Assange initially sought asylum in 2012 to fend off extradition to Sweden, where he faced sexual assault allegations. Ecuador accepted Assange and ultimately granted him citizenship.
In May 2017, Swedish authorities dropped the sexual assault investigation. But Assange refused to leave the embassy for fear of extradition to the United States, which is investigating him for espionage. He also faced arrest by British police for breaching bail conditions.
In July 2016, WikiLeaks released thousands of emails that had been stolen from the Democratic National Committee by a cyber-hack that U.S. intelligence officials concluded was orchestrated by the Russian government.