The DNC Server, the Russian Hoax, & the Murder of Seth Rich
We still do not know whether the DNC, FBI and DOJ acted unlawfully to create an October surprise that would elect Hillary in 2016, nor do we know beyond reasonable doubt that Seth Rich’s murder was unrelated.
Two recent articles raise important issues regarding the Russia hoax. At Real Clear Investigations, Aaron Mate has written “CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims.” Mate points out that the FBI has never inspected the DNC server and that Mueller’s “evidence” that the server was hacked by Russians is speculative, not definitive. At Yahoo News, Michael Isikoff has written “The true origins of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. A Yahoo News investigation.” In it, Isikoff claims that Seth Rich’s murder was unrelated to the theft of DNC emails and that claims to the contrary are Russian disinformation. What — and whom — to believe?
To put this in perspective, per the Mueller Report, we now know definitively that neither Donald Trump nor anyone in his campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election. We do not know whether the Russian narrative Mueller was tasked to investigate was an illegal hoax, though there is ample reason to suspect various illegalities at its heart.
The central part of the Russian narrative is the claim that Russian agents hacked the DNC server. Amazingly, inexplicably and criminally, we do not, to this day, know if that is true because the FBI has never examined the server. An entity employed by the DNC, Crowdstrike, asserted that the emails were hacked in a phishing scheme. Both Comey and Mueller assumed that to be true without any verification.
Further, the answer to whether the DNC was phished could definitively answer an open question about the murder of DNC employee Seth Rich. If the DNC server was phished, than Julian Assange’s charge that Rich, not Russia, was the source of the DNC emails and that he may have been killed because of it, can be definitively disproven. But that is a charge that the entire progressive left claims is verboten to even ask. The FBI decided not to involve itself in the investigation of Rich’s murder — inexplicable given the potential relationship to the DNC server hack — and Mueller chose not to interview Julian Assange.
Hillary Clinton, during her time as Secretary of State from 2008 to 2012, used an unsecured private server to conduct her official business. She illegally placed classified emails on the server in the thousands, including at least 14 that were classified at the highest level, Top Secret. She had her private server wiped clean, all in violation of laws regarding security of classified information as well as the destruction of government records subject to a subpoena. When it became public knowledge, the FBI ostensibly began an investigation. Clinton, expected by many to be a shoo-in for the Democrat party nomination, then to be followed by a Presidential coronation, suddenly had a huge electability problem — a problem exacerbated by her false and constantly changing justifications for using a private server.
In May 2016, the Perkins Coie law firm, on behalf of their clients, the DNC and the Hillary campaign, hired Fusion GPS to do opposition research on Donald Trump. In a move that Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS has never adequately explained, with the clock running down, he opted to investigate Trump’s Russia ties, though that was one of the few areas of the world were Trump had no history of business ties and minimal history of personal ties. In May, 2016, Simpson hired former British intelligence agent and Russia specialist Christopher Steele to investigate Trump’s Russia connections.
By June, 2016, Steele wrote his first report in what was to become known as the dossier, asserting that Trump was a Russian agent of five years standing and that he was being blackmailed for perverted sexual acts with Russian hookers. Oh, and by the way, the Russians do not have any of Hillary’s emails from her private server. The desired result was the assumption — proven true as regards the MSM — that when the dossier was made public Hillary’s own problems of illegality and veracity would pale in comparison to Trump’s alleged illegal acts. To add an additional air of verisimilitude to an otherwise ridiculous narrative, sometime in July , 2016, Steele began feeding his dossier to the FBI in order to start an investigation that Steele et. al would tout in October.
Early in July 2016, in what has to be rated as one of the most obscene travesties of justice our nation has ever seen, FBI Director James Comey announced that Hillary would not be prosecuted for violating security of classified information. He did not even address her destruction of government records subject to a subpoena. The ostensible investigation was a sham.
On July 10, 2016, DNC employee, Bernie-bro Seth Rich was murdered by two men. He still had his valuables on his person when found by police. Police speculate that Rich was murdered in a failed robbery attempt, but it is without evidentiary support and no one has been arrested for the murder. In August, 2016, Julian Assange implied that Seth Rich was the source of the leaked DNC emails and that Rich may have been murdered because of it.
The meat of the claim of Russian interference in the 2016 election came in July, 2016, when Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager announced in an interview with Jake Tapper that the DNC server had been hacked, that the Russians had done it, and that they had done so in order to help elect Trump. None of the DNC emails were a smoking gun that caused the Clinton campaign anything more than minor embarrassment..
