Dems, cops silent on bizarre twist in deadly DNC mystery
The police won’t say anything. The Democratic Party won’t say anything. But all of Washington is talking about the explosive suggestion that a Democratic staffer may have been murdered because he was a source for WikiLeaks.
And that what he might have leaked was 20,000 emails posted on the WikiLeaks website on July 22, that proved to be so politically embarrassing to the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, that Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, R-Fla., resigned on the eve of its national convention.
The Washington Metropolitan Police Department, or MPD, is investigating the killing of DNC employee Seth Rich one month ago as a robbery. However, Rich’s wallet and phone were not taken.
WND attempted to contact the media spokesman for the MPD by phone and email to ask if investigators would now consider a possible political motive for the killing, but got no response.
WND also attempted to contact the DNC by phone and email for comment on the latest revelation, but got no response.
Speculation about whether Rich was an informant, and even murdered because of that, erupted after two developments on Tuesday.
First, the whistleblower site WikiLeaks offered a $20,000 reward for information on the murder of the DNC staffer.
Then, on an interview on Dutch television program Nieuwsuur that evening, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange seemed to strongly suggest Rich was a source and was murdered. The implication was he provided the DNC emails.
Here is the relevant exchange:
Julian Assange: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. As a 27 year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.
Reporter: That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn’t it?
Assange: No. There’s no finding. So…
Reporter: What are you suggesting?
Assange: I’m suggesting that our sources take risks. And they become concerned to see things occurring like that.
Reporter: Was he one of your sources?
Assange: We don’t comment on who are sources are.
Reporter: Then, why make the suggestion about a young guy being shot in the streets of Washington?
Assange: Because we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States. And that our sources face serious risks. That’s why they come to us, so we can protect their anonymity.
Reporter: But it’s quite something to suggest a murder. That’s basically what you’re doing.
Assange: Well, others have suggested that. We are investigating to understand what happened in that situation with Seth Rich. I think it is a concerning situation. There’s not a conclusion yet. We wouldn’t be willing to state a conclusion, but we are concerned about it. More importantly, a variety of WikiLeaks sources are concerned when that kind of thing happens.
Rich was the DNC’s director of voter expansion. The 27-year-old was shot twice in the back at 4:20 in the morning on July 10, near his home in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Northwest Washington.
Police said the killing did not appear to be connected to Rich’s work and they suspected robbery was the motive. But Rich’s father disagrees, noting that his son’s wallet, credit cards, phone and watch were not stolen.
Police said Rich was conscious and breathing when they found him. It is not known if he said anything to them. Rich later died in a hospital.
WikiLeaks offer of $20,000 for information on the case adds to a $25,000 reward previously announced by Washington police.
Emails provided to WikiLeaks and published on the eve of the DNC convention showed evidence of possible collusion among the party hierarchy to block the bid of candidate Bernie Sanders. The emails also showed party brass considered using Sander’s religion as a talking point against him.
The Washington Post reported some observers have wondered if Rich was killed because he was helping the FBI expose wrongdoing in the presidential election.
According to the Gateway Pundit, shortly after Rich’s killing, commentators on Reddit and other “social media users were pursuing a ‘lead’ saying that Rich was en route to the FBI the morning of his murder, apparently intending to speak to special agents about an ‘ongoing court case’ possibly involving the Clinton family.”
The watchdog group Judicial Watch is involved in an ongoing court case, successfully obtaining emails related to Democratic presidential nominee’s Hillary Clinton’s roles as secretary of state and with the wealthy but ostensibly non-profit Clinton Foundation. No one from Judicial Watch was immediately available to comment to WND on the Rich case.
It is not clear if the FBI and the Justice Department are investigating the Clinton Foundation. On Wednesday, it was reported the Justice Department denied an FBI request to open an investigation into wrongdoing within the foundation and allegations of corruption by the former secretary of state, because of what officials called insufficient evidence.
FBI Director James Comey announced on July 5, the agency would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton for her use of an unsecured, private email server as secretary of state because there was no evidence she intended to violate the law, even though she may have endangered national security.
Two days later, Comey testified before Congress that a series of claims Clinton had made about her emails and private server were not true. That included her repeated assertion there was no classified material in her emails, and that all her emails had been returned to the State Department.
Assange is the editor and chief of WikiLeaks, which he founded in 2006 as an online whistleblower organization which claims to be dedicated to ferreting out corruption and malfeasance, using an international network of anonymous sources and publishing leaked documents including classified material.
He is an Australian computer programmer and hacker turned journalist, currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he was granted asylum in 2012. Sweden attempted to extradite Assange in 2010 for questioning in a rape case. His supporters say that is just a pretext to subject him to extradition to the United States on spy charges.