Lawyer Says She Witnessed Trump Offer to Pardon Assange

Jennifer Robinson tells court GOP congressman Rohrabacher proposed the deal
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2020 2:20 PM CDT
Lawyer Says She Witnessed Trump Offer to Pardon Assange
Jennifer Robinson, left, arrives at the Central Criminal Court in London Monday with Stella Moris, the partner of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

A London court has been told in detail that President Trump offered Julian Assange a deal for a pardon through a Republican congressman. Jennifer Robinson, Assange's lawyer, provided a witness statement in which she said she was there when Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican House member at the time, presented the offer to Assange, Reuters reports. In exchange, Robinson said, Trump wanted to know who leaked Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks, which Assange founded. Robinson's statement said the terms required "that Mr. Assange identify the source for the 2016 election publications in return for some form of pardon, assurance or agreement, which would both benefit President Trump politically and prevent US indictment and extradition." Robinson said the meeting took place at Ecuador's embassy in London in 2017. Assange is in court to fight extradition to the US.

Assange did not name the emails' source, Robinson said, spurning the offer that Rohrabacher called a "win-win situation," per the Guardian. Assange's legal team made the claim in February, which was denied at the time by White House aides. A spokesman said Trump barely knows Rohrabacher and had not talked to him about "this subject or almost any subject. It is a complete fabrication and a total lie." WikiLeaks published the emails, which appeared to be damaging to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign against Trump. US intelligence agencies have said Russia did the hacking. The embassy meeting ended, Robinson's statement said, with Rohrabacher promising to talk to Trump "about exactly what would be done to prevent Mr. Assange's indictment and extradition." (More Julian Assange extradition stories.)

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