Trump, Dana Rohrabacher And A Pardon For Julian Assange? Lawyer Says Yep!

“Mr. Rohrabacher going to see Mr. Assange and saying, on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr. Assange said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks”, Julian Assange’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald, told a court in London on Wednesday.

The explosive allegation was made during proceedings at a Westminster magistrates court, marking the beginning of Assange’s fight to avoid extradition to the US, where he would face some 18 charges and up to 175 years in prison.

Naturally, the White House claims Trump barely knows Dana Rohrabacher, whose pro-Kremlin views earned him the nickname “Putin’s favorite congressman”. In 2018, he was ousted after 15 terms.

“The President barely knows Dana Rohrabacher other than he’s an ex-congressman”, Stephanie Grisham said, in a statement. “He’s never spoken to him on this subject or almost any subject. It is a complete fabrication and a total lie. This is probably another never ending hoax and total lie from the DNC”.

There may indeed be some “complete fabrications” and “total lies” being foisted on the masses here, that’s for sure, but it’s very possible they emanate from the White House, not Assange’s attorneys. Even a cursory Google search reveals the following from a Wall Street Journal article published in 2017:

A U.S. congressman contacted the White House this week trying to broker a deal that would end WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s U.S. legal troubles in exchange for what he described as evidence that Russia wasn’t the source of hacked emails published by the anti-secrecy website during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The proposal made by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.), in a phone call Wednesday with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, was apparently aimed at resolving the probe of WikiLeaks.

The White House confirmed that call. Casting further doubt on what will surely be a series of belabored attempts to contend that Trump “barely knows” Rohrabacher is the following, from a 2017 Politico piece:

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher woke up before dawn Saturday for a Fox News hit in which he gave a spirited defense of President Donald Trump. Minutes after the California Republican walked off the set, Trump was on the line, inviting him to come by the White House.

The congressman’s spokesman said Rohrabacher at first believed the call was a prank because it came from the White House switchboard, early on April 1. But it was the president, an avid TV watcher who often posts tweets or sets up meetings based on what he sees on-screen.

“The president said he wanted to congratulate him on the appearance, and he should come by soon,” Rohrabacher spokesman Ken Grubbs said Tuesday, recounting the conversation Saturday. “And he said to bring your beautiful family with you.”

And there are obviously all manner of other articles to the same effect.

The District Judge presiding over pre-trial hearings in London on Wednesday said the allegation is, in fact, admissible during Assange’s extradition hearing, which starts next week.

This comes just a day after Trump announced nearly a dozen pardons and commutations, some of them high-profile in nature.

“Rohrabacher has said that Putin beat him in a drunken arm-wrestling match in the early 1990s to decide who won the Cold War”, The Washington Post reminds you, adding that “the FBI warned Rohrabacher in 2012 that Russian spies were actively trying to recruit him”.

In 2015, he met with Maria Butina, the Russian spy, and later called the charges against her “bogus”. He has also cast doubt on the US intelligence community’s assessment that the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 election.

Rohrabacher visited Assange while the WikiLeaks founder was still holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in August of 2017. “Our three-hour meeting covered a wide array of issues, including the WikiLeaks exposure of the DNC mails during last year’s presidential election”, Rohrabacher told The Hill‘s John Solomon following the meeting. That would be the same John Solomon who penned some of the stories at the heart of Rudy Giuliani’s smear campaign against Joe Biden and Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. “Julian emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of those emails”, Rohrabacher said. That is obviously ridiculous.

Just a month before Trump clinched the Republican nomination, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (who has since morphed into one of the president’s staunchest allies) told GOP leaders the following behind closed doors: “There [are] two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”.

When the other lawmakers in the room laughed, McCarthy said: “Swear to God”.


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