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‘Putin’s favorite congressman’ offered Julian Assange a pardon if he covered up Russian meddling: lawyers

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Dana Rohrabacher (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

American prosecutors said this week that former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) offered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a pardon from President Donald Trump if he agreed to help cover up Russia’s role in interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

The Daily Beast reports that witness Jennifer Robinson has testified that she attended a meeting between Rohrabacher and Assange in 2017 in which he made a direct quid-pro-quo offer.

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Rohrabacher was joined in the meeting by Charles Johnson, a pro-Trump racist internet troll, and the two men led officials at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to believe they were acting on behalf of the president.

“They stated that President Trump was aware of and had approved of them coming to meet with Mr. Assange to discuss a proposal—and that they would have an audience with the president to discuss the matter on their return to Washington, D.C.,” Robinson said.

The White House has denied that Trump was ever aware of such a scheme, however, and attorneys representing the U.S. government seemed to dispute Rohrabacher’s claims.

“After Robinson read her testimony in a London courtroom on Friday, lawyers representing the U.S. accepted the witness statement as accurate and confirmed they had no intention of cross-examining the claim,” The Daily Beast reports. “They did dispute, however, that President Donald Trump gave his blessing for the pardon offer.”


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2020 Election

WATCH: Former Trump voters explain what sent them over the edge — and got them to back Biden

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HuffPost reporter Daniel Marans talked with voters Tuesday outside the Luzerne County building in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, ahead of President Donald J. Trump's rally in the state. The line for early voting was about an hour long with most of the queue being held inside. Marans reported that, "People also have questions/requests. But you can drop off a pre-completed absentee ballot in the blue box."

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Trump’s strategy against Joe Biden and the coronavirus is to increasingly accept defeat: columnist

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In an op-ed for the New York Times this Tuesday, Ross Douthat says that the Trump administration is beginning to see the writing on the wall as Election Day grows closer.

According to Douthat, Trump's 2020 campaign "has been stuck toggling back and forth between two very different narratives."

"One seeks to replay the last campaign, portraying Joe Biden as the embodiment of a failed establishment (hence all the references to his 47 years in Washington) who will sell out American interests to China as soon as he’s back in power," he writes.

The other is Trump apparently insistence in running against Joe Biden as if he's Bernie Sanders. While a skilled campaigner could have weaved these narratives together, their contradictions are more obvious when coming from Trump. "The resulting incoherence just feeds his tendency to return to old grudges and very online grievances, as though he’s running for the presidency of talk radio or his own Twitter feed," writes Douthat.

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2020 Election

Trump declared war on mail-in voting — he ended up shooting himself in the foot

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Donald Trump's war on mail-in voting seems, like many of his schemes to steal the election, to be backfiring.

As much as he may publicly deny it, Trump knows he's unpopular and cannot win a free and fair election. So he has determined that the best way to hang onto power is to keep as many Americans from voting as possible. Since nearly the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump has been waging war against mail-in ballots, which many millions of Americans are using this year in order to avoid crowded and unsafe polling places.

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