Julian Assange 'Considering' Appearing Before Congress Over Russia Investigation, According to WikiLeaks

Exiled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is "considering" a request to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election, according to the radical transparency site on Wednesday.

Assange and WikiLeaks have been accused of working with Russia to leak former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's emails as well as messages from other members of her campaign. Assange has denied Russia was the source of the leak, but he's remained holed up in Ecuador's embassy in the United Kingdom since 2012 out of fear of extradition to the U.S. Assange entered the embassy when facing a rape investigation in Sweden.

The committee sent Assange a letter on August 1, requesting that he make himself "available for a closed close interview."

WikiLeaks said Assange's attorneys were "considering the offer but testimony must conform to a high ethical standard."

"US Senate Intelligence Committee calls editor @JulianAssange to testify. Letter delivered via US embassy in London. WikiLeaks' legal team say they are 'considering the offer but testimony must conform to a high ethical standard,'" the leak site said.

The site also linked to an article penned by the general counsel for Human Rights Watch, Dinah PoKempner, who wrote, "No one should be prosecuted under the antiquated Espionage Act for publishing leaked government documents."

The timing of Senate committee's request appears to coincide with recent comments made by Ecuador's president about Assange possibly leaving the embassy soon.

Ecuador's Lenin Moreno said last month that his government and the U.K. were actively discussing how to release Assange, with Moreno stating he wanted assurances that Assange's life would not be in danger.

Despite Assange's claim that Russia was not the source of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee's email hacking, the U.S. intelligence community assessed in January 2017 that Russian military intelligence was indeed behind the hack as well as the release of the emails, using online monikers to relay the information to WikiLeaks.

assange testimony congress russia wikileaks
Julian Assange responds to the media from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in London, on May 19, 2017. Assange is “considering” a request to appear before the Senate intelligence committee investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Getty Images/Jack Taylor

Along the campaign trail, President Donald Trump also praised WikiLeaks and asked Russia at a rally on July 27, 2016, to unearth Clinton's deleted emails from her time as head of the State Department.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing, I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press," Trump said.

An indictment filed against 12 Russian military officers last month indicated Russia began a hacking effort against Clinton's campaign around the time of Trump's statement.

The president has repeatedly denied any collusion or conspiracy took place between his campaign and Russia.

Julian Assange 'Considering' Appearing Before Congress Over Russia Investigation, According to WikiLeaks | U.S.