Comey sank US negotiations with Assange over immunity

How Comey intervened to kill WikiLeaks’ immunity deal

BY JOHN SOLOMON, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR —  06/25/18

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL

One of the more devastating intelligence leaks in American history — the unmasking of the CIA’s arsenal of cyber warfare weapons last year — has an untold prelude worthy of a spy novel.

Some of the characters are household names, thanks to the Russia scandal: James Comey, fired FBI director. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Department of Justice (DOJ) official Bruce Ohr. Julian Assange, grand master of WikiLeaks. And American attorney Adam Waldman, who has a Forrest Gump-like penchant for showing up in major cases of intrigue.

Each played a role in the early days of the Trump administration to try to get Assange to agree to “risk mitigation” — essentially, limiting some classified CIA information he might release in the future.

The effort resulted in the drafting of a limited immunity deal that might have temporarily freed the WikiLeaks founder from a London embassy where he has been exiled for years, according to interviews and a trove of internal DOJ documents turned over to Senate investigators. Read the draft immunity deal proffer that the Justice Department was considering for Assange here.

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