The indictment describes a relationship that ran from January to May 2010. During that time, Chelsea Manning, an Army intelligence analyst then known as Bradley Manning, sent "nearly complete" databases from U.S. government agencies to Wikileaks at Assange's request. The data included 90,000 Afghan war reports, 400,000 Iraq war reports, 800 assessment briefs of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and 250,000 diplomatic cables.
Assange also allegedly provided support to Manning, and encouraged her to keep leaking terabytes of information even after she said she couldn't access any more.
Assange is alleged to have helped Manning break a password associated with the U.S. government's Secret Internet Protocol Network, encouraged Manning to provide various records and information from several different departments and helped Manning conceal her identity while doing it.
The indictment also outlines an alleged "password cracking agreement," in which Assange helped Manning find sensitive passwords and attempt to crack them, in order to give her greater access to classified information. For this, Manning used a Linux-based software tool, the Justice Department alleges, though it's unclear where Manning obtained the software.
These are the basis of charges that Assange conspired to hack government computers and steal classified information.
Assange also allegedly pushed Manning for more information.
"After this upload, that's all I really have got left," Manning allegedly said in early 2010 after the initial leaks.
"Curious eyes never run dry in my experience," Assange replied, according to the indictment.
The army arrested Manning for the leaks in July 2010. Wikileaks publicly released the data starting later that year.
Assange used the diplomatic cables to take U.S. government officials and media outlets on a months-long ride, involving promises of massive file dumps, allegedly damaging data held as "insurance," and various other teases throughout 2010. The data dumps provided Wikileaks with significant media attention and caused diplomatic headaches and long-lasting repercussions in the relationships between the U.S. and its European allies.
Manning has said she leaked the information to Wikileaks because of grave concerns that media and government portrayals of success in Iraq and Afghanistan were a stark contrast to the starker, uglier reality she had been observing in her Army role.
At her sentencing in August 2013, she said, "When I made these decisions I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people. At the time of my decisions I was dealing with a lot of issues." She was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Throughout her court martial, Manning was often described by her attorneys as "emotionally fragile," and she said she became involved with Wikileaks staffers because they sympathized with her personally and made her feel like she could "be myself." Manning has so far fought a subpoena to testify in the case against Assange.