Ex-Rep Confirms His Proposal Of A Pardon For Assange To Clear The Russians In The DNC Hack [Updated]

This week, many were surprised by the disclosure made by the lawyers for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in London in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court. Edward Fitzgerald made a witness statement application for co-counsel Jennifer Robinson who shared information concerning ex-California representative Dana Rohrabacher. She claimed that he made Assange a startling offer: if he cleared the Russians as the source of the hacked emails at the Democratic National Committee, Rohrabacher could get a presidential pardon from President Donald Trump. Now Rohrabacher himself says that it is true and that he spoke of the plan with Trump White House Chief of Staff, though he did not speak of the plan with Trump himself. The timing is particularly unfortunate for the White House with a report that U.S. intelligence believes that Russia is again seeking to intervene in the election and appears to be intervening in favor of Trump. Update: A new story suggests that the Russians could also be helping Bernie Sanders.

Fitzgerald said that the statement 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.”

Such an offer would add a new allegation of the misuse of presidential power for personal or political benefit. The White House denied the story: “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.”

Rohrabacher did visit Assange at the Ecuadoran embassy in London in August 2017. Rohrabacher claimed afterward that he had “earth-shattering” information from the meeting.

Rohrabacher confirmed with Yahoo News that he told Assange he would get him a Trump pardon deal. However, he also confirmed that he never spoke with Trump and indeed he was repeatedly rebuffed in his attempts to do so. He also said he would “petition” the president and not that he had a guarantee of such action: “I spoke to Julian Assange and told him if he would provide evidence about who gave WikiLeaks the emails I would petition the president to give him a pardon.” However, he added “He knew I could get to the president.”

The alleged quid pro quo pardon proposal is not new. The Wall Street Journal reported promoted on the proposed deal back in September 2017. Likewise, Rohrabacher told the Daily Caller afterward that “if [Assange] is going to give us a big favor, he would obviously have to be pardoned to leave the Ecuadoran embassy.” Some reports have stated that Assange continues to maintain that the material did not come from Russia.

While Rohrabacher did meet with Trump before the Assange meeting, he said that he was blocked after the meeting. He also said that he met with Chief of Staff John Kelly but again did not seem to make progress. He said that Kelly was courteous but “he knew this had to be handled with care,” Rohrabacher said he never heard back.

That falls short of the critical nexus needed to establish that the President or the White House was part of this effort. I do however have a significant concerns about the Kelly meeting. The White House has already been damaged by the use of Rudy Giuliani’s activities in the Ukraine in pushing such theories from the 2016 election. The President has a history of working through third parties even at counter purposes to his own Administration.

If a former or current member of Congress is flying around the world pitching such a pardon-based quid pro quo, I would think that the White House would do more than sit in courteous silence. Rohrabacher was suggesting that he could seal a deal for clearing the Russians in exchange for a presidential pardon. Yet, there is no evidence that the White House told him to stop or made an effort to prevent such representations from being made. It could be argued that such silence (particularly after the stories ran) amounts to tacit approval or acquiescence.

It is not uncommon for a possible witness to be offered benefits from cooperation, though this is usually done in terms of seeking the dropping or reduction of charges as opposed to a pardon. Indeed, such cooperation deals were discussed regarding Assange. Yet, a pardon in exchange for clearing the Russians is troubling on a number of levels.

Pardons generally are sought after the completion of criminal prosecutions and are not bargaining chips to induce cooperation. There is always the lingering hope for such clemency but I have never heard of a White House allowing pardons to be raised as an inducement for a statement or evidence. Moreover, the purpose of such a quid pro quo is highly disturbing. At the time, the United States was investigating Russian hacking. If Assange was going to cooperate, such cooperation needed to be raised with the Justice Department not the White House and certainly not through a former or current member of Congress. Of course, the intelligence agencies uniformly agreed that it was the Russians who hacked the emails.

It remains to be seen how this information will assist Assange in fighting extradition to the United States. As I discussed in an earlier column, the British court could deny extradition on the basis of Assange’s human rights and claim of being a journalist.

