17:52 GMT23 November 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham in a statement on Wednesday denied allegations that President Donald Trump directed former Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to offer WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a pardon if he said Russia had no role in the Democratic National Convention (DNC) leaks.

    "The President barely knowns Dana Rohrabacher other than he's an ex-congressman", Grisham said in the statement. "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".

    Assange's legal team alleges that Trump asked the former congressman to speak with his client to offer a pardon in exchange for a statement saying Russia did not have a role in the DNC leaks.

    The WikiLeaks founder is indicted by a US court on 18 felony charges, mostly regarding the violations of the Espionage Act after he leaked classified cables that exposed US transgressions during the Iraq and Afghan wars. Assange faces five to 10 years in prison for each if convicted.

    Assange spent seven years in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London after skipping bail and asking for political asylum in 2012 to evade possible extradition to the United States.

    The whistleblower was forced out of the embassy last year and is being held at a high-security prison in London pending an extradition trial, which is scheduled to begin on Monday. A UN rapporteur on torture has said that he showed signs of prolonged psychological torture.

    Tags:
    Russia, Donald Trump, Julian Assange
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