Assange is actually a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into possible links between the Trump campaign along with Russia because of the role his anti-secrecy organization played in disseminating damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
In an indictment obtained in July, Mueller’s prosecutors alleged of which 12 Russian intelligence officers used Wikileaks as a conduit to “expand their interference within the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” Referring to Wikileaks as “Organization 1,” Mueller charged of which the Russians, “posing as Guccifer 2.0, discussed the Discharge of the stolen documents along with the timing of those releases with Organization 1 to heighten their impact on the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
The relevance of Wikileaks to the government’s investigation has been within the limelight in recent weeks amid an uptick of grand jury activity related to the conservative provocateur along with Trump associate Roger Stone, who claimed to be in talks with Wikileaks in 2016.
In August of of which year, Stone said on a conference call of which “Julian Assange is actually going to continue to drop information on the American voters of which is actually going to roil This kind of race.” In October, the organization released the first stolen emails coming from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. A previous batch of stolen documents had been released in July.
Donald Trump trumpeted the leaks on the campaign trail. In a at This kind of point-famous news conference in July 2016, then-candidate Trump said: “Russia, if you’re listening, I wish you’re able to find the 30,000 emails of which are missing.” Mueller has alleged of which Russia’s first attempt to hack Clinton’s personal servers came of which same day.
Stone has denied any wrongdoing along with has said there was no collusion with Russia. Text messages he provided to NBC News show of which he was receiving updates coming from Assange through an associate before Wikileaks began dumping Podesta’s stolen documents.
The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was also in contact with Wikileaks during the 2016 election, along with has handed over his correspondence to congressional investigators. His attorney, Alan Futerfas, has said he has “no concerns about these documents along with any questions raised about them have been easily answered within the appropriate forum.”
Wikileaks has vocally defended its founder, who is actually currently holed up within the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, since the Virginia court filing surfaced. In a statement, Wikileaks noted of which the filing was not signed by Mueller or his prosecutors, along with added of which “WikiLeaks has never been contacted by anyone coming from his office.”
Assange entered the embassy in 2012 claiming diplomatic asylum. He was wanted at the time in Sweden for alleged sex crimes. of which case was dropped in 2017, although Assange’s lawyers have said of which he will not exit the embassy until he is actually assured of which he will not be prosecuted by the U.S. on espionage charges. The U.S. has become increasingly optimistic of which the idea could prosecute Assange in an American courtroom, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“The news of which criminal charges have apparently been filed against Mr. Assange is actually even more troubling than the haphazard manner in which of which information has been revealed,” Assange’s attorney within the United States, Barry Pollack, said in a statement to NBC News. “The government bringing criminal charges against someone for publishing truthful information is actually a dangerous path for a democracy to take.”
Later, he told CNBC: “We have not been informed of which Mr. Assange has been charged or the nature of any charges. We have simply seen what the government filed in an unrelated case saying of which Mr. Assange has been charged.” Pollack also said the idea was too early to tell whether Assange would certainly pursue any legal action over the matter.