All of this can be rightfully considered by the court in deciding whether Assange will be extradited to the US. For example, in 2002 British hacker Gary McKinnon argued that he would be denied basic protections if extradited to the US. The case went all the way to the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights. In 2012, his extradition was denied by the home secretary at that time, Theresa May, on the basis that extradition “would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon’s human rights.”

This is a different angle for opposing extradition. The claim seems to be that Assange was being coerced to supply a statement and would now be punished for failing to play ball with Trump officials. That would seem less compelling than his claim that, if he is extradited, every investigative journalist could be extradited for such acts. The lack of a nexus to Trump or a green light from the White House undermines the value of the statement as a basis for denying extradition.

157 thoughts on “Ex-Rep Confirms His Proposal Of A Pardon For Assange To Clear The Russians In The DNC Hack [Updated]”

  1. ‘GOSZTOLA: What we’re talking about here are secrecy laws within the United States that have bearing on First Amendment rights for U.S. citizens. Then those laws are being imposed on someone who is a foreigner. If the First Amendment doesn’t apply to Julian Assange, then how can this secrecy law? How can he be accused of violating the Espionage Act?

    GOODALE: Exactly, how can the government have it one way and not the other way? You can’t have it both ways. He’s not subject to it and he’s out. Or he is subject to it and he gets the protection. It seems to me that when you think about this concept as applied to Assange, it makes no sense.

    With a world that is tightly bound by the internet and thus we could have another example of this down the line. A precedent that the United States can go all over the world and pick up people who they think are stealing their secrets and try them under U.S. law when they’re in fact in some other country, not covered by protections of U.S. law, is a pretty outrageous concept.’

    https://shadowproof.com/2020/02/23/interview-with-james-goodale-stunning-how-few-in-us-care-about-threat-posed-by-assanges-case/

    Further, Assange’s was harassed by prison authorities in his cell just today. That’s a form of torture for a man who has never stopped being tortured and is unlawfully in prison at all. I’m sure it’s not a case of trying to send a message or break him down or anything like that…nothing to see here, just move along into the complete destruction of freedom of speech and human rights.

    1. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/feb/23/julian-assange-was-harassed-by-cell-search-claims-father

      Excerpt:

      Varoufakis said Assange was in a “very dark place” due to spending more than 20 hours a day in solitary confinement. Describing the Australian as a “force of nature”, he said he was not being allowed to exercise in the gym with other inmates.

      “We have to stop this extradition in the interests of 300 years of modernity, 300 years of trying to establish human rights and civil liberties in the west and around the world,” Varoufakis added.

  2. JT, just FYI, there is an article in Consortium News about the lack of evidence concerning claims that Russia is interfering in the election. Russigate was and is a lie.

    The other part of your post both shocks and saddens me. Literally 5 different nations have destroyed a large chunk of their own and international law because of the US demand to silence Assange. It doesn’t need to go any further than that (although of course it most certainly does) to be a shock to any person of conscience.

    What does it mean for nations who purport to be the world’s moral/legal guardians to have so thoroughly destroyed their own rule of law? If you understand just how many and what types of human rights laws (and other important laws) were destroyed, it is simply mind blowing. God knows the US has been destroying the rule of law for a very long time, but since 9/11, the US is a government gone insane. These nations, including our own, will lie in ruins because of that insanity.

    The treatment of Assange is illegal and immoral. 5 nations have already laid waste to their own laws and Assange hasn’t even been extradited yet. It’s horrifying watching your own nation lose that which is best about it. It makes me want to cry.

    1. Here is just one example of what I mean: “Julian Assange and his Australian lawyers were secretly recorded in Ecuador’s London embassy”. If we really care about privacy then I would think that this violation, along with stealing people’s info on their computers and phones while visiting the Embassay and recording confidential lawyer-client info and sending it to USGinc. would be a violation of privacy that should be condemned. This case is now in the Spanish Courts.

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-23/surveillance-of-julian-assange-captured-lawyers-conversations/11985872

    2. Here is a person who speaks for many of us when we feel horror at what has happened to our nation. This person is speaking of what is happening to his own nation, the UK:

      https://twitter.com/SomersetBean On this twitter is an interview w/Roger Waters. I am unable to link to it but you can easily find it there.

