WASHINGTON -- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., will testify before the House Select Intelligence Committee this month about a meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange where the two discussed who stole emails from the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
WikiLeaks published the emails before voters elected a new president in November of that year. U.S. intelligence officials have said Russia was involved in the theft of Democratic Party emails and tried to influence the election to benefit then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Rohrabacher said in an August statement after he met with Assange in London that the WikiLeaks founder "emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved." Rohrabacher said they discussed a potential presidential pardon in exchange for information about who stole the emails, but has said since that White House chief of staff John Kelly is keeping him from talking about it with Trump.
Rohrabacher's interest in improving relations with Russia has been long known in Congress, and his name has come up repeatedly on the fringes of the investigations into election meddling.
Along with the FBI's investigation, four House and Senate committees are examining Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election, and what the Trump campaign knew about it. The Senate Intelligence Committee is also considering having Rohrabacher testify about the meeting.
Rohrabacher's spokesman said the House committee has not set a date for him to testify. A spokesman for Democrats on the committee declined to comment.
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