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 PompeoMike PompeoHaley has 'positive' meeting with Trump No time for the timid: The dual threats of progressives and Trump Psaki: Sexism contributes to some criticism of Harris 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 SchumerChuck SchumerBuild Back Better Is bad for the states  Dole to lie in state in Capitol Rotunda Biden points to drug prices in call for Senate social spending vote MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezFive ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan Spending bill faces Senate scramble Republicans raise concerns over Biden's nominee for ambassador to Germany 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 ManafortCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Yellen should utilize the resources available before pushing new regulations Huawei paid Tony Podesta 0K for White House lobbying 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 DurbinDick DurbinSchumer steps on the gas to move Biden agenda Demand Justice launches ad campaign backing Biden nominee who drew GOP pushback The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Omicron tests vaccines; Bob Dole dies at 98 MORE (D-Ill.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBiden administration pulls Trump-era approval of water pipeline What's that you smell in the Supreme Court? New variant raises questions about air travel mandates MORE (D-Calif.), as well as Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell NYC snafu the latest flub from a broken elections agency Cynthia Nixon backs primary challenger to Rep. Carolyn Maloney MORE (D-N.Y.) also signed the letter.

Investigators for both Congress and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG 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.