      It is necessary for we the people to defend our nation from the lawlessness of our overlords. What they are doing is evil and if good people stand by and say nothing, they will succeed in that evil

  3. Asange has consistently asserted that his Source was not Russia – long before Rohrbacher contacted him.

    He has done so despite intense pressure from pretty much everywhere to say it was the russians.

    Why is it so hard for so many to beleive that our Intelligence community might be wrong, rather than to beleive that Asange is lying ?

    If we get rid of all the breathless speculation and spin this story all lines up.

    Asange has said consistently – it was not the Russian’s.

    Both Trump and Rohrbacker say they never talked.

    Rohrbacher agrees that he offered to petition Trump for a pardon, if Asange could prove what Asange had been saying all along.

    It is only a crime for those on the left to offer a QPQ for the TRUTH.

    What is the left going to do if Assange is drug back to the US and provides proof that the DNC leaks was NOT the Russians ?

    Or is the expectation that after the US and UK have tortured Assange for years and subject him to the Mueller Treatment – that Assange will say whatever the “deep state” wants.

    Release Asange – he is not guilty of anything. Then he can publicly say whatever he wants – we might not get the truth – but it is near certain we wont by torturing him further.

    1. Anonymous, Assange is clearly saying this pardon deal was coming from Trump via Rohrabacher. Why would Assange say that if Russia had no involvement at all? It doesnt make sense.

  4. “DECLASSIFIED UK: UK minister who approved Trump’s request to extradite Assange spoke at secretive US conferences with people calling for him to be “neutralized” https://buff.ly/38NNRXi By Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis @DCKennard @markcurtis30 ”

    reach the information through wikileaks twitter

    1. The US was able to ask for and get 5 nations to void their own rule of law in this case. That alone should give pause to any person who thinks there is little at stake here for free speech. Five nations violating their own laws at US bidding is what I call sending a message–speak up about US war crimes and this is what we will do to you.

      Stefania Maurizi has FOIA litigation which shows how the UK asked Sweden to break the rule of law to detain Assange. This isn’t speculation, it’s fact. Find out about it at her twitter: 1. If you report about Julian #Assange #ExtraditionHearing next week,don’t forget what my lawyers
      @estelledehon @suigenerisjen and I unearthed about @cpsuk in a #FOIA litigation still ongoing after 5years!

      @cpsuk [Crown Prosecution Service] is the very same UK agency in charge of the #extradition process

  5. The sad part is that the intel assessments have been for years that Russia’s main goal is to undermine confidence in our institutions. Now it seems that they have been so successful that they don’t need to spend any money to rile up the half wits in the media and Democratic Party.
    Once we lose confidence in our elections, courts, public officials, and information sources, a socialist President doesn’t seem like a stretch.

    Anyone feeling the Bern?

  6. Former Speaker Paul Ryan said yesterday that he didn’t think Mitt Romney’s vote to impeach Trump was the right decision. Got that? Paul Ryan thinks Romney got it wrong. Duh! No kidding Paul. Mitt Romney is a spite-filled Trump-hating tool of the media/left.

  7. Assange Pardon Deal Comes From Assange

    U.S. President Donald Trump offered to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if he said that Russia had nothing to do with WikiLeaks’ publication of Democratic Party emails in 2016, a London court heard on Wednesday.

    Assange appeared by videolink from prison as lawyers discussed the management of his hearing next week to decide whether he should be extradited to the United States.

    At Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Assange’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald, said that former Republican U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher had been sent by the president to visit Assange in 2017 to offer him a pardon.

    The pardon would come on the condition that Assange say the Russians were not involved in the email leak that damaged Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016 against Trump.

    A White House spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, denied the assertion.

    “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,” she said.

    Edited from: “Trump Offered To Pardon Assange If He Denied Russia Helped Leak Democrats Email”

    Reuters, 2/19/20
    …………………………………………………

    The allegation that Rohrabacher visited Assange with the pardon deal is coming from Julian Assange himself.  Assange could be lying, of course.  But the allegation is ‘not’ an invention of mainstream media as so may commenters have suggested here.

