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September 8, 2020, 05.07 PM

But many were horrified when WikiLeaks dumped unredacted documents online, including the names of informants, and Assange fell out spectacularly with erstwhile media partners such as The New York Times and The Guardian newspaper.

Questions also mounted about his relationship with Russia.

Special prosecutor Robert Mueller's probe into interference in the 2016 US presidential election found that Russians hacked Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign, "and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks".

Read also: Expect Foreign Interference from Russia, China, and Iran in US Presidential Election

In a preliminary court hearing in London in February, Assange's lawyer alleged US President Donald Trump had promised a pardon if he denied that Russia leaked the emails that so damaged Clinton.

The White House denied the claim and Trump — who in 2016 declared his "love" for WikiLeaks — has always angrily rejected allegations that his campaign colluded with the Kremlin. 

(Writer: Alice Ritchie)


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