National Security

Assange lawyer: Trump offered pardon in exchange for saying Russia didn’t hack DNC

An attorney for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange alleged in court Wednesday that President Trump offered a pardon to Julian Assange if he would deny any Russian involvement in the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack in 2016.

Edward Fitzgerald, Assange’s lawyer, said in a London court that Trump’s message had been passed on to Assange by former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.).

Fitzgerald said a statement made by Jennifer Robinson, another lawyer for Assange, shows “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.”

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Wednesday denied the account.

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

The DNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Rohrabacher could not immediately be reached for comment.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who is presiding over Assange’s case, said the allegation would be admissible for a hearing next week regarding Assange’s legal battle to block attempts at extraditing him to the U.S, according to The Guardian.

Assange has been in prison since September after serving a 50-week jail sentence for violating his bail requirements during his time in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, The Guardian reported.

If tried in the U.S., Assange could face up to 18 charges, including conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

Tags Dana Rohrabacher DNC hack Donald Trump Julian Assange Stephanie Grisham WikiLeaks

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