Judge defers action on request to unseal Assange charges

Assange-Manafort meeting claim backed by anonymous sources what else do ‘collusion skeptics’ need
Report: Paul Manafort Met With Julian Assange Months Before WikiLeaks Published DNC Emails

28 November, 2018

The publication says Manafort met with Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016-coinciding with the former lobbyist's tenure as the Trump campaign's chairman.

Issa said that the special counsel's team doesn't want to hear Manafort say that he knows of no crimes by the Trump campaign. His contacts with Trump's campaign have been a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election on behalf of Trump.

A decision whether to unseal US government charges against Julian Assange was delayed for a week by Judge Leonie Brinkema in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Tuesday.

WikiLeaks said on Twitter that it was willing "to bet. a million dollars and the editor's head" that the story was wrong and the anti-secrecy group said it was launching a legal defense fund. That third meeting came just months before WikiLeaks released a trove of politically damaging Hillary Clinton and Democratic Party emails that had been stolen by Russian Federation.

A U.S. judge has postponed ruling on a legal bid to unseal reported criminal charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

"Manafort visited Ecuador using a phone registered under a false name and traveled on one of three USA passports he possesses before going to Mexico and China weeks later", the Associated Press wrote, citing court documents.

The Guardian report did not specify when in March 2016 Manafort allegedly met with Assange.

As the Guardian notes, Manafort has claimed he had nothing to do with the hack. Prosecutors say Assange got it from Russia's intelligence service.

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Earlier that summer, Trump had publicly called on Russian Federation to find Clinton's emails from a private server she had used.

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".

In recent months, Mueller's team has subpoenaed associates of Trump's political adviser and Manafort's former business partner, Roger Stone, who has denied having access to the emails.

He also said that he wouldn't expect the president to pardon Manafort right away, if at all, since he's facing a slew of state charges.

Manafort is now serving time in a Virginia jail after his August conviction of bank and tax fraud stemming from Mueller's probe. "You don't exert undue pressure on people".

On Monday prosecutors said in a court filing that Manafort had lied to investigators, in violation of a plea agreement he made in September.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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