Rohrabacher Wanted Assange Pardon In Exchange For His Sources

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The Kremlin’s favorite congressman tried to broker a deal between the White House and WikiLeaks this week.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher called Chief of Staff John Kelly to offer “proof” that Russia was not involved in the 2016 election hacking of the Democratic Party in exchange for a pardon of Julian Assange, “or something like that.”

“Mr. Rohrabacher pushed for a meeting between Mr. Assange and a representative of Mr. Trump, preferably someone with direct communication with the president,” the Journal reports.

“I would be happy to go with somebody you trust whether it is somebody at the FBI; somebody on your staff,” Mr. Rohrabacher said. The California congressman said he would be pleased to talk to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, but that the agency “has its limitations” and wanted “to cover their butt by having gone along with this big lie.” The CIA was one of the intelligence agencies that helped determine in January that emails from prominent Democrats were stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks.

Of course, in Rohrabacher’s mind, “this big lie” is the circus of very real scandal surrounding all the meetings that Trump campaign figures had with the Kremlin cat’s paws, obstruction of justice in the investigation of Michael Flynn and the firing of James Comey, etc. etc.

More than any other Republican on the Hill, Rohrabacher is convinced they are all fruit of a poisonous tree — a “big lie” that Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee in the first place.

Whatever Julian Assange told him when they met at the Ecuadorean embassy in London during August, Dana Rohrabacher believes it. Though he may have some doubt, as he did hedge his bets.

Assange “would get nothing, obviously, if what he gave us was not proof,” Rohrabacher reportedly told Kelly.

Which is good, because no such proof is likely to exist. At worst, Assange would lie and fabricate evidence. At best, he would identify whichever cutouts lie at the end of a chain of custody that the Kremlin created to cloak its activities in ‘plausible deniability.’ It’s the oldest trick in politics.

For example, the Wall Street Journal was able to quote the call with great precision, suggesting that the retired Gen. Kelly leaked the story himself, probably through an intermediary.

Similarly, former FBI director James Comey leaked his unclassified personal memorandum to the New York Times through a personal friend after he was fired. This isn’t even basic spycraft; it’s Washington insider 101.

Rohrabacher confirms that the call took place, but declined to elaborate on the content of his conversation with Kelly.

In a statement, WikiLeaks told the Journal that Assange and Rohrabacher did not discuss a presidential pardon during their meeting. Which may even be true, but the only reason Assange stays at the embassy anymore is that he allegedly fears arrest by the United States.

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