, WikiLeaks and he have been under pressure not to publish “what the Clinton campaign says about itself to itself”. He stated that the “pressure has come from the campaign’s allies, including the Obama administration, and from liberals who are anxious about who will be elected US President.”
Mr. Assange pointed out that “Irrespective of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election, the real victor is the US public which is better informed as a result of our work.”
The information WikiLeaks leaks had that fit the editorial criteria related to the Sanders and Clinton campaign (DNC Leaks) and the Clinton political campaign and Foundation (Podesta Emails) had to, according to Julian Assange, be released. “No-one disputes the public importance of these publications. It would be unconscionable for WikiLeaks to withhold such an archive from the public during an election.”
Regarding the alleged missing leaks about Donald Trump, Mr. Assang said: “At the same time, we cannot publish what we do not have. To date, we have not received information on Donald Trump’s campaign, or Jill Stein’s campaign, or Gary Johnson’s campaign or any of the other candidates that fulfill our stated editorial criteria.”
“We have endured intense criticism, primarily from Clinton supporters, for our publications. Many long-term supporters have been frustrated because we have not addressed this criticism in a systematic way or responded to a number of false narratives about Wikileaks’ motivation or sources. Ultimately, however, if Wikileaks reacted to every false claim, we would have to divert resources from our primary work.”, he said.
Assange has been living in Ecuador’s London embassy since 2012.