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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump offered Julian Assange a pardon if he covered up Russia’s hacking of the DNC’s server, attorneys for the Wikileaks founder say, The Daily Beast reports.

Assange’s lawyers “said Dana Rohrabacher, a former Republican congressman, had brought the message to London from Trump.” The attorneys are arguing that Assange should not be extradited to the U.S., claiming the case was political and not criminal.

“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,” Edward Fitzgerald, Assange’s lawyer, told the court, relaying a statement produced by another Assange’s attorney.The case, however, is not political.

Assange, were he to be extradited to the U.S., reportedly could face 175 years in jail if charged and convicted on 18 charges including conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

Rohrabacher, who claims he does not believe Russia interfered in the 2016 election, had earned the nickname “Putin’s favorite Congressman.”

The FBI in 2012 had to warn him the Kremlin considers him a valuable information asset – complete with a Russian code name.

In 2016 Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and other Republicans were speaking about Russia and Ukraine. McCarthy told the group, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”

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