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Assange says Trump offered to pardon him if he denied Russia leak

EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks to reporters on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, 19 May 2017. According to a statement by the Swedish prosecutor's office on 19 May 2017, Sweden has dropped a rape probe against WikiLeaks founder Assange.

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A London court was told that US president Donald Trump promised to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if he denied Russian involvement in the email leak that damaged Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016 against Trump.
Local media reported that Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, told the court on Wednesday that Trump made the offer through former US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.
The White House immediately denied that Trump had offered a pardon in exchange for help in the Russia controversy: “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”, the White House said, and added that “this is probably another never-ending hoax and total lie” by the Democratic Party.
Assange’s defence cited a statement from Robinson in which she said that Rohrabacher had been to see Assange and said “on instructions from the president, he was offering a pardon or some other way out, if Mr. Assange said Russia had nothing to do with the DNC leaks”.
Rohrabacher denied the allegations that he had offered Assange a deal: “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”, he said, and added: “At no time did I offer a deal made by the President, nor did I say I was representing the President”.
Assange is facing 18 counts in the US. 17 of them are under the Espionage Act.

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