Mook’s claim that the DNC server had been hacked by Russia was based on a preliminary analysis conducted by a firm employed by Perkins Coie, Crowdstrike, on behalf of the DNC. Crowdstrike sent a draft preliminary analysis with redactions to the FBI. The FBI, under Director James Comey, never inspected the server or independently verified the hack. Likewise, Robert Mueller, in his independent investigation, never took control of the server to verify the hack.
On Sept. 23, 2016, Michael Isikoff became the first journalist to unleash the DNC’s October surprise. In his article for Yahoo News, U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin, Isikoff claimed the FBI was investigating Carter Page who was supposedly interceding with “Moscow” to influence the election.
Russian interference in the 2016 election did not become a serious issue for the Obama administration prior to the November 2016 election.. After the election, it became a cause celebre in order to delegitimize, if not destroy, Trump and his presidency.
If the DNC server was not hacked by Russia, that raises a number of questions. One, who leaked the emails to Wikileaks? Could it indeed have been Seth Rich and might it perhaps be related to his murder? And if it was Rich or someone else on the inside of the DNC who leaked the emails to Wikileaks, what was their motivation? Were they Bernie supporters angry at the DNC’s rigging of the primary for Hillary, or was there something more going on?
For instance, who benefited most from the Wikileaks release of the DNC emails? It was not Trump. Yes, Wikileaks released a huge trove of emails, but none of them were anything beyond minimally embarrassing to the Clinton campaign. Arguably, Clinton and the DNC benefited the most from the leak. for it put Russian interference and perhaps Trump collusion to the very center of the campaign during a time when Hillary was still trying to escape from under the cloud of her illegal private server. Moreover, this alleged “hack” occurred within two months after Fusion GPS inexplicably chose to begin investigating Trump’s almost non-existent Russia ties and supposedly hit the mother lode of opposition research — Trump was a Russian spy working for Putin. The felonious Hillary Clinton would look like an angel in comparison. Looked at in that light, the “hack” and its timing seem fortuitous indeed.
To anyone who would now start yelling CONSPIRACY THEORY, let me just say up front, after the whole Russian hoax, the complexities of how it was formed and executed, and the mindless drive by the progressive left to get rid of Trump . . . feel free to go fornicate yourself. America absolutely deserves definitive answers. Because the DOJ and FBI jettisoned virtually every investigative protocol in order to rehabilitate Hillary in 2016 and then to destroy Trump thereafter, we do not have those answers. What we have are progressives yelling “conspiracy theory!!!” to shut down questions and the DNC asking us to trust them. Neither can be allowed to stand.
There was always an easy way to answer all of this — the FBI should have taken a snapshot of the DNC server after the alleged hack and analyzed it. In any other situation, that would be what the FBI does — secure evidence and analyze it to determine the nature of any crime. That the FBI did not do that with the DNC server is simply beyond belief. Instead, the DNC refused to make the server available to the FBI and, instead, provided a draft memo by a firm employed by Perkins Coie on behalf of the DNC, the memo itself partially redacted, supposedly proving that the Russian government hacked the server.
One, the DNC and Clinton stood to — and did — benefit from the claim that Russia electronically hacked the DNC server. It let them play the victim card and furthered the ridiculous narrative that Trump and Russia were collaborating to steal the 2016 election.
Two, FBI Director James Comey justified the FBI’s complete abdication of its responsibility to investigate the server on the grounds that the firm employed by the DNC to evaluate the server, Crowdstrike, had a sterling reputation for honesty and accuracy. Bullshit. Do you know who else had a sterling reputation for honesty, accuracy and professionalism in July 2016? Christopher Steele, author of the dossier claiming that Trump was a Russian agent.
Mr. Mate, author of the above referenced article at RCI, Crowdstrikeout, gives further reasons to question the received truth that the Russians hacked the DNC server. This from Mr. Mate:
While the 448-page Mueller report found no conspiracy between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, it offered voluminous details to support the sweeping conclusion that the Kremlin worked to secure Trump’s victory. The report claims that the interference operation occurred “principally” on two fronts: Russian military intelligence officers hacked and leaked embarrassing Democratic Party documents, and a government-linked troll farm orchestrated a sophisticated and far-reaching social media campaign that denigrated Hillary Clinton and promoted Trump.
