Former California Rep. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherNow someone wants to slap a SPACE Tax on Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, et al 'Blue wave' Democrats eye comebacks after losing reelection Former Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building MORE (R) said Thursday that he discussed a possible presidential pardon with WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeUS tells UK Assange could serve any sentence in Australia Trump administration mulled kidnapping, assassinating Julian Assange: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats stare down 'hell' week MORE in exchange for proof that Russia didn’t hack into the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) email, Yahoo News reported.
Rohrabacher told Yahoo News that he held a three-hour meeting at the Ecuadorian Embassy in August 2017 when he informed Assange of the potential deal. The former congressman said he aimed to gather proof for a widely debunked theory that former DNC staffer Seth Rich, who was killed in Washington in 2016, leaked the information, rather than Russian intelligence agents hacking the system.
The theory would negate U.S. intelligence agencies’ and former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s prosecutors’ conclusions that Russian operatives hacked the DNC email.
“I spoke to Julian Assange and told him if he would provide evidence about who gave WikiLeaks the emails, I would petition the president to give him a pardon,” Rohrabacher told Yahoo News. “He knew I could get to the president.”
He said in the interview that he wanted “truthful” information from Assange and was not pressuring him to “lie.”
The former congressman said he called then-White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE after the meeting, saying Kelly was “courteous” but made no commitment to bring it up with President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE. He didn’t speak to Kelly again on the matter and never had a direct discussion with the president.
Assange’s lawyer Edward Fitzgerald told a London court in his client’s extradition case against the U.S. that Trump had offered to pardon Assange if he released information that “said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks.”
White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamGrisham thinks Trump will run in 2024 and have no 'guardrails' Sunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony CNN's Brianna Keilar, Admiral Giroir spar over Trump administration's COVID-19 response MORE on Wednesday called Fitzgerald’s claim “complete fabrication.”
“The President barely knows Dana Rohrabacher other than he’s an ex-congressman,” she 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.”
Rohrabacher, who was defeated in the 2018 election, was known for defending Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinA modern US-Russia policy must embrace realism and strategic humility Russia tells Afghanistan's neighbors to refuse US, NATO forces Russia tightens restrictions as virus infections, deaths rise MORE and Trump during the Russia investigations. He is now a consultant to the cannabis industry.
The DNC and the White House did not immediately return requests for comment.