Daily Beast - February 18, 2020
"Fitzgerald said a statement produced by Assange’s personal lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, included a description of “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.”
LONDON—A lawyer for Julian Assange has claimed in court that President Donald Trump offered to pardon Assange if the WikiLeaks founder agreed to help cover up Russia’s involvement in hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee.
Assange’s lawyers said on Wednesday that former Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher offered Assange the deal in 2017, a year after emails that damaged Hillary Clinton in the presidential race had been published. WikiLeaks posted the stolen DNC emails after they were hacked by Russian operatives.
The claim that Rohrabacher acted as an emissary for the White House came during a pre-extradition hearing in London.
Assange has argued that he should not be extradited to the U.S. because the American case against him is politically motivated. He spent almost seven years hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in Central London claiming that he would be jailed in the U.S. if he wasn’t granted asylum. He was kicked out of the embassy last year.
His lawyers told the court that Trump’s alleged offer to pardon Assange proved that this was no ordinary criminal investigation.
Edward Fitzgerald, who was representing Assange in court, said he had evidence that a quid pro quo was put to Assange by Rohrabacher, who was known as Putin’s favorite congressman. ...
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