The Guardian's story claims that Manafort met with Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on three separate occasions - 2013, 2015, and March 2016. One of those meetings reportedly occurred in spring 2016, around the time Manafort joined the Trump campaign and several months before WikiLeaks published Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails that were obtained by Russian hackers.
Katie Townsend, a lawyer for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which brought the lawsuit to unseal the case, said Assange's advisers have long suspected there were secret charges against him for publishing USA government secrets.
Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor and New York City mayor who is representing Trump in the Mueller probe, said Manafort's lawyer told him the Guardian story is wrong.
If confirmed, the report Tuesday suggests a direct connection between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which released tens of thousands of emails stolen by Russian spies during the 2016 election.
Manafort and Assange say the article is false and have threatened legal action over the story.
The report didn't identify the sources for its reporting.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press argued that the inadvertent disclosure by prosecutors about charges against Assange obliterates the usual need for secrecy.
With Ohio State looming, MI still #4 in CFP
The Knights became the first team from outside the Power Five conference to be ranked in the selection committee's top 10. The night window includes South Carolina-Clemson, Kentucky-Louisville, LSU-Texas A&M and Notre Dame-USC.
DAWSEY: Last night, Mr. President, the special counsel's team charged Paul Manafort with saying, they accused him at least of saying more lies, and ended his plea deal.
Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, declined to discuss the report during Tuesday's press briefing, though she reiterated the president was not involved in any "wrongdoing" or "collusion".
Manafort said in the same filing on Monday that he disagreed with Mueller's assertion that he had lied, but both sides agreed the court should move ahead and sentence him for his crimes.
And while some commentators have described the cancelation of the plea bargain as a setback for Mueller, former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman told MSNBC's Ari Berman that he doesn't see it that way - in fact, according to Ackerman, it is evidence that Mueller already has a strong enough hand to complete his prosecution without Manafort's help.
A Twitter account for WikiLeaks called the report "completely fabricated", and criticized the paper's reporting.
Two sources confirmed to The Guardian that they saw Manafort enter the embassy during this time period. "Months later WikiLeaks released a stash of Democratic emails stolen by Russian intelligence officers".
Investigators since then have been trying to establish whether there was any link between any Americans, including those in Trump's 2016 campaign, and Russia's wave of "active measures", in which WikiLeaks played a starring role.