Republican House leaders rejected the request of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) to have taxpayers foot the bill for his highly controversial trip to London to meet with exiled Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
That revelation comes in a Daily Beast report that adds the House Committee on Foreign Affairs is curtailing Rohrabacher’s travel and intervening in hearings and other official business he holds as chairman of the subcommittee on Europe because he is too compromised by his ties to Russia.
When the California congressman made a trip this summer to see Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he had to do it on his own dime. A congressional source told The Daily Beast that Rohrabacher had requested committee funding for the trip but was denied. The congressman’s staff confirmed that he ended up using his own money though said he had planned to as it was a side trip from his wedding anniversary celebration on the Iberian Peninsula. Still, they admitted he was facing new restrictions.
“His committee travel and hearing requests were curtailed following news accounts of his outside-the-box interest in Russia,” Rohrabacher’s communications director, Ken Grubbs confirmed to The Daily Beast.
Rohrabacher’s inability to conduct official business out of fear that he is “too compromised by his ties to Russia” is an “unprecedented development” that further requires the congressman “be stripped of his subcommittee chairmanship that is charged with overseeing relations with Russia,” says Drew Godinich, a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman.
“Even Republicans believe that Congressman Dana Rohrabacher cannot be trusted to spend taxpayer dollars as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Godinich says. “If Congressman Ed Royce and Speaker Paul Ryan believe that Dana Rohrabacher is unfit to travel on the committee’s behalf, they should put their money where their mouth is and remove Rohrabacher from his chairmanship.”
Besides burning U.S. dollars on Putin’s behalf, another troubling thread to the Assange visit concerns Charles C. Johnson, a Rosemead-based conservative journalist and “investor” who arranged Rohrabacher’s August meeting in London. Johnson is trying to get Assange sprung from exile with the help of a congressman who would enlist the Trump administration for assistance.
Rohrabacher claims that at the meeting, Assange produced “evidence” that absolves Russia from 2016 presidential election meddling. Though that would ostensibly help the (current) Trump narrative, Chief of Staff John Kelly has cock-blocked Rohrabacher from showing what he has to the president.
As if to indicate he nonetheless appreciates the attempts, Johnson contributed $5,400 to the Rohrabacher campaign weeks after the meeting with Assange and weeks before the Dana and Charlie Show showed up at the feet of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).
In the interest of full disclosure, Rohrabacher says they not only discussed the WikiLeaks founder with Ron Paul’s boy but cannabis as well.
What’s also interesting about Johnson, who reportedly flashed an Alt-Right hand sign while posing with Rohrabacher in a photo taken as they headed in to meet Assange, is that he has been outed as a Holocaust denier. In a since-deleted Reddit discussion, Johnson argued that the number of Jews killed in the camps was around 250,000, not 6 million, and he questioned the existence of gas chambers, noting of Auschwitz, “Why were their swimming pools there if it was a death camp?”
In the interest of fuller disclosure, while Johnson sticks by those views, he swears he is not a Holocaust denier.
That’s not enough to appease Jonathan Greenblatt. The Anti-Defamation League CEO tweeted on Oct. 17:
The Daily Caller says Johnson is well-known for false attacks against political rivals, both on the Democratic side and within the Republican Party, so it sounds like fun times are ahead for the Orange County coastal 48th Congressional District race that includes as announced candidates an independent, a Libertarian, seven Democrats and, counting Rohrabacher, three Republicans.