Dems demand Pompeo brief Congress on whether he discussed Assange with Ecuadorian official

A group of top Democrats is requesting that Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump rejects Graham call to end shutdown | Coast Guard on track to miss Tuesday paychecks | Dems eye Trump, Russia probes | Trump talks with Erdogan after making threat to Turkey's economy Trump, Erdoğan discuss Syria after Trump threatens to 'devastate Turkey economically' Pompeo: Trump's threat to Turkey won't change troop pullout plans in Syria MORE brief Congress on his meeting last month with Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia, specifically demanding he provide details on whether WikiLeaks’s founder Julian Assange’s future in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London was discussed.

In the letter, sent Tuesday, the Democrats — including Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats are facing political consequences over shutdown The Supreme Court shouldn’t do the president’s dirty work to end DACA Scalise: Trump wants Congress to solve shutdown problem MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMore oversight of America’s international media networks a good idea Pro-Israel organizations should finally seek payback against Iran deal Dems Trump lowers refugee goal to 30,000, he must meet it MORE (D-N.J.) — wrote that they “remain deeply interested” in whether Pompeo discussed Assange with Valencia.

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“As you are aware, in January 2017, the unclassified report by the U.S. Intelligence Community assessed with high confidence that Russian military intelligence used proxies to transfer hacked data obtained in cyber operations to WikiLeaks,” the letter reads. “These activities were explicitly intended to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

The lawmakers asked Pompeo to inform Congress next week if he asked Valencia to confirm a report that former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortPress: What dirt does Putin have on Trump? The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump says he 'never worked for Russia' | Shutdown enters fourth week | AG pick says public should know Mueller probe findings Dershowitz: Should Mueller report comment on noncriminal conduct? MORE met with Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy, as well as for logs and other information tracking Assange’s visitors.

“Congress and the American people deserve answers about foreign interference in our elections and your efforts to hold accountable those responsible,” the letter reads.

Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems set to take aim at new Trump attorney general pick Republicans seek to temper fallout from latest Russia bombshells Dem demands 'ironclad assurances' from Barr on Mueller investigation ahead of confirmation hearings MORE (D-Ill.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate Dems set to take aim at new Trump attorney general pick Gabbard-Hirono clash shocks Hawaii Blumenthal: DOJ denying Dems meetings with AG nominee Barr, citing shutdown MORE (D-Calif.), as well as Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Trump rejects Graham call to end shutdown | Coast Guard on track to miss Tuesday paychecks | Dems eye Trump, Russia probes | Trump talks with Erdogan after making threat to Turkey's economy Dems zero in on Trump and Russia Top Dem: Congress may have 'no choice' but to subpoena Trump interpreter MORE (D-N.Y.) also signed the letter.

Investigators for both Congress and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia have considered WikiLeaks to be a prominent area of interest in probing election interference.

The group released two sets of hacked Democratic emails in the months ahead of the 2016 election: One shortly ahead of the Democratic National Convention, and another just days before the election.

Reports point toward U.S. prosecutors preparing to file charges against Assange, if they have not been filed under seal already. A court filing made in a different case by a prosecutor who has worked on the WikiLeaks case used Assange’s name, indicating that he could soon face an indictment.

The Guardian also reported last month that Manafort had met with Assange ahead of the election. Both WikiLeaks and Manafort have denied the report and suggested that they will take legal action against the newspaper.

Assange has stayed in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012. The United Kingdom and Ecuador recently reached a deal that would allow the WikiLeaks founder to leave the premises without facing extradition for charges abroad.

However, Assange rejected the agreement, with his attorney saying that it did not protect Assange from being extradited to the U.S.