'Putin's favorite congressman' offered Julian Assange a pardon if he covered up Russian meddling: lawyers

American prosecutors said this week that former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) offered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a pardon from President Donald Trump if he agreed to help cover up Russia's role in interfering in the 2016 presidential election.


The Daily Beast reports that witness Jennifer Robinson has testified that she attended a meeting between Rohrabacher and Assange in 2017 in which he made a direct quid-pro-quo offer.

Rohrabacher was joined in the meeting by Charles Johnson, a pro-Trump racist internet troll, and the two men led officials at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to believe they were acting on behalf of the president.

"They stated that President Trump was aware of and had approved of them coming to meet with Mr. Assange to discuss a proposal—and that they would have an audience with the president to discuss the matter on their return to Washington, D.C.," Robinson said.

The White House has denied that Trump was ever aware of such a scheme, however, and attorneys representing the U.S. government seemed to dispute Rohrabacher's claims.

"After Robinson read her testimony in a London courtroom on Friday, lawyers representing the U.S. accepted the witness statement as accurate and confirmed they had no intention of cross-examining the claim," The Daily Beast reports. "They did dispute, however, that President Donald Trump gave his blessing for the pardon offer."

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