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2018 electionCongressional races

Far-right blogger Chuck C. Johnson gave bitcoin donation to Dana Rohrabacher

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) speaks to Russian lawmakers at a meeting in Moscow in May 2013. (Misha Japaridze / Associated Press)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) speaks to Russian lawmakers at a meeting in Moscow in May 2013. (Misha Japaridze / Associated Press)

Right-wing blogger and provocateur Chuck C. Johnson gave Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) a $5,400 campaign contribution weeks after he said he helped arrange a meeting between the Orange County congressman and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

The donation, the maximum amount allowed by law, came in the form of bitcoin, a virtual currency. 

Johnson, who previously was banned from Twitter after soliciting donations toward "taking out" a prominent black activist, is listed on campaign finance forms as a self-employed investor who lives in Rosemead.

Rohrabacher campaign spokesman Jason Pitkin confirmed the donor was the same person who helped arrange the Assange meeting. 

Johnson also recently sat in on a meeting between Rohrabacher and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in the Capitol. Pitkin said they discussed Assange's legal situation and cannabis policy, among other things.

Rohrabacher previously said Assange had "emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved" in hacking the 2016 elections but claimed his plans to bring the information directly to President Trump have been thwarted by White House staffers.

Pitkin said Johnson approached the Rohrabacher campaign shortly after his trip to London and said he wanted to donate. "He said, 'Do you take bitcoin?' and I said, 'I think we can,' " Pitkin recalled.

The campaign then set up a bitcoin wallet to receive the funds, Pitkin said.

Rohrabacher is not the only California House candidate this cycle who has accepted contributions in bitcoin. Democrat Brian Forde, who is challenging GOP Rep. Mimi Walters of Irvine, reported raising more than $59,000 in bitcoin donations between July 1 and Sept. 30.

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