Assange lawyer says he's declined to cooperate with Nadler's document requests

Assange lawyer says he's declined to cooperate with Nadler's document requests
© Getty Images

The founder of WikiLeaks has declined to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee’s sweeping documents request, which is part of a broad investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE's administration, campaign and businesses.

"Mr. Assange has not yet responded to the Committee’s request. The First Amendment dictates that any inquiry by Congress should not begin by issuing requests to journalists for documents pertaining to their news gathering," Julian Assange's lawyer, Barry Pollack, told The Hill on Thursday.

The news was first reported by Politico.

ADVERTISEMENT

Assange has come under scrutiny for publishing hacked emails from the campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate Democrats' 2020 Achilles's heel: The Senate House Intel Republican: 'Foolish' not to take info on opponent from foreign ally MORE and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the 2016 election, and he has dismissed criticism of his actions by stating that he acted just as other journalists have when they decide to make confidential documents public.

Despite this defense, a U.S. intelligence community assessment concluded that the whistleblower organization was actively involved in obtaining as well as publishing such emails, which caused a massive embarrassment to the Democratic Party during the heated presidential race.  

Russian operatives penetrated DNC servers after sending dozens of phishing emails to staff, in which they received a fake Google notification asking them to change their password. One person did, leading these hackers to gain access to internal communications that were eventually turned over to WikiLeaks.

Assange is one of the 81 individuals and entities who were hit with the House Judiciary Committee's document requests, and he is one of several who have publicly stated they will not cooperate with the panel.

Assange, a fugitive, currently resides in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Under these circumstances, it will be difficult for the panel to compel him to provide such documentation while he is remains outside the U.S.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerFrom abortion to obstruction, politicians' hypocrisy is showing Watergate figure John Dean earns laughter for responses to GOP lawmakers The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by MAPRx - Nadler gets breakthrough deal with DOJ on Mueller docs MORE (D-N.Y.) has said the investigation is focusing on possible corruption, obstruction of justice and ethics violations.

– This story was updated at 2:55 p.m. with comments from Assange's lawyer