An ally of Nigel Farage was asked to obtain secret information from WikiLeaks for Donald Trump’s team during the 2016 election campaign – according to US investigators.
Ted Malloch – a London-based academic close to Farage was allegedly passed a request from a longtime Trump adviser to get advance copies of emails stolen from Trump’s opponents by Russian hackers and later published by WikiLeaks.
The allegation emerged in a draft legal document drawn up by Robert Mueller – the special prosecutor investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and any collusion with Trump’s campaign team.
In response to a series of questions from the Guardian – including whether he had acted on the request to make contact with WikiLeaks – Malloch said in an email: ‘No and no comment’.
Trump appeared increasingly anxious on Wednesday following the latest burst of activity from the investigation that has clouded his presidency.
He claimed – without evidence – in a tweet that Mueller’s team was ‘viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts’ in return for favourable treatment.
The latest revelations come as the role of the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has come under greater scrutiny amid reports in the US that Mueller is looking into his meeting with the Ecuadorian president in 2017.
On Tuesday sources also told the Guardian that Manafort met with Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London – a claim denied by both men.
Malloch – 66 – has been under scrutiny by Mueller for months amid suggestions that he may have served as an important nexus in 2016 between Trump’s White House bid and the campaign to secure Britain’s exit from the EU.