GOP Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) took steps last week to broker a deal between the White House and Julian Assange, in which the WikiLeaks founder would turn over materials that he claims exonerates Russia from hacking prominent Democratic officials in the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. election, in exchange for a pardon or some other form of clemency, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
Widely known for taking a heavily pro-Russia stance within the U.S. government, Rohrabacher reportedly engaged directly with White House chief of staff John Kelly last Wednesday to discuss the terms of the deal. According to the WSJ, Assange would specifically supply the U.S. with a storage device containing supposed evidence
During his call with Kelly, Rohrabacher also reportedly suggested arranging a meeting between Assange and a representative of Donald Trump who has direct communication with the president.
In August, Rohrabacher privately traveled to London to personally meet with Assange, who continues to avoidarrest and possible extradition by staying within the Ecuadorean embassy. The meeting was not considered an official congressional trip, notes The Hill.
Trump’s own CIA director Mike Pompeo has declared WikiLeaks “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” Moreover, U.S. intelligence services unanimously blame Russia for hacks against the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta, whose stolen emails and documentation were subsequently published by WikiLeaks.