    1. BBC Coverage States Allegation Comes From Assange 

      The claim was made at a court hearing in London before a formal extradition request for Assange begins. He is wanted in the US on espionage charges.

      Assange’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald QC, told Westminster Magistrates Court there was evidence that former congressman Rohrabacher made the pardon offer.

      Mr Rohrabacher, known for his outspoken support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, visited the Ecuadorian embassy in August 2017, where Assange was staying, he said.

      At the time, Russia was widely suspected of stealing embarrassing Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails, which were published by Wikileaks – although Assange has denied Russian involvement.

      Mr Fitzgerald said a statement from Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson showed “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.”

      District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled the evidence admissible in court.

      White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said: “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.”

      Mr Trump has previously praised him as “a great congressman” who “works hard and is respected by all”.

      The Wall Street Journal reported in 2017 that he had contacted the White House in an attempt to secure a pardon for Mr Assange .

      Edited from: “Dana Rohrabacher Denies Offering Assange Pardon From Trump”

      BBC 2/20/20

      1. If Rohrabacher Wasn’t Offering Pardon..

        What ‘Was’ His Business with Assange?

        Did Congressman Dana Rohrabacher really travel to London to discuss the Seth Rich conspiracy theory with Julian Assange?

        Seth Rich, for the record, was a native of Nebraska.  Rohrabacher represented a California congressional district.  So it’s hard to see what interest Rohrabacher had in the Seth Rich theory.  

  8. Professor Turley seems to be basing his article on stories written in The Washington Post, The Guardian, Reuters, and the Associated Press. While there once was time long ago that such “sources” would at least have some level of reporting with integrity, even if half-hearted, today that is clearly not the case. And when it comes to stories involving President Trump, the odds tilt heavily in favor of such stories being fake news. In this particular case, the stories are, indeed, fake news, as the media attempt to spin another phony quid pro quo.

    Rohrabacher originally met with Assange in 2017 to find evidence that might support the rumor that slain DNC staffer Seth Rich was the real source of the DNC leak, not Russian agents. Rohrabacher said that he never spoke to President Trump about the proposed deal. Rohrabacher said that he “spoke to Julian Assange and told him if he would provide evidence about who gave WikiLeaks the emails I would petition the president to give him a pardon . . . Assange knew I could get to the president.”

    The former congressman wrote on his personal blog that “there is a lot of misinformation floating out there regarding my meeting with Julian Assange.” “At no time did I talk to President Trump about Julian Assange. Likewise, I was not directed by Trump or anyone else connected with him to meet with Julian Assange,” he wrote.

    Rohrabacher said that he called then-chief of staff John Kelly to discuss the proposal, but said Kelly made no promises that he would even raise the matter directly with the president. The former congressman said he never heard anything back from Kelly on the subject and never discussed the subject directly with President Trump.

    In other words, this story is yet another in a long line of media nothingburgers.

    1. James, you denounce every mainstream source without citing any sources of your own. What’s more Trump has denied knowing Rohrabacher when it’s known that Rohrabacher met with him at the White House.

  9. Since it was published in the MSM, it MUST be true

    What’s more, Mueller included it in his 37 page indictment so that just settles any doubt. The Russians are desperately trying to sell their potato based vodka to Americans to inebriate us! What else could it possibly mean!? They are doing this in order to support their economy. but of course!

    No doubt Turley will write an article tomorrow on this very topic because we all know Turley writes only about matters that are of news-shattering importance

    Someone pass me a shot of Stolichnaya

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/02/17/indictment-russians-also-tried-help-bernie-sanders-jill-stein-presidential-campaigns/348051002/

    “Indictment: Russians also tried to help Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein presidential campaigns”

    USA TODAY

    WASHINGTON – It turns out Donald Trump wasn’t the only candidate the Russians allegedly tried to help during the 2016 presidential campaign.

    A 37-page indictment resulting from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation shows that Russian nationals and businesses also worked to boost the campaigns of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Green party nominee Jill Stein in an effort to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    The Russians “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump,” according to the indictment, which was issued Friday.

  10. Bernie Sanders was allegedly briefed that Russia is trying to help his campaign.

    Takeaways:

    1. Contrary to how Trump’s investigation was handled, Bernie was briefed. This is in spite of the fact of Bernie Sanders’ decades long close association with Russia.

