Senate Intelligence Committee asks WikiLeaks’ Assange to testify

August 9, 2018

WikiLeaks—the organization led by Julian Assange that posted candidate Hillary Clinton’s private emails, as well as emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), on its website at several critical junctures during the 2016 presidential campaign—broke news on August 8 that the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee “has called on editor @JulianAssange to testify.”

In a letter signed by Senators Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) and Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), the chairman and vice chairman of the select committee—and delivered by U.S. embassy personnel in London directly to Assange, who remains in hiding to avoid extradition under the U.S. Espionage Act at Ecuador’s embassy—the group asked the WikiLeaks editor to make himself available for a closed-door bipartisan discussion “at a mutually agreeable time and location” to discuss “Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.”

Interestingly enough, WikiLeaks pointed out, eight other legislators, not all of them on the panel, also had “demanded today that @JulianAssange’s asylum be revoked in violation of international law. Remember them.” Those legislators included Senators Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Dianne Feinstein (D-California), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), Chris Coons (D-Delaware), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire).

Committee members Kamala Harris (D-California), Martin Heinrich (D,New Mexico), Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) were rather conspicuously absent from that list; as were all Republicans, save Burr.

In response to the letter, WikiLeaks’ legal team said they are “considering the offer, but testimony must conform to a high ethical standard.”

A CNN poll conducted at the end of June found that most Americans continue to believe that the Russian effort to influence the 2016 presidential election “is a serious matter that should be investigated.”

Research contact: @wikileaks

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