(National Sentinel) Set Up: Nearly two years after Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said publicly and repeatedly that Russia was not behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s or the Clinton campaign’s email servers, a U.S. congressional committee has finally gotten around to the idea that maybe he should be interviewed.
In an Aug. 1 letter sent to Assange via the U.S. Embassy in London, the Senate Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has asked Assange to make himself available for a “closed interview” with members “at a mutually agreeable time and location.”
Wikileaks announced the offer via Twitter, adding that the whistleblower site’s legal team is considering the offer but that Assange isn’t about to make himself available to sit for a clown show, which Democrats will surely turn it into.
BREAKING: US Senate Intelligence Committee calls editor
@JulianAssange to testify. Letter delivered via US embassy in London. WikiLeaks’ legal team say they are “considering the offer but testimony must conform to a high ethical standard”. Also: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/19/uk-should-reject-extraditing-julian-assange-us …
BREAKING: US Senate Intelligence Committee calls editor @JulianAssange to testify. Letter delivered via US embassy in London. WikiLeaks' legal team say they are "considering the offer but testimony must conform to a high ethical standard". Also: https://t.co/pPf0GTjTlp pic.twitter.com/TrDKkCKVBx
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 8, 2018
Things that Assange is likely considering include his reported pending expulsion from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where’s been granted asylum for the past five-odd years, the fact that the UK still has an active arrest warrant for him, and the possibility that he could face prosecution in the U.S. for publishing secret documents.
But as far as “The Russians” interfering in the 2016 election, that’s not the right question.
Everyone knows they tried. They always try.
So what does the Senate Intelligence Committee really want to know? Or are they merely trying to set him up?
Because as we reported in June, Assange said he tried to give details on the DNC-Hillary hack to then-FBI Director James Comey but was turned down.
John Solomon, writing at The Hill, noted that Comey moved to kill a deal the Justice Department was working on with Assange to provide technical evidence regarding the hacking of her campaign manager, John Podesta:
One of the more devastating intelligence leaks in American history — the unmasking of the CIA’s arsenal of cyber warfare weapons last year — has an untold prelude worthy of a spy novel.
Some of the characters are household names, thanks to the Russia scandal: James Comey, fired FBI director. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Department of Justice (DOJ) official Bruce Ohr. Julian Assange, grand master of WikiLeaks. And American attorney Adam Waldman, who has a Forrest Gump-like penchant for showing up in major cases of intrigue.
The effort resulted in the drafting of a limited immunity deal that might have temporarily freed the WikiLeaks founder from a London embassy where he has been exiled for years, according to interviews and a trove of internal DOJ documents turned over to Senate investigators.
But an unexpected intervention by Comey — relayed through Warner — soured the negotiations, multiple sources tell me. Assange eventually unleashed a series of leaks that U.S. officials say damaged their cyber warfare capabilities for a long time to come. …
Warner, as stated above, is the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. There’s little doubt that he has an interest in ‘getting Assange.’
The same is true for the U.S. intelligence community, which would love to have Assange’s scalp for publishing CIA and NSA hacking tools.
The only way Assange should agree to this meeting is doing it at the Ecuadorean Embassy. And bring some witnesses.
Waiting for a year-and-a-half proves the Senate Intel Committee really isn’t interested in learning about “Russian interference,” especially when every member on the panel knows the narrative was fake and that if anyone “colluded” with Moscow it was Hillary Clinton.