But a close examination of the report shows that none of those headline assertions are supported by the report’s evidence or other publicly available sources. They are further undercut by investigative shortcomings and the conflicts of interest of key players involved:
The report uses qualified and vague language to describe key events, indicating that Mueller and his investigators do not actually know for certain whether Russian intelligence officers stole Democratic Party emails, or how those emails were transferred to WikiLeaks.
The report’s timeline of events appears to defy logic. According to its narrative, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced the publication of Democratic Party emails not only before he received the documents but before he even communicated with the source that provided them.
There is strong reason to doubt Mueller’s suggestion that an alleged Russian cutout called Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen emails to Assange.
Mueller’s decision not to interview Assange – a central figure who claims Russia was not behind the hack – suggests an unwillingness to explore avenues of evidence on fundamental questions.
U.S. intelligence officials cannot make definitive conclusions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer servers because they did not analyze those servers themselves. Instead, they relied on the forensics of CrowdStrike, a private contractor for the DNC that was not a neutral party, much as “Russian dossier” compiler Christopher Steele, also a DNC contractor, was not a neutral party. This puts two Democrat-hired contractors squarely behind underlying allegations in the affair – a key circumstance that Mueller ignores.
Further, the government allowed CrowdStrike and the Democratic Party’s legal counsel to submit redacted records, meaning CrowdStrike and not the government decided what could be revealed or not regarding evidence of hacking.
Mueller’s report conspicuously does not allege that the Russian government carried out the social media campaign. Instead it blames, as Mueller said in his closing remarks, “a private Russian entity” known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA).
Mueller also falls far short of proving that the Russian social campaign was sophisticated, or even more than minimally related to the 2016 election. As with the collusion and Russian hacking allegations, Democratic officials had a central and overlooked hand in generating the alarm about Russian social media activity.
John Brennan, then director of the CIA, played a seminal and overlooked role in all facets of what became Mueller’s investigation: the suspicions that triggered the initial collusion probe; the allegations of Russian interference; and the intelligence assessment that purported to validate the interference allegations that Brennan himself helped generate. Yet Brennan has since revealed himself to be, like CrowdStrike and Steele, hardly a neutral party — in fact a partisan with a deep animus toward Trump.
Do read the whole article.
Yet another article touching on all of this came out this week. It is the Isikoff article purporting to show that “right wing conspiracy theories” surrounding the murder of Seth Rich were all part of a Russian disinformation campaign. Why that topic, why now, and why is Isikoff the investigative journalist breaking the story?
First, understand Isikoff’s role in the Russian hoax. In the run up to the 2016 election, Fusion GPS’s Glen Simpson and Christopher Steele briefed every major news entity on the contents of the Steele Dossier in the hopes of making Steele’s allegations public and dooming Trump. It was the mother of all October surprises. Yet in a pool of hyper partisan Trumpophobes that included CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post, it was only Isikoff (and later rabid proggie David Corn) who published the ridiculous and unsubstantiated allegations in advance of the 2016 election as if they were serious allegations under investigation by the FBI. Isikoff either lacks any journalistic ethics or he is naïve to the point of gross incompetence. Either way, nothing he writes on anything touching the Russia hoax can be taken at face value as reasonably likely to be true.
So why are we reading now that that the theory Seth Rich was involved in the transfer of emails to WikiLeaks was nothing more than a conspiracy theory ginned up by the Ruissians? It is of course possible that Isikoff’s article is accurate and that his timing of the report now is merely coincidental. Let me posit a second possibility.
Attorney General Barr has authorized a top to bottom investigation of the Russia hoax and the attorneys involved are seeking to sequester the DNC server for a grossly belated investigation. The DNC is contesting it and the matter is already or soon will be litigated. Someone with a vested interest in ensuring that the server is never examined by the FBI has spoon fed the allegations used by Isikoff in his article, the same way Christopher Steele spoon fed Isikoff the Steele Dossier with the intent it be published in time to effect the election. Isikoff, already shown to be a useful fool (and Leftist tool), is the obvious person to go to with such a story. And no doubt one argument in favor of sequestering the server is that it may shed light on the murder of Seth Rich. Isikoff’s article is aimed at taking that justification off of the table.
We will eventually know, I hope, the results of AG Barr’s investigation. It might well be that there was no illegality by the Clinton campaign, the DNC, the FBI or any other entity as regards the Russian hoax and that all were acting in good faith. I can live with that. What I cannot live with is progressives obstructing the investigation. After three years of progressives with their thumbs on the scales of justice, corrupting investigations hang them and hang them high if they try to do the same yet again.