UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The White House categorically denied Wednesday information previously published by the Guardian newspaper that U.S. President Donald Trump offered pardon to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in exchange for his statement that the Russian Federation was not involved in hacking the servers of the U.S. Democratic Party’s National Committee in 2016.
A Guardian publication claimed that Trump Assange’s proposal was voiced at that time by Republican Dana Rohrabacher, a member of the US House of Representatives.
“The President barely knows Dana Rohrabacher, except that (he knows) that he is a former congressman. He never spoke to him on this subject, nor on any other topic. This is a complete falsification and a lie. This is probably another falsification and an absolute lie in a series of similar (stories) emanating from the Democratic Party, “White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told reporters (her words are quoted by the White House press service).
During 2016, the WikiLeaks website published details of the correspondence of members of the National Committee of the Democratic Party, as well as a letter from John Podesta, chairman of the headquarters of rival Trump for presidential elections, Hillary Clinton.
Then the US authorities announced the alleged involvement of the Russian government in hacker attacks. In 2018, Democrats sued the Russian government, the main department of the Russian General Staff (GRU), entrepreneurs of the father and son of the Agalarova, the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and Trump’s elected headquarters. The court dismissed the lawsuit.
The Westminster Magistrate’s Court in London completed a technical hearing on Wednesday to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a substantive hearing on Monday, February 24, and Assange participated in a video call from Belmarsh prison in England. During the meeting, the defendant, who uttered his full name at the beginning of the hearing, carefully studied the case materials.
Earlier, Assange’s lawyers and friends stated that they intend to present a number of facts related to the persecution of the Australian by the American authorities over the past ten years.
Assange, accused of sexual harassment and rape in Sweden in 2010, has been hiding since June 2012 at the Ecuadorian embassy in London for fear of extradition to a Scandinavian country.
On the morning of April 11, 2019, he was detained at the request of the United States. A court in London found him guilty of violating the conditions of bail and sentenced to 11 months in prison. Extradition hearings began on 2 May.
US officials said in late May that they had charged Assange with 17 episodes of violation of the law on espionage and the disclosure of classified information. Previously, he was accused of conspiracy to hack a computer on one count. In the case of extradition to the United States, Assange faces years of imprisonment.
The U.S. Justice Department, following a two-year investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Muller in the spring of 2019, concluded that U.S. President Donald Trump and his headquarters were not conspiring with Russia during the 2016 elections and that Trump did not obstruct justice. At the same time, Müller claimed that Russia interfered in these elections. Moscow denies all charges.
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