Monday, 10 December, 2018

Manafort tried to help Ecuador ‘rid’ of Assange’s asylum

Jack Taylor  Getty Images Europe Jack Taylor Getty Images Europe
Steven Clarke | 06 December, 2018, 20:53

The President of Ecuador spoke with Paul Manafort about his desire to remove Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, a Manafort spokesperson confirmed Monday.

Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for Donald Trump, exits the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, February 28, in Washington, D.C. He offered to help Ecuador's then newly elected president Lenín Moreno hand over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the USA, according to The New York Times.

It is noted that Manafort was initially during a meeting with Moreno in Quito to discuss the draft agreement, which provided for investment of Chinese business in the energy system of Ecuador.

But the talks instead turned to a diplomatic point between the USA and Ecuador: the fate of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Manafort was convicted of bank and tax fraud earlier this year, and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller in his prove of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

And during that trip, the spokesman said, Ecuador's president raised the possibility of a deal that would remove Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the country's embassy in London.

Steven Gerrard admits Rangers have taken step backwards after frustrating defeat
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According to the sources, there was no evidence that Manafort was working with or even briefing Trump or other administration officials on his discussions with the Ecuadoreans about Assange.

Several days after the last meeting Mr Manafort held in Quito, Robert Mueller was announced as a special advisor in charge of a probe to investigate the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 USA elections. While there, sources told the Times that Manafort suggested he could help negotiate a deal for Assange, who Ecuador reportedly wanted out of their London embassy.

He is now in jail in Alexandria, Virginia. "There was no mention of Russian Federation at the meeting".

"The NYT points out that there's no evidence that Manafort briefed the Trump administration on the Assange talks, or that it had anything to do with WikiLeaks" publication of a raft of Democratic Party emails allegedly stolen by "Russian spies" amid the United States presidential race.

Assange and Wikileaks are also players in the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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