    2. Russia, along with many other foreign countries, will nudge alone social media posts to support any candidate it feels is in its interest. Socialist Bernie is an obvious example. They gave him an assist in 2016, too. So would any anti-war candidate, or anti-capitalist candidate, as it would weaken the US global standing and permit Russian expansion. This does NOT mean any of those candidates welcomed the help or worked directly with Russia.

    3. Note MSN stated the goal was to interfere. That’s a process, not a goal. The goal is to support a candidate they favor, weaken ones they don’t, and destabilize the US. They were quite successful undermining Trump for a number of years. That was ironic as it was actually Hillary Clinton with whom they collaborated through intermediaries.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/elections-2020/bernie-sanders-briefed-by-us-officials-that-russia-is-trying-to-help-his-presidential-campaign/ar-BB10fJsL

    1. Sanders does not have a ‘decades long, close’ association with Russia. His sympathies were Trotskyist. He went on one of the tours of the Soviet Union you used to see advertised in The Nation. The Nation was the echt publication for those whose sympathies were with the enemy during the Cold War. There were a number: Radical America, Ramparts (prior to 1975), David Dellinger’s Seven Days, Mother Jones, The Progressive, NACLA Report on the Americas, and, yes, The Village Voice (although that was only a side shtick with them. Other publications would certainly open their pages to such people, among them The New York Review of Books, Harper’s (under Lewis Lapham, not Michael Kinsley), In These Times, Bob Kuttner’s Working Papers. Not sure The Boston Review and The UTNE Reader weren’t culpable here as well. Our intelligentsia (and their dependents and hangers’ on like Bernie and Jane) stinks.

      1. Absurd, you didnt mention any of these links in your comments demanding that Democrats nominate Sanders. How funny you bring them up now.

        1. Seth, this has been explained to you, many times now. Let’s say that someone punched Bernie Sanders in the face. If Jonathan Turley, me, TIA, or anyone else declares that to be unfair treatment, that does not mean that any of us espouse his socialist policies. In fact, we are all still free to criticize him harshly on those policies. That is because acknowledging the fairness or justice of a situation has nothing, whatsoever, to do with whether we support that person politically.

          If you don’t understand this, then what does this say about your own judgement? How does your character or reason appear when you answer me by calling me names? Hone your reason. It has been blunted by your Machiavellian approach to politics. Right or wrong always seems to depend upon whether it helps or hurts your party. That is a bad thing.

          1. Karen about Bernie Sanders:

            “This is in spite of the fact of Bernie Sanders’ decades long close association with Russia.”

            What a crock, Karen. “A decades long close association with Russia.” I’ll let Bernie know.

    2. i think they ie Russian intelligence services — they don’t actually waste too much effort on preferring any candidate over another….the overall aim is to discredit the election process here as much as possible, and also to sow deeper division in the civilian population

      accordginly. they are interfering as the opportunities arise. they would bribe any candidate if they could just to get the blackmail value of the bribe., they would bribe their worst foe so that they could eventually discredit them if that was advantageous, and they would do the same to their best friend.

      this is how corruption works, how it is practiced, both by spies or by organized crime. any candidate is a target. all candidates are targets.

      secondary campaign staff could be targets too. it’s a question only of how many people are on the job trying to do the meddling and corruption etc

      I dont think Trump is corrupt and I don’t think Sanders is either. Not for a second.

      candidates will face the added complexity that there are all sorts of communications that can’t be controlled

      governments face it too. we need to be wary however of the “prevention” efforts of government which are aimed at “fake news” and supposed “Russian assets” because these innuendos and labels can be used in precisely the same way that the Communists of old used to squelch dissent

      For example I just saw someone saying on twitter that Zerohedge is a ‘Russian asset” Again, preposterous! And Zerohedge was banned for saying essentially what Senator Tom Cotton, and law professor Francis boyle have speculated, about covid-19

      and i speculated the same thing here too. i suppose im a russian asset too!

      this is Red Scare stuff in a different package. The Wapo is the culprit, just as Bernie said in a clip i just saw.

