WikiLeaks says Senate panel seeks interview with founder Assange

Lamar Ellis
August 10, 2018

On Wednesday, WikiLeaks said the Senate letter - dated August 1 - was delivered to Assange via the USA embassy in London, but the mission declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

His lawyer Jennifer Robinson has today confirmed Assange is "seriously considering" the the request but explained there would be caveats attached.

WikiLeaks, a central figure in the 2016 election and the recipient of an email trove stolen by Russian intelligence, is "considering the offer".

There have also been reports that Ecuador and Britain have reached, or are about to reach, a deal on ending the asylum for Assange.

Wikileaks legal team, the organization's Twitter account said, is "considering the offer but the conditions must conform to a high ethical standard".

The letter, from Richard Burr, chairman, and Mark Warner, vice-chairman, respectively of the panel, was sent on 1 August through the United States embassy in London. The letter says the committee requests Assange make himself available for a closed-door interview "at a mutually agreeable time and location".

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Assange fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, seeking asylum from possible extradition to the U.S., where he faced indictment under the Espionage Act for publishing leaked government documents.

However, he would be arrested by British police for breaching bail conditions should he leave the building, and he has always said he fears being extradited to the United States for having published a huge cache of US diplomatic and military secrets on the WikiLeaks website.

Sweden dropped its investigation into Assange over allegations of sexual offenses in May 2017.

His testimony could be useful to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the "bipartisan" investigation into Russian meddling Trump has branded a "witch hunt".

In the summer and fall of 2016, WikiLeaks published thousands of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee's servers and from Hillary Clinton senior aide John Podesta, which were pilfered by Russian intelligence.

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