If Julian Assange accepts the Senate’s request to testify it may provide evidence that would upend allegations that Russia hacked the DNC, putting to rest two years of Russiagate hysteria, journalist Patrick Henningsen told RT.
According to Henningsen, executive editor of 21st Century Wire, the WikiLeaks founder should “absolutely” agree to speak with the US Senate Intelligence Committee – but his testimony may cause problems for devout followers of Russiagate’s main tenets.
Assange could in fact provide information to the committee that would “destroy the sort of mainline conspiracy theory that the Russians hacked the DNC servers and stole the emails and handed them to WikiLeaks. The whole Russiagate case more or less hinges on that conspiracy theory.”
In a letter made public by WikiLeaks on Wednesday, the Senate Committee requested that Assange make himself available for a closed interview “at a mutually agreeable time and location.” Henningsen said that the Senate’s request to interview Assange could have a profound impact on the US midterm elections, noting that Assange could potentially be accused of “meddling” if his testimony disrupts mainstream Russiagate narratives.
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
RT’s Anastasia Churkina reports as US Senate asks Julian Assange to testify on ‘Russian interference in 2016’.
The independent journalist said that, while he wouldn’t be surprised if Russia-related investigations are stretched out until the 2020 presidential elections, so far no evidence has emerged of nefarious string-pulling by the Kremlin – and with good reason.advertisement - story continues below
“If there was any hard evidence, I guarantee you it would have been on the table before the election – because if they had evidence, it would have absolutely killed the Donald Trump campaign in its tracks. There is no evidence, we would have seen it by now.”
Noting that all 10 senators who called for Assange’s asylum to be revoked in violation of international law were Democrats, Henningsen said that the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was a “partisan witch-hunt.”
The Hill reports:
WikiLeaks released troves of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta ahead of the 2016 election. The U.S. intelligence community has tied the email releases to the broader plot by the Russian government to interfere in the election.advertisement - story continues below
The unclassified U.S. intelligence assessment released in January 2017 concluded with “high confidence” that Russian intelligence officers “relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks.” James Comey, then FBI director, testified last year that WikiLeaks did not communicate directly with the Russians but used “some kind of cut-out.”
The Senate Intelligence Committee has been investigating Russian interference for more than a year, interviewing witnesses behind closed doors or in public. Meanwhile, special counsel Robert Mueller is spearheading the federal probe into Russian interference, which includes looking at whether there was collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Moscow.
Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy since 2012 evading extradition, but there has been recent speculation that Assange could soon be evicted.
Reports surfaced in April 2017 that U.S. officials were weighing charges against Assange under the Espionage Act.
WikiLeaks first attracted attention nearly a decade ago when it published classified files stolen by former U.S. Army soldier Chelsea Manning. WikiLeaks’s tweet on Wednesday also shared an opinion article arguing that Britain should reject an effort by the U.S. to extradite Assange.