  11. Sanders Told That Russia May Intervene On His Behalf. Bernie Promptly Denounces Putin.

    Russia has been trying to intervene in the Democratic primaries to aid Senator Bernie Sanders, according to people familiar with the matter, and intelligence officials recently briefed him about Russian interference in the election, Mr. Sanders said on Friday.

    In a statement on Friday, Mr. Sanders denounced Russia, calling President Vladimir V. Putin an “autocratic thug” and warning Moscow to stay out of the election.

    “Let’s be clear, the Russians want to undermine American democracy by dividing us up and, unlike the current president, I stand firmly against their efforts and any other foreign power that wants to interfere in our election,” Mr. Sanders said.

    He also told reporters that he was briefed about a month ago.

    “The intelligence community is telling us Russia is interfering in this campaign right now in 2020,” Mr. Sanders said on Friday in Bakersfield, Calif., where he was to hold a rally ahead of Saturday’s Nevada caucuses. “And what I say to Mr. Putin, ‘If I am elected president, trust me you will not be interfering in American elections.

    Edited from: “Russia Is Said To Be Interfering To Aid Sanders In Democratic Primaries”

    Today’s New York Times
    ……………………………………………………………….

    Bernie Sanders shows Trump how it’s done: “You denounce the interference and label Putin a thug’. But curiously Trump never thought of responding in such a fashion.

    1. I don’t believe Sanders is or would “Collude.”

      However, he is just talking tough when he says “trust me you will not interfere”

      we need to grip reality that there is no way to stop foreigners, either private or government, from mounting influence campaigns on the internet, for example. no way. stop they from buying facebook ads? ok, well, they’ll just make facebook profiles and say their peace. lots of them!

      we have a fundamentally free and open internet. there is no way to have the current system infrastructure allowing quasi anonymous speech, and shut down all foreigners from speaking on elections. it wouldnt even be legal. we here foreigners in the form of illegal aliens “influencing elections” all the time on tv, can Donald go shut them up? Can donald shut up Mexicans from insulting him because they’re “foreigners influencing elections?” hopefully you see my point. it’s equally impossible if some foreigners want to actually boost Trump, to stop them from saying their peace. you might as well shut down the internet altogether

      another example.

      china PRC has a thing called the “wumao army” means fifty cent army. they pay some workers to go out and comment on social media favorably to the PRC. it’s for real. but how can you stop it? You cant. and hey probably some of them are not paid just saying what they truly believe

      these guys say that all the Hong Kong pro-demonstrators are all paid by the CIA! it’s a preposterous cycle of accusations and false accusations that are all besides the point

      The thing to do is have a robust civil society that is resilient against these things.

      We dont get more resilient or robust, when half the political leadership in the country and a major newspaper is hammering out an endless theme of “collusion” and “russian asset” etc

      I tell you what. If I were a modern day commissar dictating the orders for a bunch of russian internet trolls, I would tell them they need to devote some of their time….. to calling Donald Trump a Russian asset!

      then they’d go over and pretend to be bernie supporters and say lots of crazy stuff

      then they’d put on maga hats and say different crazy stuff

      Just to make Americans upset and mistrust mass media and each other even more.

      please people get some self restraint about calling everybody you dont agree with a Russian asset. its pathetic!

  12. Craig Murray has this to say towards your argument, JT, that there is little to be concerned about for freedom of the press: “Julian Assange will stand next week in the armoured dock, accused of the “crime” of publishing. It is worth recalling that Wikileaks has a 100% record of accuracy. Nothing it has published has ever been shown to be inauthentic. Julian stands accused of the crime of telling the truth – more than that, of telling freely to the ordinary people of the world about the crimes which the powerful seek to conceal.

    It is a sad and damning fact that nobody in the United States has ever been jailed for the war crimes Wikileaks has revealed, for the massacre of journalists and of children, for the torture or for the corruption. Instead, the publisher who helped whistleblowers to get the truth out to the people has suffered enormously, and is threatened with incarceration for the rest of his life.

