Wikileaks Calls for The Guardian 'Editor's Head', After Assange/Manafort Bombshell Story Breaks

28 November, 2018, 03:26 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • A lawyer for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort reportedly briefed President Trump's lawyers about Manafort's interactions with special counsel Robert Mueller's team

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg argued that the government has never said it was investigating Assange, only WikiLeaks and those leaking to it.

The Guardian said it was unclear why Manafort visited Assange, who has been living at the embassy since he sought refuge in 2012 over a Swedish sexual assault case that was later dropped.

On Tuesday, The Guardian published a "bombshell" report alleging that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort held "secret talks" at the Ecuadorian embassy with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including one alleged meeting that took place around the time Manafort joined the Trump campaign in 2016.

The surprise development came as Mueller is working toward finalizing a report on his probe into whether Russian Federation and Trump's campaign colluded in the 2016 presidential election. Manafort has repeatedly denied any involvement in the hacking and called the claim "100% false", The Guardian reports.

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"I would say it's a good hypothesis that he never meant to cooperate and that he's angling for a pardon at some point in time", Wisenberg said. "I have never reached out to Assange or Wikileaks on any matter", Manafort said in a statement released by his legal team. In an apparent reference to recent accusations against Paul Manafort, he slammed Mueller for allegedly ruining the lives of people who 'refuse to lie [for him]'.

And WikiLeaks said on Twitter that it was "willing to bet the Guardian a million dollars and its editor's head that Manafort never met Assange".

The Associated Press and other news outlets have reported that Assange is indeed facing unspecified charges under seal. The surprise claim arrived as Mueller's team has grappled with a string of complications involving investigation targets in the probe into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates during the 2016 presidential election.

In her comments to the court, Judge Brinkema appeared to be siding with the government's argument that there is no legal precedent for the release of a criminal complaint or indictment in a case before an arrest is made. Manafort entered into a plea deal with Mueller's office in September, pleading guilty to charges including conspiracy to obstruct justice.

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For more than a year now, Manafort has been at the heart of several unresolved threads of the Mueller investigation.

In a federal court on Tuesday in Alexandria, Virginia, Judge Leonie Brinkema called it "an interesting case, to say the least", according to USA media.

"London is the most watched city in the western world and if Manafort was there, there is nearly certainly CCTV camera footage of that happening and of course Paul Manafort's travel records of him coming in and out of London as well", he said.

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