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Lawyer says Assange tried to warn White House, Clinton about dump of diplomatic cables

Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeAssange, Snowden among those not included on Trump pardon list Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Pardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office MORE's legal counsel argued in his London extradition hearing Tuesday that Assange tried to contact then-Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick Texas Supreme Court rejects Alex Jones request to toss lawsuits from Sandy Hook parents Paris Agreement: Biden's chance to restore international standing MORE after he realized that unredacted U.S. diplomatic documents were going to be leaked on the internet almost a decade ago.

Mark Summers, Assange's lawyer, told the London court that Assange called the State Department shortly before the documents were released in 2011 and said, "Unless we do something, people’s lives are put at risk."

According to Summers, the State Department directed Assange to call back “in a couple of hours," Reuters reports

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The U.S. is seeking to extradite the 48-year-old Assange on 18 counts of hacking U.S. government computers and an espionage offense. Assange allegedly worked with former U.S. soldier Chelsea ManningChelsea Elizabeth ManningPardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other History is on Edward Snowden's side: Now it's time to give him a full pardon MORE — known then Bradley ManningChelsea Elizabeth ManningPardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other History is on Edward Snowden's side: Now it's time to give him a full pardon MORE — to release 250,000 pages of classified communique. 

Summers described the allegations against Assange as “lies, lies and more lies."

The prosecution, representing the U.S., has argued that Assange's actions endangered personnel in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, according to the news service.

Last year, Washington requested that Assange be extradited after he was apprehended from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Assange spent the past seven years in the embassy, avoiding being returned to Sweden to face sex crime allegations that have since been dropped.

Assange was arrested by U.K. authorities after he skipped bail and has been held in custody pending the outcome of the trial.