“Documents reviewed and authenticated by ABC News in Quito show that the Ecuadorian government gave Assange diplomatic credentials and diplomatic immunity in order to allow him to leave their London embassy without fear of arrest by British police and take up a post in Russia.”
“Russian diplomats held secret talks in London last year with people close to Julian Assange to assess whether they could help him flee the UK,” the Guardian reports.
“A tentative plan was devised that would have seen the WikiLeaks founder smuggled out of Ecuador’s London embassy in a diplomatic vehicle and transported to another country. One ultimate destination, multiple sources have said, was Russia, where Assange would not be at risk of extradition to the US.”
“The plan was abandoned after it was deemed too risky.”
Secret documents obtained by the Associated Press show that Julian Assange sought a Russian visa in 2010.
“The ex-hacker’s links to the Kremlin would become increasingly salient before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, when the FBI says Russia’s military intelligence agency directly supplied WikiLeaks with stolen emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and other Democratic figures.”
ABC News: “As his residency at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London enters its seventh year, the self-styled cyber revolutionary – WikiLeaks’ founder and controversial publisher of some of the world’s most closely guarded official secrets – is facing a pair of converging crises that have left his allies fearing for his wellbeing and his safety.”
“Inside the embassy, he is living an increasingly secluded existence, having been stripped of his phones, computers and visitor privileges after running afoul of the very government that gave him asylum. Outside the embassy, he is embroiled in the global political scandal surrounding Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, with questions about his role in that drama being raised by friends and foes alike.”
“In more ways than one, the very walls protecting Assange also appear to be closing in.”
“A Cambridge Analytica director apparently visited Julian Assange in February last year and told friends it was to discuss what happened during the U.S. election,” the Guardian reports.
“Brittany Kaiser, a director at the firm until earlier this year, also claimed to have channeled cryptocurrency payments and donations to WikiLeaks. This information has been passed to congressional and parliamentary inquiries in the UK and US.”
“In a Sept. 18, 2016, message, Stone urged an acquaintance who knew Mr. Assange to ask the WikiLeaks founder for emails related to Mrs. Clinton’s alleged role in disrupting a purported Libyan peace deal in 2011 when she was secretary of state, referring to her by her initials,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Wrote Stone: “Please ask Assange for any State or HRC e-mail from August 10 to August 30 — particularly on August 20, 2011.”
The acquaintance responded: “That batch probably coming out in the next drop … I can’t ask them favors every other day. I asked one of his lawyers … they have major legal headaches right now … relax.”
“Julian Assange’s nearly six-year refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London is in danger, opening the WikiLeaks founder to arrest by British authorities and potential extradition to the US,” CNN reports.
“While Assange has in the past claimed his position in the embassy was under threat, sources say his current situation is ‘unusually bad’ and that he could leave the embassy ‘any day now,’ either because he will be forced out or made to feel so restricted that he might choose to leave on his own.”
“Twitter DMs obtained by BuzzFeed News show that in the summer of 2016, WikiLeaks was working to obtain files from Guccifer 2.0, an online hacktivist persona linked to by Russian military intelligence, the clearest evidence to date of WikiLeaks admitting its pursuit of Guccifer 2.0.”
“Roger Stone appeared on the InfoWars radio show the same day he sent an email claiming he dined with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — and he predicted ‘devastating’ upcoming disclosures about the Clinton Foundation,” CNN reports.
“Stone’s comments in his August 4, 2016, appearance are the earliest known time he claimed to know of forthcoming WikiLeaks documents.”
“Alexander Nix, who heads a controversial data analytics firm that worked for President Trump’s campaign, wrote in an email last year that he reached out to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange about Hillary Clinton’s missing 33,000 emails,” the Daily Beast reports.
“Nix, who heads Cambridge Analytica, told a third party that he reached out to Assange about his firm somehow helping the Wikileaks founder release Clinton’s missing emails… Assange told the Cambridge Analytica CEO that he didn’t want his help, and preferred to do the work on his own.”
“If the claims Nix made in that email are true, this would be the closest known connection between Trump’s campaign and Assange.”
U.S. authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, CNN reports.
“Just a year ago, they might have seemed the oddest of couples. But now President-elect Donald Trump and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, have formed a united front against the conclusion of American intelligence agencies that Russian intelligence used hacked emails to interfere in the presidential election,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Assange, long reviled by many Republicans as an anarchist lawbreaker out to damage the United States, has won new respect from conservatives who appreciated his site’s release of Democratic emails widely perceived to have hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign. And Mr. Trump has been eager to undercut the conclusion of the F.B.I., the C.I.A. and other agencies that those emails were provided to WikiLeaks courtesy of Russian government hackers.”
Washington Post: “Although some GOP figures still view the WikiLeaks founder with suspicion, conservative news sources now praise him for exposing Democratic emails.”
President-elect Donald Trump is using Julian Assange’s remarks to question Russian hacking allegations, but in 2010 he called WikiLeaks “disgraceful” and suggested there be a “death penalty” for their actions, CNN reports.
Said Trump then: “I think it’s disgraceful, I think there should be like death penalty or something.”
“In the final weeks of a dizzying presidential campaign, Donald Trump is suddenly embracing an unlikely ally: The document-spilling group WikiLeaks, which Republicans denounced when it published classified State Department cables and Pentagon secrets about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the New York Times reports.
“The Trump campaign’s willingness to use WikiLeaks is an extraordinary turnabout after years of bipartisan criticism of the organization and its leader, Julian Assange, for past disclosures of American national security intelligence and other confidential information.”
“The accusation that Russian agents are now playing an almost-daily role in helping fuel Mr. Trump’s latest political attacks on Mrs. Clinton raises far greater concerns, though, about foreign interference in a presidential election.”
Julian Assange told Fox News that WikiLeaks will release information with some “unexpected angles” regarding Hillary Clinton’s campaign ahead of the general election.
Said Assange: “I think it’s significant. You know, it depends on how it catches fire in the public and in the media.”
He added: “I don’t want to give the game away, but it’s a variety of documents from different types of institutions that are associated with the election campaign, some quite unexpected angles, some quite interesting, some even entertaining.”