WikiLeaks Says The Senate Intel Committee Wants Assange To Testify On Russia Interference

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Above Photo: Julian Assange in 2017. Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno is negotiating Julian Assange leaving their UK embassy. He said “The agreement has to be one that defends Mr. Assange’s life, human rights and international norms.”  This includes, he said, that “the British government guarantees us that he will not run the risk of being extradited to another country.” KZ

The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to testify privately about Russian interference in the 2016 election. We know this because WikiLeaks, well, leaked the letter.

The intelligence panel won’t verify whether the request is real. But if it is, and Assange officially agrees to be interviewed about possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, it would be a big deal.

Here’s why: After members of Russia’s military intelligence unit hacked and stole emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, they handed them over to WikiLeaks. Assange’s organization then slowly disseminated them to the public, keeping the emails constantly in the news cycle during the 2016 presidential election.

Assange, who’s wanted on charges of rape and has avoided extradition by hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, denies his organization worked with Russia. “Our source is not the Russian government,” he told Fox News’s Sean Hannity in January 2017.

Despite this, WikiLeaks’ ties to Russia have long been known, even before the last presidential race.

As my colleague Matthew Yglesias noted, the release of the emails “also seemed strategically timed — the [DNC emails disrupted efforts to create a show of unity between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders at the beginning of the Democratic National Convention, while the Podesta emails were released right after the infamous Access Hollywood tape.”

That’s not all: Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone had private contact with WikiLeaks and claimed he had inside knowledge about Assange’s plans to release damaging information about Clinton.

In one instance on August 4, 2016, about a week after WikiLeaks posted the DNC emails, Stone emailed his longtime associate Sam Nunberg: “I dined with my new pal Julian Assange last nite.” (Stone has since said this was just a joke.)

That same day, Stone appeared on the Infowars radio show and said he thought Assange had “proof” of the Clintons’ corruption and would “furnish” that proof “to the American people.” He also mentioned that he spoke with Trump the day before, raising questions of what he might have told Trump.

But Stone suddenly began expressing doubt that Russia provided the DNC information to WikiLeaks — which contradicts what he had previously said, CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Christopher Massie reported in April.

Stone denies any collusion with WikiLeaks.

Surely Senate Intelligence Committee staffers will want to know more about all of these matters. But whether Assange — who reportedly believes all information should be public — will tell investigators exactly what he knows is still an open question.

  • mwildfire

    Why do you publish such stuff? A claim that Russia hacked the DNC stated as fact, tho Wkileaks has expressly denied this, then even a statement that Assange is “wanted on rape charges” which is plain false…

  • herbdavis

    I trust the words of the retired intelligence professionals(VIPS) that say it had to be a stick due to time constraints.

  • kevinzeese

    We publish it because it is important to know that some in the Senate want Assange to testify.

    Thanks for pointing out the shortcomings of the article, few articles are perfect but you are especially correct in highlighting that Assange has never been charged. Indeed, the investigation itself was rejected by prosecutors. When they found a politicized prosecutor to pursue the investigation she successfully drove Assange into the Embassy, refused to interview him there and finally did so and then dropped the investigation without any charges.

  • David Rubinson

    There is NO reason to promulgate this kind of slanted ignorant and libelous propaganda. Kevin: surely there are many other ways to help other people know that some in the Senate want Assange to testify without aiding and abetting this kind of crap.

  • dopfa

    “Assange, who’s wanted on charges of rape and has avoided extradition by
    hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, denies his organization
    worked with Russia.“Our source is not the Russian government,” he told Fox News’s Sean Hannity in January 2017. Despite this, WikiLeaks’ ties to Russia have long been known, even before the last presidential race.”

    I don’t know who you are, writing this false, inflammatory bull$hit, but Popular Resistance has just lost a lot of credibility allowing this crap on its site. The bogus charges from Sweden were dropped, and Julian Assange is “hiding” from the criminal US Government, not a false rape charge. The US Government wants Assange dead to send a message to the world that revealing atrocities committed by the US Military will result in death. He has not been charged with any crime, nor does he have “ties” to the Russian government, as he’s published 800,000 pages of documents on its crap too. Assange has a 100% accuracy rate, which I sure can’t say for this rag after reading the above pack of lies. His crime is publishing the truth about thousands of war crimes committed by both parties of the US Government’s mass slaughter of innocents in the name of righteousness (with impunity!). JULIAN ASSANGE IS AN ENEMY OF THE STATE BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS THE ENEMY OF THE STATE.
    The author of this article must be its dear friend.

  • Nora Temple

    Popular Resistance:
    “After members of Russia’s military intelligence unit hacked and stole emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, they handed them over to WikiLeaks. ”

    No. This is the original lie invented to deflect attention from the criminal activity revealed in the Podesta emails. Why is Popular Resistance replaying this garbage? That makes you no better than the neoliberal establishment that subverts elections to its own agenda. Huge erosion of trust in PR as a news source if you’re accepting or promulgating this propaganda as your default.

  • Defen Estrange

    It is important to know that some in the Senate want Assange to testify, but it is disheartening that this piece would be considered appropriate to convey this information. At least you got our attention. How soon will we see the definitive article that addresses these issues from a truly independent perspective?