WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is “seriously considering” testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating possible Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government, his lawyer said.
On Wednesday, the WikiLeaks Twitter site posted a letter from the Senate panel asking Assange to “make yourself available for a closed interview with bipartisan Committee staff at a mutually agreeable time and location.” It was signed by committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and vice chair Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).
“The inquiry has asked for him to appear in person at a mutually agreeable time and place. We are seriously considering the offer, but must ensure Mr. Assange’s protection is guaranteed,” his attorney, Jennifer Robinson, said in a statement.
Assange could possibly provide a link between the Russians — who hacked the Democratic emails, according to U.S. intelligence — and members of the Trump campaign. Donald Trump’s long-time friend and informal campaign adviser Roger Stone has admitted to talking with Assange during the campaign before the emails were leaked. Stone also posted screenshots of his interactions with one of the Kremlin-linked hackers, Guccifer 2.0.
Assange has been holed up inside Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2016, in part because of fears he could be extradited to the U.S. to face possible charges after leaking some 20,000 documents from the Democratic National Committee shortly before the presidential election.
He may be willing to cooperate with the Senate panel as his relationship with Ecuador deteriorates. The Ecuadorian government cut off Assange’s internet communications after it accused him of failing to comply with an agreement not to interfere with other nations’ affairs through social media, CNN reported. The nation’s current president, Lenin Moreno, is less supportive of Assange than his predecessor was. Assange is also in poor health, doctors who examined him recently wrote in The Guardian.