    We might also consider that none of Julian’s publishing ever took place inside the United States. The USA is trying to extradite him for publishing American secrets outside the USA, in a startling claim of worldwide jurisdiction. It is a prosecution that would if successful have a massive chilling effect on investigative journalists all over the globe. The fact that the mainstream media editors who gleefully republished Wikileaks’ revelations are not also in the dock reflects the fact that the security services are now very confident they have those outlets under control.”

  13. By Denying New Russian Efforts..

    Trump Places Himself Above Country

    In this new incident, we have a demonstration that the most natural assumptions about Trump’s motivations were correct. An intelligence official warns a legislative-branch committee about a threat to U.S. elections, and Trump’s response is to rage about how the warning is a risk to himself politically. Informing Schiff that Russia might want Trump to win may have been to Trump an unacceptable handing of a political talking point to a sworn enemy and not the proper functioning of the government.

    That it could be a useful talking point for Schiff is Trump’s own fault, of course. Trump could actively reject Russian interference and have taken concrete steps to block their interference, but he hasn’t. Democrats can use that disinclination as a cudgel against him.

    It seems that, to Trump, anything that undermines him is, by default, something that undermines America. Les cinquante etats, c’est lui, if you will. It’s an actualization of the actual argument made by his attorney Alan Dershowitz during the impeachment trial. Dershowitz claimed that Trump might see his own reelection as essential for the defense of the country and, therefore, that actions taken to ensure that reelection were actions intended to aid the country. It was a ridiculous claim in the context of the impeachment but an insightful argument in the context of Trump’s view of the presidency.

    He is not the only one who holds this view of his presidency, that there is greater risk to the country in revealing Russia’s efforts than there is in reinforcing Trump’s preferred, inaccurate worldview.

    Edited from: “In One Incident, A Series Of Realities About Trump’s Presidency Seem To Be Confirmed”

    Today’s Washington Post

    1. The extent to which the WAPO talks nonstop about Russian this and that, is the extent to which the WAPO helps the Russian intelligence services by making them out to be more consequential than they really are.

      The magintude and effect of Russian meddling are always ignored, in favor of an obsessive focus on the likelihood that they do meddle.

      This is a lack of moderation, a lack of context, and consistently poor judgment from the Wapo.

      It’s like prohibition of alcohol or illegal drugs. If you are obsessively focused on eliminating all drug and alcohol abuse, you will be willing to engage in the failed prohibitionist experiments of the past. Or if you can see that these problems are somehow endemic to human nature, and there is a degree to which prohibition becomes a cure that outweighs the sickness, then you moderate the rhetoric.

      Here the wapo doubles down every day on “Russian meddling.” Their credulous readers may actually believe that Trump is a Russian asset because of it. This is unfortunate because when a lot of people believe a false narrative then they are willing perhaps to do unwise things to rectify the supposedly harmful condition.

      Democrat leadership and their cheerleaders in cyberspace have rejected a focus on issues, policy, and legislation, in favor of constant adversarial drama. Will Americans choose this to lead the country in the next election? We’re going to find out soon enough!

  14. Another example of why the Left is trying to do CPR on the Russian narrative; because the Russian narrative is to the Democrat party what the lightening bolt was to Frankenstein. At this point, that party is at best a dead man walking.

    Looking back with 2020 hindsight (pun intended), Obama and everyone else in 2008 would be surprised to learn that significant improvements in the economy, inequality, and emissions would occur but that the public would credit them not to Obama’s eight-year tenure but to Donald Trump’s victory on Nov. 8, 2016.
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/editorials/trumps-economy-is-what-obama-always-wanted-but-never-got

  15. Assange has *always* maintained that his sources were not Russia or any other state actor. There is nothing inherently corrupt about Rohrbacher encouraging Assange to offer and transmit alleged documentary proof that the Mueller investigation was wrong and premised on lies and/or misinformation. However, the dangling of the possibility of a pardon is a very bad idea if pursued that way. Rohrbacher said he didn’t get authorization from Trump to do so or communicate with him about it. That said, this is essentially what prosecutors do every day when seeking testimony in exchange for immunity and plea deals. In fact the Justice Dept. dangled immunity in front of Assange’s cohorts and colleagues to solicit testimony against him.

