However, he did in the most weasely way possible.
Courtesy of Yahoo News:
Former California Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher confirmed in a new interview that during a three-hour meeting at the Ecuadorian Embassy in August 2017, he told Julian Assange he would get President Trump to give him a pardon if he turned over information proving the Russians had not been the source of internal Democratic National Committee emails published by WikiLeaks.
In a phone interview with Yahoo News, Rohrabacher said his goal during the meeting was to find proof for a widely debunked conspiracy theory: that WikiLeaks’ real source for the DNC emails was not Russian intelligence agents, as U.S. officials have since concluded, but former DNC staffer Seth Rich, who was murdered on the streets of Washington in July 2016 in what police believe was a botched robbery.
A lawyer for Assange in London on Wednesday cited the pardon offer from Rohrabacher during a court hearing on the U.S. government’s request to extradite the WikiLeaks founder.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham immediately denounced the claim about a pardon discussion with Assange as a “complete fabrication,” adding that the president “barely knows Dana Rohrabacher” and has “never spoken to him on this subject or almost any subject.”
Rohrabacher said that not only did talk of a Trump pardon take place during his meeting, but he also followed up by calling then White House chief of staff John Kelly to discuss the proposal. He did not, however, ever speak to Trump about it, he said.
“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,” Rohrabacher said. “He knew I could get to the president.”
So I think we can all see what Rohrabacher did here.
He essentially copped to making the request and then makes is sound as if it was just an idea he had on his own, thereby providing cover for Donald Trump against charges of bribery or interference with the Mueller investigation.
But one has to ask why Rohrabacher, who has long been in the tank for Vladimir Putin, felt he could offer up a presidential pardon if in fact he had not spoken about it with Trump?
And remember that these several degrees of separation that Trump tries to maintain with those making deals and obstructing justice on his behalf is a well-established pattern.
That is why Trump had Roger Stone reach out to Wikileaks on his behalf during the campaign, and why Michael Cohen was the one who paid off Stormy Daniels, and why he likely had son-in-law Jared Kushner making payments to Russia to help his campaign.
This is how Trump operates.
You know, just like mafia kinpins have their soldiers make the actual threats, commit the actual robberies, and do the actual killing.
In this case Rohrabacher takes all of the heat and gives himself an out by suggesting that he wanted real evidence from Assange, and not just his word.
But Rohrabacher also claims in this article that he still does not believe Russia hacked the DNC and continues to cling to the debunked theory that the data was stolen by the now deceased Seth Rich.
That does not suggest that Rohrabacher was looking for evidence, but rather that he just wanted Assange to make that claim to clear the names of his buddies Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
So with this admission Trump manages to skate away relatively unscathed yet again.
Man, I don’t know about anybody else but I am getting pretty sick and tired of watching that happen time and time again.