WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been fighting extradition from London to the US, where he's been charged under the Espionage Act for publishing classified information. According to NBC News, Assange's lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, presented a statement on his behalf to a London court this week:
Assange's lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, said she saw then-Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., and Trump associate Charles Johnson make the offer during an August 2017 meeting at London's Ecuadorian Embassy, where Assange was evading arrest at the time. His seven-year stay there came to an end in April 2019 when Ecuador revoked his political asylum and invited police officers inside to arrest him.
"Rohrabacher explained that he wanted to resolve the ongoing speculation about Russian involvement in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) leaks to WikiLeaks," Robinson said. "He said that he regarded the ongoing speculation as damaging to U.S.-Russian relations, that it was reviving old Cold War politics, and that it would be in the best interests of the U.S. if the matter could be resolved."
In return, the men offered "some form of pardon, assurance or agreement which would both benefit President Trump politically and prevent U.S. incitement and extradition" for Assange, Robinson said in the statement.
Dana Rohrabacher was of course known at the time (and for a long time) as "Russia's favorite congressman."
And the White House has of course denied that Trump had any knowledge or involvement with this offer.
Assange was offered presidential pardon to help 'resolve' Russia role in DNC hack, court told [Alexander Smith and Michele Neubert / NBC News]
U.S. Admits That Congressman Offered Pardon to Assange If He Covered Up Russia Links [Jamie Ross / The Daily Beast]
Image: Paco Rives Manresa / Flickr (CC 2.0)