Perhaps you’ve noticed that Hillary Clinton has been interjecting herself lately into the political conversation, leading to speculation that she’s setting her sights on 2024, salivating at the prospect of running for President again. (I apologize if you are trying to eat your lunch right now.) Of course, she’s made it clear that she thinks she really won in 2016 –- never mind that doubting the outcome of an election is akin to planning to overthrow the government by force, at least unless you ARE Hillary, or Stacey Abrams, or Joe Biden talking about the upcoming midterms, or any other Democrat questioning a Republican win for any reason at any time.
But just the possibility of Hillary re-running for President brings up all the old questions about the Russia Hoax and her likely role in that, which perhaps will soon be exposed by Special Counsel John Durham. (No doubt her attorneys already have a legal strategy prepared, just in case it is.) Recall that the “Russia!” alarm was first sounded with an allegation that Russia had hacked into a Democratic National Committee server and stolen private DNC emails that showed how the nomination game was rigged against Bernie Sanders. Why, those Russians were trying to make Hillary look bad, Democrats said, because they so badly wanted their boy Trump to win, because Trump was a Russian agent in league with Vladimir Putin! I would hope that to anyone looking back, this lie would seem ridiculous now. (We knew it was ridiculous then.) But in 2016, the lie metastasized and turned into a phony FBI investigation generated by an unverified “dossier.”
So let’s take another look at the story that started it all: the one about the “hacked” DNC server.
Recall that in July of 2016, Julian Assange published thousands of DNC emails on WikiLeaks, and the story they told greatly upset Bernie Sanders supporters. While Hillary needed to defeat Bernie in the primaries, she would need all those good little socialists to vote for her in November, and what the emails revealed about backroom politics alienated many of them.
So to direct attention elsewhere, her campaign pointed fingers at Russian “hackers” and connected the so-called hacking to what they alleged was Trump’s weakening of the Republican platform regarding Russia’s threat to Ukraine. (The irony today is that Biden is showing incredible weakness regarding Russia’s threat to Ukraine.) The DNC turned the information on their server over to a company called CrowdStrike for forensic analysis –- in fact, Clinton attorney Michael Sussmann is the one who did that –- keeping it out of reach of the FBI. Unbelievably, the FBI responded with the equivalent of, “Duh, whatever.”
Later on, Special Counsel Robert Mueller failed to subpoena it as well. You’d think if he were investigating ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign, he would have wanted to know whether or not the Russians had hacked the DNC. But no --- all his team did was make an “assessment,” sort of an educated guess that could be anything they found convenient to say.
To link the events related below with the DNC’s stolen emails is considered by some to fall within the realm of conspiracy theory, but we make no allegations of a connection at this time, saying only that the possibility of a connection has yet to be ruled out. Stifling conversation about this does not disprove it, and, in fact, actually raises more suspicion about it. So we’re going to talk about it.
In the wee hours of July 10, 2016, a 27-year-old DNC staffer named Seth Rich was apparently walking home when he was shot in the back twice and killed. As John D. Connor reminds us in a new piece for American Greatness, the police quickly chalked it up to an attempted robbery gone bad. And that was that.
If this really was a random attempted robbery, Rich lost his life over absolutely nothing. The would-be thief left behind his wallet, phone, and a $2,000 necklace.
Speculation grew that the so-called “Russian hack” might actually have been an inside job, a leak rather than a hack, and that Seth Rich might have been the one to download the emails and provide them to Assange. That would explain why the DNC wouldn’t have wanted the FBI to do a forensic examination. And though Assange has said he never reveals a source, he has also quite adamantly insisted that Russia was not his source, nor was anyone acting on behalf of any government. He also put up a reward for information leading to the solving of Rich’s murder, which for all we know might be a way of hinting-but-not-revealing. But we DON’T know.
Detective Rod Wheeler, who had been working for the Rich family, suggested that Rich had had contact with WikiLeaks, and this naturally caused an uproar. The family threatened legal action, everybody lawyered-up, the anti-Trump media labeled it crazy, and the discussion was effectively shut down.
Recall that in October 2020, then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified handwritten notes that showed then-CIA Director John Brennan had briefed then-President Obama on Hillary’s “plan” to tie then-candidate Trump to Russia “as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” According to Brennan’s notes, Hillary allegedly “approved...a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”
Ratcliffe also declassified another document (though it remained heavily redacted) showing that in September 2016, intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral on Hillary purportedly approving “a plan concerning U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections” in order to distract from her email scandal. It must’ve been considered radioactive, as this warning appeared: “This memorandum contains sensitive information that could be source revealing. It should be handled with particular attention to compartmentation and need-to-know...It may not be used in any legal proceeding –- including FISA applications –- without prior approval...” When asked about this later, former FBI Director James Comey said that it didn’t “ring any bells.”
Concerning the Seth Rich mystery, thanks to a lawsuit filed by private citizen Brian Huddleston, the FBI was forced to admit it had documents on Rich. As of April 2021, it had produced only 63 pages but admitted to having 1,093 more, so let’s see ‘em. Recall that one of the pages they released said, “given [redacted] it is conceivable that an individual or group would want to pay for his death.” We certainly don’t know if this is what happened, but we do know this about Rich: he might have been the one witness (besides Julian Assange) capable of destroying the fake “Russia collusion” story that Hillary was counting on.
As we’ve said all along, when it comes to the Russia Hoax –- and Washington DC scandal in general, it seems –- all roads lead back to Hillary. We hope Durham is able to connect all the dots and answer lingering questions about her involvement, and also about just how low her “Russia collusion” strategy sank.