    ( https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jan/23/wikileaks-doj-offering-immunity-exchange-testimony/ )

    Which raises the obvious question: Wouldn’t the Justice Department be interested in the possibility that Assange could verifiably refute the Russiagate theory? We could have avoided Russiagate and 3 years of New Cold War McCarthyism in exchange for a plea deal with Assange. Why was that not pursued? Assange seemed willing.

    This story speaks to larger questions of the corruption of the Russiagate investigation fiasco. Q. Why didn’t Mueller Team interview Julian Assange? That’s a whopper of an unanswered question. Because they didn’t want to know? Q. Odd that it’s under the Trump Administration that we actually sought to indict and extradite Assange out of UK. Obama resisted. Seems like a play to tempt Trump into resisting as well and voila! “He’s protecting Assange!” Q. Why did FBI accept Crowdstrike analysis of DNC servers? Q. Where is the NSA data proving that the DNC emails were hacked? Q. Where is the proof from the IC that “Russia is helping Trump” in 2020?

    “Six ways from Sunday” indeed.

    1. Good question and I’ll answer it.

      1- Assange would not have plead. He would have been required to disclose the source as a condition and that would have violated his journalistic principles. And it would thereby have screwed him for life and burned his whole Wikileaks project.

      2– they know it’s BS but since the FBI just took the Crowdstrike “report” as conclusive, they were defending their own choice not to conduct a sufficient investigation per SOPs. So this is in part an exercise in protecting the reputation of the US agencies. Mostly.

  16. “But while Rohrabacher struggled to get a meeting with Trump to talk about the proposal, he did actually get one before his visit with Assange. Rohrabacher met with Trump in April 2017 for 45 minutes in the Oval Office. Trump had seen the Russia-friendly congressman on Fox News and called him to deliver the invitation shortly after Rohrabacher walked off set, according to Politico.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/19/white-house-denies-julian-assanges-pardon-claim-heres-what-we-know-about-it/

    So — just to be clear — there was a meeting in the Oval Office before Rohrabacher met with Assange in August of 2017. Trump and Rohrabacher had a “45-minute” sit-down in April of 2017.

    1. And from your link above – “And second is that, if this was something Trump signed off on before Rohrabacher met with Assange, why would Rohrabacher then feel the need to pitch the idea to Kelly afterward? It’s possible he was doing so to help get another audience with Trump, but that seems unnecessary if the whole thing had been agreed to beforehand.”

      DUH!

      Even WAPO could figger this out.

      (This is one of those times when google is NOT your friend,)

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

    2. Regarding Above:

      Therefore Trump’s claims that he ‘barely knows’ Rohrabacher should be regarded with the utmost suspicion.

  17. “The great question that perplexed progressives throughout much of the 21st century was how to completely…” [nullify, abrogate and expunge in perpetuity the Constitution and Bill of Rights] (paraphrased).

    – Joseph Mussomeli
    ________________

    Comrade Abraham Lincoln eliminated classes from American society and put the Marxists on their progressive path to American and world domination.

    Communists (i.e. liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats) are direct and mortal enemies of the Constitution and America.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.
    _________________________________________________________________

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    – Edmund Burke
    _____________

    The only redress of constitutional grievances is impeachment and conviction of most of the judicial branch, with emphasis on the Supreme Court. The attendant requirement for a 2/3 majority assures that corrective action will never be accomplished.

    Americans “…fiddle while Rome burns.”
    _______________________________

    America is in a condition of hysteria, incoherence, chaos, anarchy and rebellion.

    President Abraham Lincoln seized power, neutralized the legislative and judicial branches and ruled by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Union.”

    President Donald Trump must now seize power, neutralize the legislative and judicial branches and rule by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Republic.”

          1. Nope, but i just looked it up

            https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-shropshire-17841387/hilda-murrell-killer-s-cell-mate-says-others-involved

            sometimes people get killed because of bad luck

            sometimes people get killed because they become activists on subjects which threaten powerful interests

            sometimes a suicide, isn’t, a mugging, isnt, a heart attack, isn’t, a lone nut, isn’t, etc etc etc

            but if you talk to much there’s always someone on hand to tell you to shut up or you’re a conspiracy theorist

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