‘Julian Assange was offered a US pardon for denying Russian hacking’

'Julian Assange was offered a US pardon for denying Russian hacking'
Buildings are reflected in the window as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is taken from court. Source: AP
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Daily US Times, London: A lawyer for Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, said that former US congressman Dana Rohrabacher offered him a pardon on behalf of US President Donald Trump, in exchange for denying Russian involvement in the Democratic National Committee email leak. Both the White House and the congressman have strongly denied any Trump’s involvement on the issue.

On Wednesday, Lawyer Edward Fitzgerald told a court that a witness statement application claimed that then-California representative went to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to visit Mr Assange on the instruction of the “President.”

According to the lawyer, Rohrabacher’s mission was to offer Assange a US pardon, in exchange of acknowledging the Russians had nothing to do with the leak — an assertion Assange had previously made.

The comments were made at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London where a case management hearing on the US’ request to hand over Assange to them on charges under the Espionage Act.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser said the application presented by Fitzgerald was admissible.

After the news broke out, Rohrabacher said he had never spoken to Trump about Assange and that the visit was his own fact-finding mission.

On a statement, The former congressman said “When speaking with Julian Assange, I told him that if he could provide me information and evidence about who actually gave him the DNC emails, I would then call on President Trump to pardon him.”

”At no time did I offer a deal made by the President, nor did I say I was representing the President,” he added.

White House also dismissed the claim as ‘total lie’.

In a statement to CNN on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said “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 a complete fabrication and a total lie. This is probably another never-ending hoax and total lie from the DNC.”

Julian Assange was arrested from Ecuadorean Embassy in London in April last year on a US extradition warrant. He faces 18 charges in the US for his alleged role in receiving, encouraging and publishing national defence information.

His extradition hearing is set to begin next week.

Julian Assange Lawyers Say Trump Offered Pardon Over DNC Hack If He ‘Played Ball’

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