UPDATE #2: The White House denies everything, but:
It seems like news today, but then-Rep. Rohrabacher went on camera and told our LA station in September 2017 that he was engaged in a "confidential interaction" with the WH on a pardon for Assange.https://t.co/2563YgQ9Rg
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) February 19, 2020
UPDATE: Reuters confirms:
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…
At Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Assange’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald, referred to a witness statement by former U.S. Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher who had visited Assange in 2017, saying that he had been sent by the president to offer a pardon.
The pardon would come on the condition that Assange complied with the U.S. by saying that the Russians were not involved in the email leak which hurt Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016, Rohrabacher’s statement said.
As The Daily Beast reports:
President Trump offered to pardon Julian Assange if he agreed to cover up the involvement of Russia in hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee, which were later published by WikiLeaks, a London court was told on Wednesday. [Pols emphasis]
Lawyers acting for Assange have argued that the Australian should not be extradited to the U.S. because the case is political not criminal.
Edward Fitzgerald, Assange’s lawyer, said on Wednesday that a message had been passed on to Assange by former Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.
Fitzgerald said a statement produced by 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.”
This story is being picked up quickly. We’ll update as more information becomes available.