Top Democrats Demand Briefing On Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting With Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia—Specifically Regarding Julian Assange’s Presence In Ecuadorian Embassy In London

December 12, 2018

In New Letter To Secretary Pompeo, Top Senate And House Democrats Demand State Department Immediately Brief Congress Regarding Secretary Pompeo’s November 26th Meeting With Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia— Dems Want To Know Whether The Future Of Julian Assange’s Presence In The Ecuadorian Embassy In London Was Discussed

 

Dems Outline Series Of Questions Concerning The Activities Of Both Paul Manafort And Julian Assange

 

Dems To Secretary Pompeo: Congress And The American People Deserve Answers About Foreign Interference In Our Elections

 

Washington, DC – Top Senate and House Democrats—Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)—sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding an immediate briefing on his meeting with Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia, specifically regarding whether the future of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange’s presence in the Ecuadorian embassy in London was discussed. The Democrats assert that Congress and the American people deserve answers about foreign interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the State Department’s efforts to hold accountable those responsible, including WikiLeaks. 

 

To this end, the Democrats requested that the State Department brief Congress on a series of questions—outlined in the letter—concerning the details surrounding the activities of both Paul Manafort and Julian Assange in London. Additionally, the Democrats expressed the urgency behind swiftly resolving the challenges posed by Julian Assange’s presence at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and urged Secretary Pompeo to remain in close contact with Foreign Minister Valencia.  

 

Senate and House Democrats’ letter to Secretary Pompeo can be found here and below:

  

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

 

We write to request that the State Department immediately brief Congress on your November 26 meeting with Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia.

 

While the State Department has been unwilling to confirm the details publicly, we remain deeply interested in knowing whether you discussed the future of Julian Assange’s presence in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in your meeting with Foreign Minister Valencia.

 

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. These activities were explicitly intended to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

 

Congress and the American people deserve answers about foreign interference in our elections and your efforts to hold accountable those responsible. To that end, we ask that the State Department brief Congress on the following questions:

 

1.  Did you ask Foreign Minister Valencia to confirm whether Paul Manafort visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, including as recently as March 2016, as has been described in media reports?

 

2.   Did you request that the complete, unedited log of Julian Assange’s visitors at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London be made available to all ongoing U.S. investigations?  

 

3.   Did you ask Foreign Minister Valencia to provide you with any security camera footage or other electronic media that was maintained by the Ecuadorian Government to supplement the visitor logs?

 

4.   Did you request that Foreign Minister Valencia confirm whether Paul Manafort spoke to Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno about Julian Assange in Quito, Ecuador in May 2017?

 

5.   In the event that you received affirmative confirmation, did you ask Foreign Minister Valencia to provide you with all relevant notes and information from Paul Manafort’s meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno?

 

6.   Did you ask Foreign Minister Valencia about the status of the Ecuadorian Government’s discussions with the British Government regarding the status of Julian Assange?

 

While we understand that Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno inherited from his predecessor the challenges posed by Julian Assange’s presence at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, it is imperative that this situation be resolved swiftly. We trust that you will remain in close contact with Foreign Minister Valencia on this matter.


Thank you for your attention to this letter and we look forward to the State Department briefing Congress next week.

 

Sincerely,

 

Charles E. Schumer

Democratic Leader

U.S. Senate

 

Richard J. Durbin

Democratic Whip

U.S. Senate

 

Robert Menendez

Ranking Member

Committee on Foreign Relations

U.S. Senate

 

Dianne Feinstein

Ranking Member

Committee on the Judiciary

U.S. Senate

 

Eliot L. Engel

Ranking Member

Committee on Foreign Affairs

U.S. House of Representatives

 

Jerrold Nadler

Ranking Member

Committee on the Judiciary

U.S. House of Representatives