Pardoning Julian Assange: Donald Trump, WikiLeaks and the DNC
The central pillar to Democratic paranoia and vengefulness regarding the loss of Hillary Clinton in 2016 was the link between Russian hacking, the servers of the Democratic National Committee and the release of emails via WikiLeaks. Over time, that account has become a matter of hagiography, an article of faith, with grave conclusions: WikiLeaks and Russia elected Donald Trump.
The Russia-DNC angle received another prod in pre-extradition hearings being conducted against Assange in the Westminster Magistrates Court, with his legal team disclosing details of the visit paid to the WikiLeaks publisher by former California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in 2017. The visit in question was not entirely a matter of surprise. The Wall Street Journal reported in September that year that Rohrabacher had contacted the White House in an attempt to broker a deal with Assange designed to alleviate his legal troubles. A conversation was said to have taken place between the Congressman and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, canvassing the possibility of ending the impasse in exchange for evidence that Russia was not behind the hacked emails.
Assange’s legal team, through Edward Fitzgerald, disclosed that President Trump had instructed Rohrabacher to discuss the possibility of a pardon for Assange provided he agreed to deny any Russian connection in the DNC hack. A statement produced by Assange’s personal lawyer, Jennifer Robison, included the following description: “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.”
For his part, former Congressman Rohrabacher is dissembling, claiming he had not discussed Assange with Trump prior to his “fact finding mission” to London. “At no time did I offer Julian Assange anything from the President because I had not spoken with the President about this issue at all.” Rohrabacher admitted to speaking with Kelly in a brief conversation after his trip to the Ecuadorean embassy in London. “No one followed up with me including Gen. Kelly and that was the last discussion I had on this subject with anyone representing Trump or his Administration.”
In 2018, Rohrabacher, in an interview with The Intercept, claimed that Kelly blocked him from briefing Trump about his London meeting with Assange. Both the congressman and his travel companion Charles Johnson had been shown “definitive proof [by Assange] that Russia was not the source of the Democratic Party communications that WikiLeaks published during the 2016 campaign.” The reason for Kelly’s obstruction lay with concerns that the special prosecutor might take an interest in Rohrabacher’s discussions about Russia, and how “that would appear to out-of-control prosecutors that that is where the collusion is.”
To keep matters interesting and mendacious, Trump now claims to “barely” know Rohrabacher while White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham insists that the allegations are “absolutely and completely false”, “a complete fabrication and a total lie. This is probably another never ending hoax and total lie from the DNC.”
In response, WikiLeaks has stressed that, “Chronology matters: The meeting and the offer were made ten months after Julian Assange had already independently stated Russia was not the source of the DNC publication. The witness statement is one of the many bombshells from the defence to come.”
The latest instalment in the case that keeps giving is a reminder of how trenchantly the Democrats have been seeking to link the DNC hack to Russia, WikiLeaks and their defeat. What Trump and Assange share, on some level, is the same tarnishing administered by the same brush.
In August 2017, Patrick Lawrence, writing in The Nation, suggested that the download of the relevant data from the DNC servers was most probably an internal job rather than an externally conducted operation. Reliance was made upon the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity memorandum to Trump claiming that, “Forensic studies of ‘Russian hacking’ into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer.” An “insider” had “copied DNC data onto an external storage device.”
A storm ensued: the article had laid some considerable explosive material under the traditional DNC account, leading to editor Katrina vanden Heuvel to conduct a “post publication review.” In a modest mea culpa, the editorial board suggested that they “should have made certain that several of the article’s conclusions were presented as possibilities, not as certainties.”
Since then, the Mueller Report has sought to ensconce the Russia hack-DNC narrative, dismissing Assange’s inside job thesis with almost withering disdain. “As reports attributing the DNC and DCCC hacks to the Russian government emerged, WikiLeaks and Assange made several public statements apparently designed to obscure the source of the material that WikiLeaks was releasing. The file-transfer evidence … and other information uncovered during the investigation discredit WikiLeaks’s claims about the source of material that it posted.”
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser has yielded to Assange’s team on the material produced at the pre-extradition hearing, potentially linking WikiLeaks to the highest deliberations in the White House. The addition, along with the vast picture of surveillance targeting Assange, has the makings of a very compromising picture, indeed.
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One factor in the whole saga of Assange and Wiki Leaks presenting themselves as fearless fighters for the free dissemination of information about government misdeeds and ‘dirty tricks’, is why Assange has never disclosed damaging information about Russia and Putin, about N.Korea and Kim Jong Un, about China and Xi Jin Ping, and Iran and the revolutionary Guards. Are we to believe and accept, that only democracies indulge in dark activities ? Surely these guys are not as innocent as Assange would have us believe, by excluding them from any scrutiny. Assange’s motives might have been objective, but his selective condemnation is hard to accept and puts his whole credibility in doubt.
N.B. I am no great fan of American ‘democracy’, which has been almost totally corrupted by big money and sleazy operatives.
Just as Putin and Xi Jin Ping and Kim Jong Yu are now effectively, ‘rulers for life’.
The hearing at Belmarsh might be revealing, or it might be scuppered with a suppression notice. Either way, the person to watch is Roger Stone, Trump’s point man on Assange. If he writes a tell-all book the greatest threat to Assange might be a jab from an umbrella soaked in Pollonium courtesy of the JOB.
FREE JULIAN ASSANGE NOW!!!!
EXPOSING THE USA (united states of apartheid) AS RESPONSIBLE FOR WAR CRIMES IS A SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHICH THE PERPETRATORS MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IN A COURT OF LAW
Henry Rodriques, Wikileaks publish what they can get hold of. Not being able to have “whistleblowers” in those countries obtaining information does not, by implication, mean they are biased. You obviously think this information is there for all and sundry to grab. It’s not. If you feel so strongly about it, how about you go to North Korea, for example, and try getting some information.
I wish that Wikileaks could get hold of Trump’s tax returns.
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John L……How many of Putin’s critics, detractors, opponents have either disappeared, been gunned down on a street, been poisoned, been thrown into jail repeatedly, been tortured, been banished to Siberia. And Assange couldn’t find one shred of hard evidence ???? How many citizens of China have been sent to re-education camps, been abducted and transported back to their homeland and brainwashed, and still no evidence to be found? How many family members and opponents of Kim Jong Un have been murdered in full view of N. Korean citizens and still nothing to be seen ???
I have not taken it upon myself to expose all the misdeeds of brutal dictators, but Julian Assange has, he parades himself as the lone voice of freedom, craves public adulation, makes out like he is the martyr.
Freedom is not dependent on which political system one lives under, it is the universal right of all citizens.