March 20, 2019

Manafort tried to broker deal over Assange’s handover to US

06 December 2018, 08:55 | Glen Norman

Manafort tried to broker deal over Assange’s handover to US


Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, offered to help Ecuador's then newly elected president Lenín Moreno hand over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US, sources told The New York Times.

According to the Times, which cited three unnamed sources, Manafort went to Ecuador in May 2017 to offer his services to Ecuador's incoming president, Lenín Moreno - focusing on a deal in which China would invest in the South American nation's power system.

His talks with Ecuador ended without any deals. However, the President and his aides rather quickly turned the conversation to how to remove the burden of responsibility for the granting of asylum to Assange in the Embassy in London. During discussions, Moreno and his aides reportedly expressed their desire for Assange to leave the embassy, where he has been holed up since 2012, in exchange for US debt relief, according to the report.

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The President of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno and his assistants in 2017 was discussed with the former head of the election headquarters of Donald trump Paul Manafort the possibility and ways magazine in the United States founder of the site WikiLeaks Julian Assange.

However, the talks ended with nothing as several days later Robert S. Mueller was appointed special counsel to probe alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election.

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.

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"Mr. Manafort listened but made no promises as this was ancillary to the goal of the meeting", Maloni's statement added. Manafort's spokesperson also specified that "there was no mention of Russian Federation at the meeting' with the Ecuadorian president". Sweden dropped its investigation in May 2017, but Assange fears he will be extradited to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of leaked USA military and diplomatic documents.

Read the full Times report here.

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