Published: Wed, November 28, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Manafort met with Julian Assange ahead of 2016 leaks

Manafort met with Julian Assange ahead of 2016 leaks

"This story is totally false and deliberately libellous", said a statement issued through his spokesman.

Friction between Mr Assange and the diplomatic staff is known to have risen.

"I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him".

Assange has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy since seeking political asylum in 2012.

The newspaper also reported that an internal document written by Ecuador's intelligence agency and seen by The Guardian contains Manafort's name on a list of "well-known" guests at the embassy in 2013. "@WikiLeaks is willing to bet the Guardian a million dollars and its editor's head that Manafort never met Assange". It was Mueller's biggest victory to date, since Manafort could provide valuable information about any cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Assange and WikiLeaks released an avalanche of stolen data aimed at causing chaos in the presidential election in 2016.

A federal judge in Virginia appeared reluctant Tuesday to grant a request to unseal a criminal complaint against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, emphasizing the "compelling interest" the government has in keeping such matters under wraps until he is arrested, should that happen. We are considering all legal options against the Guardian who proceeded with this story even after being notified by my representatives that it was false.

The team of journalists given access to him last week say he now spends most of his time preparing for his criminal defense against the United States charges.

USA intelligence agencies have concluded that the emails were stolen by Russian intelligence officers.

The campaign seized on the emails to undermine Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton. "But the last meeting is likely to come under scrutiny and could interest Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation".

Two other Trump allies, longtime Republican consultant and lobbyist Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, in recent weeks have both publicly said they expect to be charged by Mueller's team in connection with their involvement with Assange and the stolen emails.

Manafort is now serving time in a Virginia jail after his August conviction of bank and tax fraud stemming from Mueller's probe. The Guardian said Manafort returned there in 2015 and 2016 and said its sources had "tentatively dated" the final visit to March. "It's a joke", Giuliani said, pointing to his own months as an adviser to Trump's campaign.

Manafort's statement came one day after special counsel Robert Mueller's office told a federal judge that Manafort had breached his plea agreement by lying repeatedly to the FBI despite pledging to co-operate with the probe.

Manafort has been at the heart of several unresolved threads of the Robert Mueller investigation.

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