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Manafort tried to broker deal with Ecuador to Hand Assange to U.S.

December 4, 2018 World 0 Views WASHINGTON – In mid-May 2017, Paul Manafort, who faced an intensifying pressure to settle…

WASHINGTON – In mid-May 2017, Paul Manafort, who faced an intensifying pressure to settle debts and pay bill billing, flew to Ecuador to offer his services to a potentially lucrative new customer – the country’s future president, Lenín Moreno . [19659002] Mr. Manafort made the trip mainly to see if he could measure a deal according to which China would invest in Ecuador’s power system, which could possibly provide a bold commission for Mr. Mana Fort.

But the conversation turned to a diplomatic pinpoint between the United States and Ecuador: the fate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

At least two meetings with Mr. Manafort, Moreno and his aides discussed their desire to relieve themselves of Assange, who has been acclaimed at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, in exchange for United States debt relief concessions, according to three people familiar with the negotiations, whose details have not been reported previously .

They said that Manafort suggested that he could help negotiate if it concerns the handover of Assange to the United States, who has long been investigating Mr. Assange for revealing secret actions and later charged charges against him that has not yet been published.

Within a few days of Mr Manafort’s final meeting in Quito, Robert S. Mueller III was appointed Special Council to investigate Russian interventions in the 2016 election and related issues and it became clear that Mr Manafort was a primary goal. His talks with Ecuador ended without any agreement.

There is no evidence that Manafort worked with – or even briefing – President Trump or other officials at his discussions with Ecuadorian about Assange.

Nor is there any evidence that his short involvement in the conversation was motivated by concern about the role that Assange and WikiLeaks played in facilitating the Russian effort to help Mr Trump in the presidential elections in 2016 or the investigation of possible coordination between Assange and Mr Trumps Employees who have become a focus for Mr.. master stroke.

But the revelations about Mr. Manafort’s discussions in 2017 about Mr. Assange in Quito again emphasize how his self-styled role as an international influx broker broke up the issues surrounding the Trump campaign.

And the episode shows how, following Mr Trump’s choice, Manafort attempted to pay in his short term as Trump’s campaign chairman, even when investigators were closed.

Ecuadorian continued to investigate the possibility of Chinese investment, but with the United States Justice Department and Intelligence Services their pursuit of Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks saw Moreno’s team more and more to solve their Assange problem by turning to Russia.

In the months after Moreno took office, Ecuadorian gov Ernment was granted citizenship to Assange and secretly pursued a plan to give him a diplomatic service in Russia as a way to free him from childbirth in the London embassy. (The plan was finally released, unlike the British authorities, who said they would seize Assange if he left the embassy.)

Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, said it was Mr. Moreno – not Mr. Manafort – who broke the question of Mr. Assange and “his desire to remove Julian Assange from Ecuador’s embassy.” Mr. Manafort “listened but made no promises as this was part of the meeting form.” Mr. Maloni, adding “There was nothing about Russia at the meeting.”

At the end of last year, Mr. Mers lag mr Manafort with a host of lobbies, money laundering and tax breaks in connection with his consultancy work for Russia-based interests in Ukraine before the 2016 elections. Mr Manafort was sentenced for some of the crimes and charged himself with others as part of an agreement on cooperation with prosecutors. But prosecutors said last week that he violated the deal by letting them lie several times. Mr. Manafort stays alone in a federal detention center in Alexandria, Va., And waits for a judge to set a death date.

In Quito, he told Moreno’s team that he could arrange a large cash inflow from the Chinese fund in Ecuadorian power tools and could facilitate any problems from the Trump administration regarding such an investment, according to people involved in organizing the meetings.

The week after the Quito trip, Mr. Manafort to Hong Kong to meet with representatives of the Development Bank of China to discuss possible investment in Ecuador, as well as a The proposal is run by Mr. Manafort to buy Puerto Rico’s debt, possibly in exchange for the owner’s ownership.

In both cases, Manafort has sured the Chinese, he could win support from Washington, although Trumps often expressed concerns about China.

Bargaining an agreement to get Assange to the United States could have been even more complicated. Not only had Mr. Assange been charged at Mr Manafort’s journey, but Assange’s work was – and remains – a particularly big thing for Trump and his team.

Mr. Trump and his allies had encouraged WikiLeaks during the campaign when dropping drums of embarrassing internal emails and documents stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. Since then, the US intelligence agencies and Mueller team claimed that the documents were stolen by Russian government agents, of which 12 were accused by Mueller.

Mr. Assange was prosecuted by Swedish prosecutors for rape from 2010 released last year. Ecuadorian Embassy in London granted him asylum in the summer of 2012. It was under Mr. Moreno’s predecessor, Rafael Correa, whose political identity was partly based on his opposition to the United States.

During Correas last working day, the Ecuadorian government wrote a letter that repeated its wishes to Britain to accept Assange asylum status. The letter claims that US officials had left “no doubt about their intention to pursue Mr Assange in order to punish him for alleged crimes”.

Mr. During his campaign, Moreno had signaled that he would like to wash his hands on Mr. Assange. And in December, Ecuador began implementing the plan to move Assange to Russia as a diplomat, which would require him to become an Ecuadorian citizen.

In a citizenship interview at the London embassy, ​​Assange declared that he wanted to become a citizen for “I have been welcome here for the last five years and I feel virtually ecuadorian”, according to a written summary of the meeting.

Within ten days Assange was granted citizenship according to documents released by Paola Vintimilla, an Ecuadorian team champion who opposes Assange’s presence in the embassy. But a subsequent attempt to grant diplomatic status, and the immunity that would lead to it, was rejected by the British government.


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