Paul Manafort met with Julian Assange in 2016

28 November, 2018, 02:02 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

Sources told the Guardian that Manafort, who was convicted in August of eight counts stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation inquiry, met with Assange on at least three occasions: in 2013, in 2015 and at the meeting in early 2016.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told the New York Daily News that Trump knew nothing of the alleged clandestine meeting between Manafort and Assange when he hired the 69-year-old GOP consultant.

Giuliani also said the US president hasn't ruled out pardoning Manafort, although he stressed there hasn't been any recent discussions on the matter.

The news came the day after it was revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller was seeking to call off his cooperation agreement with Manafort because the Trump campaign boss allegedly lied while offering evidence.

The Associated Press and other news outlets have reported that Assange is indeed facing unspecified charges under seal. Wikileaks has also denied that the meeting ever took place, tweeting that their organization "is willing to bet the Guardian a million dollars and its editor's head that Manafort never met with Assange".

In the lead-up to the election, WikiLeaks published rafts of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee, as well as from John Podesta, the manager of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

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Citing a "well-placed source", The Guardian reported that Manafort met with Assange around March 2016, just months before WikiLeaks released Democratic emails believed to be stolen by Russian intelligence officers.

Assange, however, is purposely not fleeing from the Ecuador Embassy in London as he fears he will be arrested by British authorities and extradited to the United States. But it was not clear what charges Assange would face.

Manafort himself released a statement later Tuesday calling the article "libelous" and claiming he was thinking of suing The Guardian.

Trump talked up the emails and their contents each day at his campaign events - even though he began receiving intelligence briefings two months earlier that would have told him of the Russian involvement, and despite an October 7, 2016, public statement by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security that described WikiLeaks as a participant in the "Russian-directed efforts".

Earlier that summer, Trump had publicly called on Russian Federation to find Clinton's emails from a private server she had used. You're not God. Mueller is not reining them in. Manafort entered into a plea deal with Mueller's office in September, pleading guilty to charges including conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Mueller's office said that after Manafort signed the agreement, he lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel's office, though Manafort denied the claims through his lawyers.

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