”Donald Trump offered pardon to Julian Assange over Russia email leak testimony”

Donald Trump offered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a pardon if he said Russia was not involved in the leak of Democratic National Committee emails, a court has heard.

The claim emerged as Assange, 48, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court ahead of an extradition hearing next week.

His barrister Edward Fitzgerald QC highlighted evidence alleging former US Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher had been to see Assange, while he was still in the Ecuadorian embassy in August 2017.

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He said a statement from Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson shows “Mr Rohrabacher going to see Mr Assange and saying, 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”.

But the White House Press Secretary flatly denied the reports.

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Stephanie Grisham said in a statement: “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.”

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