Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort denies Assange 2016 meeting

Report: Paul Manafort Met With Julian Assange Months Before WikiLeaks Published DNC Emails

If Manafort did meet with Assange, that could be significant in establishing the link. "The president has no idea if Paul Manafort met with Julian Assange", Rudy Giuliani told HuffPost, adding that it wouldn't prove anything nefarious even if Manafort had done so. "I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him".

A decision whether to unseal USA 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.

Julian Assange steps out to speak to the media from the balcony of the Embassy Of Ecuador on May 19, 2017 in London.

Sources close to WikiLeaks say the case may not be related to the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election but add that they do not know what the charges concern.

The Guardian cited two unidentified sources as saying Manafort first met Assange at the embassy in 2013, a year after Assange took refuge there to avoid being extradited to Sweden over sex crime allegations.

Brinkema said that under normal circumstances, there would be no question that the public has a right to see a complaint, but noted that right doesn't accrue until someone has been publicly charged and emphasized the "sound reasons" complaints are not unsealed earlier - highlighting the fact that before that time, a suspect could possibly destroy evidence or evade arrest. He then allowed that he did not know if that was correct.

Mr Manafort swiftly denied the Guardian report.

"I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him", he said, according to the tweet.

If confirmed, the report Tuesday suggests a direct connection between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which released tens of thousands of emails stolen by Russian spies during the 2016 election.

The source for this is an internal document written by Ecuador's Senain intelligence agency, which lists a "Paul Manaford" as one of several of Assange's guests.

Part of that probe has involved looking into whether any of Trump's associates may have had advance notice before WikiLeaks published emails stolen by Russian hackers from Democratic computer networks to damage Trump rival Hillary Clinton.

The Special Counsel is expected to finalize a report in the coming months on the findings of his 18-month probe into Russia's election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

"Unless they've got some other rabbit hole to go down, they're out of rabbit holes", he said. And weeks before that, his son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and Manafort had met with Russians at Trump's campaign headquarters in NY after the Russians had promised "dirt" on Clinton.

"There's no proof that Trump colluded with the Russians".

"Pardons are never really ruled out", Giuliani said.

That dispute is playing out amid sometimes feverish speculation within Washington, D.C., that Mueller's investigation may be on the verge of unveiling more criminal charges, perhaps against another sub-cast of characters centered on political consultant Roger Stone. "You don't exert undue pressure on people".

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