US senators ask Assange to testify probe

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The letter comes as reports indicate that the Ecuador government plans to expel Assange from the embassy, in which he has been confined since 2012.

"As you are aware, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is conducting a bipartisan inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 US elections", the letter addressed to Assange says.

The letter reads: "As you are aware, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is conducting a bipartisan inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections."As part of that inquiry, the committee requests that you make yourself available for a closed interview with bipartisan committee staff at a mutually agreeable time and location".

On Wednesday, WikiLeaks said the Senate letter - dated August 1 - was delivered to Assange via the United States embassy in London, but the mission declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

Russian Federation rejects the claims and Trump has denied any collusion.

"The inquiry has asked for him to appear in person at a mutually agreeable time and place".

Australian-born Assange sought refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning about allegations of sex crimes which he has always denied.

Assange believes that would pave the way for extradition to the United States for the publication of a huge cache of USA diplomatic and military secrets on the WikiLeaks website.

Arresting Assange is a USA "priority", Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said.

During the 2016 election campaign WikiLeaks released hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta.

Assange's claims run contrary to the Senate intelligence committee's findings that Russian Federation was behind the hacking of the DNC.

"If the British government guarantees us that he will not run the risk of being extradited to another country, we will ask Mr. Assange (to leave); we will talk first with his attorneys", Moreno said.

Days earlier, a source close to Assange told Reuters that the diplomatic impasse was coming to a head.

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