Help WikiLeaks Sue Guardian Over Fabricated Story
Help WikiLeaks sue The Guardian for fabricating a story that Julian Assange had secret meetings with Paul Manafort
The Guardian has claimed, using unnamed sources, that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had "secret talks" with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on three occasions. These claims are completely false and the story has been fabricated. But it has gone viral, repeated uncritically by media outlets around the world.
UPDATE: Paul Manafort has issued a statement unequivocally denying the alleged visits:
“This story is totally false and deliberately libelous. I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him. I have never been contacted by anyone connected to Wikileaks, either directly or indirectly.
“I have never reached out to Assange or Wikileaks on any matter. We are considering all legal options against the Guardian who proceeded with this story even after being notified by my representatives that it was false.”
The Embassy’s visitor logs – maintained by Ecuador – show no such visits, since they did not occur.
This is not the first time that the Guardian, and in particular its writer Luke Harding, have fabricated a story about Assange.
WikiLeaks is suing The Guardian for libel over this serious fabrication.
Bringing legal action in UK courts is extremely expensive. WikiLeaks is entirely funded by the public and urgently needs your support. We must hold The Guardian to account: your contribution will help make this lawsuit possible. Please make a donation today.
This is an update.
The Guardian has not yet retracted its story. It published the story on the front page of the print edition the next day. The print edition contained a significant discrepancy with the online version: a third author in addition to Harding and Collyns - Fernando Villavicencio, an Ecuadorian political activist who has been implicated in fabricated stories in the past. ( https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1069670645586374658)
One week on, pressure is mounting on The Guardian to come clean:
* The Washington Post: The Guardian offered a bombshell story about Paul Manafort. It still hasn’t detonated
The report said "the Guardian bombshell looks as though it could be a dud. No other news organizzation has been able to corroborate the Guardian's reporting to substantiate its central claim of a meeting" —
*The Intercept — https://theintercept.com/2018/11/27/it-is-possible-paul-manafort-visited-julian-assange-if-true-there-should-be-ample-video-and-other-evidence-showing-this/
* Glenn Greenwald has made public an email to the editor of The Guardian, Kath Viner — https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1070003123874349058
* Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting: Misreporting Manafort: A Case Study in Journalistic Malpractice —
* The Canary: Former diplomat challenges ‘fake’ Guardian claims about Julian Assange meeting Paul Manafort —
* DailyDot: Former Ecuadorian diplomat blasts ‘fake’ Manafort-Assange meeting story —
Please share this GoFundMe link encouraging others to contribute and share reports exposing the Guardian's fabrication.
Taking legal action against a newspaper is often reserved for the very wealthy (See — https://twitter.com/AssangeLegal/status/1068347771755917313).
With your help we've already raised 40K in a week. Our goal is 300K. An Oxford University report [ http://pcmlp.socleg.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/defamationreport.pdf] found that suing for libel in the UK is 140 times more expensive than the European average. We will explore all jurisdictional avenues.