Culture

Assange: I'll keep my promise to go to the US

The WikiLeaks founder wants the US Department of Justice to make public any charges or extradition order against him.

gettyimages-508572332.jpg

Assange said he stands by his offer to travel to the US should Chelsea Manning be released from prison.

Carl Court, Getty Images

Will he or won't he?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Thursday he would keep his word and come to the US. But the transparency activist has some conditions for the US Department of Justice.

"I look forward to having a conversation with the DOJ about what the correct way forward is," Assange said in a press conference broadcast over Periscope, adding that he wants the Justice Department to either drop any charges against him, or unseal any extradition orders or charges it's keeping confidential.

It's the latest development in a series of statements from Assange about what might prompt him to face a DOJ investigation for the publication of classified government documents. First, Assange offered to travel to the US, then seemed to take it back through his lawyers. Now, he's doubled back again to say his offer still stands.

Assange, currently living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, is subject to an extradition order to Sweden and says he fears extradition to the US for his role in publishing leaked, classified information. Assange said on Twitter as recently as last week that he would come to the US on the condition that Chelsea Manning -- who leaked hundreds of thousands of military documents and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks -- was released from prison.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama commuted Manning's sentence, ending it 28 years early. Obama said Wednesday Assange's offer had no bearing on his decision to commute the sentence.

But on Wednesday, a lawyer for Assange told the Hill that the commutation fell short of what Assange wanted to see happen.

Next, at the Thursday press conference, Assange said he stood by what he originally said on Twitter about traveling to the US. "There has been no change in the position," Assange said.

A lawyer for Assange didn't immediately respond to a request to clarify whether the WikiLeaks founder wants to see anything more happen in the Manning case, or whether he has any more conditions for the Justice Department before he'll come to the United States. The lawyer, Melinda Taylor, told CBS News on Tuesday that Assange wouldn't go back on his word.

The Department of Justice didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.