Just ahead of what would be Alexander Nix's second appearance before the the Commons digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) select committee, The Guardian reports that a senior executive at Cambridge Analytica had visited Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in person, raising new questions about the connection between the two firms.
Brittany Kaiser, who had served as a director at Cambridge until earlier this year, said she had been in close contact with Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange, even traveling to see him inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London and funneling money to Wikileaks' bank accounts using cryptocurrency.
Both Cambridge and Wikileaks are already part of Robert Mueller's investigation.
The connection between the two firms wasn't publicly known until October last year, when it was revealed that Cambridge had "reached out" to Assange and Wikileaks and offered to help them index the missing 33,000 Hillary Clinton emails. Assange said in a statement that he had turned down Cambridge's offer.
Kaiser had been a director at the firm until earlier this year. She visited Assange on Feb. 17, 2017 under the pretext of discussing the outcome of the US election, and reportedly referred to Wikileaks as her "favorite charity." Reports about her activities eventually reached investigators, who sought to make it public.
When Kaiser appeared before MPs in April, she acknowledged that some employees at the company had contact with lawyers who also represented Assange. During his first appearance before the committee, Nix had said that "we have no relationship with Wikileaks. We have never spoken to anyone at Wikileaks. We have never done any business with Wikileaks. We have no relationship with them, period."
In fact, Nix said he only attempted to reach out to Assange after hearing about Hillary Clinton's missing emails in the news. Nix said he got in contact with Assange via a speaking agency that represented Wikileaks.
During Kaiser's testimony before the DCMS committee, Chairman Damian Collins asked her whether Nix was aware that he could contact Assange through her. Kaiser said that Nix could've asked her to put him in touch with Assange, but that he apparently chose not to. As she explained her connection to Assange, Kaiser revealed that she met the Wikileaks founder through his former lawyer, John Jones QC, who had represented Assange in his extradition case and later became a close personal friend. Jones's former legal assistant, Robert Murtfeld, who worked closely with him on the Wikileaks case, subsequently went to wok for Cambridge Analytica as director of commercial sales.
Meanwhile, as we noted overnight, Nix faces serious questions from his investors also as they claim he stole over $8 million from the firm before its collapse.