Disobedient Media previously reported events surrounding Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in the wake of his meeting with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London last month. Rohrabacher claimed that the Wikileaks editor in chief had assured him of the existence of proof against the Russian hacking narrative. Rohrabacher also stated that he felt Assange should be pardoned. This sequence of events has been churned into a misleading narrative casting Rohrabacher as a direct intermediary between Trump and Assange.
The interpretation of these events has largely been that Assange gave Rohrabacher concrete information which was then intended to be given to Trump as part of a “deal” for a pardon. However, the latest reports from the Wall Street Journal revealing a leaked phone call between Rep. Rohrabacher and Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly reveal that this is not the case.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday on the content of the leaked conversation between Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Whitehouse Chief of Staff John Kelly. The call was said to include a discussion regarding a physical storage device that holds evidence disproving Russian hacking allegations.
An important aspect of the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the leaked conversation is the statement that: “Assange would probably present a computer drive or other data-storage device that Mr. Rohrabacher said would exonerate Russia in the long-running controversy about who was the source of hacked and stolen material aimed at embarrassing the Democratic Party during the 2016 election.”
This would strongly suggest that Assange is in possession of concrete evidence that would disprove the Russian hacking narrative. It also implies that such information has not yet left Assange’s custody. The content of the call logically suggests that Rohrabacher has not been given the evidence as an intermediary on Assange’s behalf, as whatever information Assange possesses is still with him.
The conversation also indicated that Rohrabacher is not in direct contact with Trump. The Wall Street Journal wrote: “A Trump administration official confirmed Friday that Mr. Rohrabacher spoke to Mr. Kelly about the plan involving Mr. Assange. Mr. Kelly told the congressman that the proposal “was best directed to the intelligence community,” the official said. Mr. Kelly didn’t make the president aware of Mr. Rohrabacher’s message, and Mr. Trump doesn’t know the details of the proposed deal, the official said.”
The report further recounted Wikileaks’ statement that it has never at any time requested a pardon from Trump. The Wall Street Journal admitted in its report that Wikileaks stated: “Mr. Assange didn’t request a pardon at any time during his conversation with Mr. Rohrabacher.” This is a key point, as it totally invalidates the article’s implicit suggestion that Assange attempted to trade proof against Russian hacking in exchange for a pardon via Rohrabacher.
These important points illustrate that Rohrabacher has not been entrusted by Wikileaks to act as an intermediary on their behalf. This is significant because it would nullify any future efforts to dismiss evidence that might be published by Wikileaks via association with Rohrabacher and the assassination of his character.
The content of the conversation leaked by the Wall Street Journal corroborates the conclusion that Assange did not send information with Rohrabacher as a means of seeking a pardon. If the relevant information is held on a data storage device which has not left Assange’s possession and thus has not been given to Rohrabacher, then there can be no future dismissal of the contents of the data based on hazardous association with Rohrabacher.
Any attempt to discount the evidence due to Rohrabacher’s connections or opinions will prove inherently empty, as the leaked phone call indicates clearly that Rohrabacher has never been in the ‘chain of custody’ of the material.
The Wall Street Journal report further indicated that Rohrabacher has never been in direct contact with Trump. This negates any future attempts to portray him as attempting to broker a pardon on behalf of Wikileaks. If he cannot speak to the President, it is hardly accurate to suggest he would be able to engage in negotiations with him.
This adds to previous tweets by Assange that explicitly state: “only unmediated statements coming directly from me can be considered authoritative.” That Rohrabacher does not represent Wikileaks and is not currently negotiating any ‘deal’ with President Trump on Assange’s behalf is further reinforced by Assange’s repeated statements to the effect that he does not speak through third parties.
The Washington Examiner reported that Rohrabacher claimed he was unaware of the source of the leak, but that: “I don’t know who it is, all I know is I’m up against an array of very powerful forces, including the intelligence services and major newspapers that are basically allied with the liberal Left who have every reason to undermine communication on this issue.” Rohrabacher appeared to imply that intelligence may have been involved with the leak of his phone call with Whitehouse Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Regardless of the origin of the leak, the palpable animosity from U.S. intelligence towards Wikileaks and its Editor in Chief needs no introduction. After Wikileaks’ publication of Vault 7 earlier this year, CIA Director Mike Pompeo has been on the warpath towards the publisher, stating that Wikileaks should be labeled a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”
The CIA’s hatred for whistleblowers manifested most recently when Pompeo canceled a speech he was scheduled to deliver at Harvard after it emerged that the Harvard planned to invite Chelsea Manning to become a visiting fellow. The Nation’s coverage of the debacle characterized Pompeo as having “bullied” Harvard into withdrawing its invitation to Manning. The scathing report called the CIA Director a:”Koch-brothers puppet who is using his position to bully a principled whistle-blower.”
Rohrabacher has been vocal in his opposition to allegations that Russia “hacked” the DNC last year. Disobedient Media previously reported on his statements to that effect, which cited a Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity memo suggesting that files published by Guccifer 2.0 were most likely locally copied as opposed to remotely hacked.
Rohrabacher does have a history of controversial policies and statements, including accusations that anti-fracking environmental groups were somehow linked to pro-Russian oil interests. He came under fire recently for stating that the events of Charlottesville were staged.
Rohrabacher’s statements create a ripe opportunity for opponents of Wikileaks to attempt to discredit the organization through the creation of a narrative which implies that Assange gave Rohrabacher proof to hand to Trump to trade for a pardon. Though The Wall Street Journal implies this situation, careful attention to detail in the leaked call suggests otherwise.
It appears in light of the leaked call that Assange still has the relevant evidence against Russian hacking in his possession. Further, the call suggests that Rep. Rohrabacher is not in direct communication with Trump.
Effectively, this supports the conclusion that both any attempt to dismiss proof against Russian hacking that may be provided by Wikileaks in future – based on association with Rohrabacher – would be easily and factually discredited.
Despite all this, it seems likely that character attacks against Rohrabacher will be used as fuel to attempt to dismiss any evidence Wikileaks might publish regarding the origin of the DNC leak. It is important that independent media recognize this narrative arc as it forms, and focus on the evidence which is not otherwise emphasized in the legacy media’s report of the situation.
The leaked call serves as the latest in a string of events on multiple fronts that have increasingly called the Russian hacking narrative into serious question. Disobedient Media has been on the forefront of coverage on this issue. We have reported extensively on the important work of both Adam Carter and The Forensicator in analyzing the Guccifer 2.0 persona and its allegation that it was responsible for hacking of the DNC last year. It has become increasingly apparent over the course of the last few months that it is highly unlikely that the DNC emails published by Wikileaks were obtained via a “hack.”
Despite these ongoing elements of the overall questions surrounding the Russian hacking narrative, it should be emphasized that the analysis of the Forensicator, Adam Carter and VIPS are all distinct and completely separate from any evidence Assange may possess.
This is an important ongoing story and Disobedient Media will continue to provide coverage as it develops.