Tags: Russia Probe | wikileaks | julian assange | justice department | hacking | dnc

WikiLeaks: Witnesses Being Pushed to Testify Against Assange

julian assange cups his right hand around his right ear while listening outside a government building
(Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 January 2019 01:18 PM

Witnesses in the United States and overseas are being pushed to testify against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to WikiLeaks, which is urging the Justice Department to unseal charges that appeared to have been filed last November, implying the witnesses add further evidence that prosecutors are building a case against him.

"The submission reveals for the first time that U.S. federal prosecutors have in the last few months formally approached people in the United States, Germany, and Iceland and pressed them to testify against Mr. Assange in return for immunity from prosecution," WikiLeaks said in a statement, reported by NBC News.

"Those approached are associated with WikiLeaks' joint publications with other media about U.S. diplomacy, Guantanamo Bay, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

WikiLeaks, through a submission to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in Washington, wants charges that appeared to have been filed secretly against Assange in the Eastern District of Virginia last November. The documents were revealed through a mistake in a DOJ filing that suggested the charges.

WikiLeaks' statement also suggested the United States has been working with Ecuador to monitor Assange while he remains in exile at Ecuador's London embassy.

The Justice Department has declined comment on the WikiLeaks request, and a lawyer representing Assange referred NBC to another attorney in London, who did not respond to a comment request.

The statement did not mention WikiLeaks' part in leaking Democratic campaign emails that had been hacked during the 2016 presidential election.

The WikiLeaks statement portrays the group as a journalistic endeavor, and claimed the Trump administration wants to prosecute Assange as an "icebreaker" that would allow it to also prosecute media organizations like The Washington Post or The New York Times that use information from classified sources.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators are pushing witnesses in the United States and overseas to testify against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the company wrote in a news release, NBC News reports.
wikileaks, julian assange, justice department, hacking, dnc
Wednesday, 23 January 2019 01:18 PM
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