Coming up Tuesday’s ‘Rising:’ How the DOJ almost offered an immunity deal to Julian Assange

In the spring of 2017, one of Julian Assange's lawyers Adam Waldman negotiated with the Justice Department on a possible deal to get the WikiLeaks founder limited immunity and safe passage out of a London embassy to talk with U.S. officials.

In return, Assange would provide technical information to the U.S. ruling out certain suspects in the release of hacked DNC emails key to the Russia case, identify vulnerabilities in the CIA's computer systems and talk about measures to protect certain sensitive information in future releases by Wikileaks.

The outlines of the deal were memorialized in a March 28, 2017 email between Waldman and Justice Department counterintelligence section chief David Laufman.

Here is the text of that email:

"Subject to adequate and binding protections, including but not limited to an acceptable immunity and safe passage agreement, Mr. Assange welcomes the opportunity to discuss with the U.S. government risk mitigation approaches relating to CIA documents in WikiLeaks’ possession or control, such as the redaction of agency personnel in hostile jurisdictions and foreign espionage risks to WikiLeaks staff,” Waldman wrote Laufman on March 28, 2017.

“Derived directly from this discussion of risk mitigation, Mr. Assange is also prepared to discuss (within the source protection boundaries expected of a journalist and publisher operating at the highest level of integrity) (i) a description of CIA information in the possession or control of WikiLeaks; (ii) the risks of third parties who may have obtained access to such information (not withstanding the foregoing, for the avoidance of doubt this category specifically and others generally will not include any information that may effect WikiLeaks obligations to protect its sources) and (iii) information regarding the timing of further publications in so far as they relate to the risk mitigation approaches developed.”

 

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