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Family's private investigator: There is evidence Seth Rich had contact with WikiLeaks prior to death

Kosovo and Seth Rich

Postby smix » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:19 pm

Kosovo and Seth Rich
Times of Israel

URL: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/kosovo-and-seth-rich/
Category: Politics
Published: December 2, 2018

Description: As a Canadian, I have no dog in this race, being neither American nor Russian, but for the sake of historical accuracy, I am making the case that the blame for the lousy relations between the two superpowers falls primarily on America, not Russia, and this is a frightening fact should things somehow deteriorate into conflict. Russia went to war with Georgia in 2008 and stripped off two provinces and then went to war with the Ukraine in 2014, still not over but at a low level, and took the Crimea. On the surface it doesn’t look good for Russia. Dig deeper. The Russians didn’t make the rule that it was now permissible in Europe to strip off territory from one country and give it to another on the basis of demographics. The Americans made that rule, more specifically Bill Clinton. Who gave him the right? No one. The Russians are just playing by Clinton’s rule. Nor did the Russians set the precedent that you can commit egregious war crimes in international conflicts and pay no price for it. Clinton and his allies in NATO did that. The victims ran into the millions and many will continue to suffer for generations. The Russians may or may not have committed war crimes in their wars, but they are measly by comparison. Go back to Serbia. 1999. America launched one of the most diabolical and unjustified wars of aggression in history. Boris Yelstin was Russian leader then. He had done the impossible and ended the Soviet Union in 1991 and then liberated from foreign occupation more people than anyone else in history at a stroke of a pen. He was a far cry in character from everyone’s favorite villain, his successor Vladimir Putin. The problem for him was that while the old world had died, the new world had yet to be born, and Russia was experiencing very serious economic problems. While a large number of people were in a desperate straits, a handful of opportunists were stealing everything in sight and becoming instant billionaires. Yelstin needed peace and especially good relations with the Americans to try to get Russia back on its feet. The world needed those things too for a better future undreamed of in the dark days of the Cold War. On March 24, 1991, the Russian prime minister Yegneny Primakov was in the air flying to Washington for a meeting with Vice-President Al Gore to discuss an agreement worth $16 billion which would have cemented co-operation between the two former foes. When Primakov heard that the bombing of Serbia had started, he turned the flight around. The Americans could take the #*%!& $16 billion and shove it, he said, or words to that effect. The Russians would never trust the Americans again for a very long time. Serbia was defenceless. At best they had 20 modern warplanes worthy of the name, MiG 29s from the 1970s, but most birds could fly higher than the range of their air defence system. Yeltsin considered putting in an effective system but decided against it because he did not want war, and who is going to attack a defenceless nation? Clinton would, joined by an armada of 12 other NATO counties. Yelstin declared that this is a war of aggression and if they put boots on the ground, it’s World War 3. According to the UN, members before going to war except in self-defence must receive approval from the Security Council. None of the NATO nations asked for or received permission to bomb Serbia. The UN is a farce at the best of times, but under their rules of international law (q.v.) this was an illegal war. Rules at the UN are always for someone else, as Israel well knows. Clinton claimed he was acting on a behalf of any ally. Who was the ally? A branch of the Albanian mafia, led by one of the world’s notorious criminals, Hashim Thaci. In 11 weeks NATO planes flew 38,000 combat missions. They fired 2,300 missiles and dropped 14,000 bombs. The Serbians put the number of civilians killed at 2,000. The number of children may have ranged up to a third. The Serbians say 300 schools and libraries were destroyed, 40,000 homes, and 90 historic sites. NATO bombed a bridge while a passenger train was going over it, killing 15, injuring 44; others who may have been on the train were never accounted for. They hit another passenger train killing 55 and wounding 60. They hit a passenger bus killing 50 and wounding 13. Most of the victims were children and old people. They hit a prison repeatedly at different times. The final death count reached 100. They hit the national radio and television building in Belgrade, the capital, killing 16 and wounding 16. They dropped mercury into the Danube River and caused so many miscarriages, that doctors told all pregnant women they’d better abort. They dropped 2,000 cluster bombs which were comprised of 380,000 bomblets. Five per cent did not explode meaning 20,000 bomblets were left on the ground. They didn’t tell the Serbians where they were until 2007, if even then. Meanwhile up to that point six children had been killed and another 12 injured coming in contact with the unexploded bomblets. The Serbians were required to clear 11 million square miles of these bomblets. That was by no means the worst of it. The Americans dropped 9.5 tons of depleted uranium bombs on Serbia and Kosovo. Altogether 10 million people were exposed to radiation and the cancer rate in Serbia and Kosovo today is 2.5 times higher than in the rest of the world and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The UN head of mission, Bakary Kante of Senegal, who was in Serbia during the war, filed a report over the horrific consequences stretching over generations affecting both people and the environment of these weapons. Do you know what the UN brass did? They hid the report. It hasn’t been seen to this day. An American reporter named Robert Parsons, based in Switzerland, got his hands on part of the report and published it, or we may not even have heard of it. The UN was determined to hush it up and so were the Americans. Kante’s report was categorical in the assessment that future generations living on the bombarded soil will suffer from cancers such as leukemia, and the number of miscarriages and deformities of newborns would increase. Kante’s report further said that this kind of bombing, had contaminated nature in the former Yugoslavia with toxic substances among which the most dangerous is polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), highly cancerogenous and responsible for immunological diseases. The report said that one litre of PCB is enough to contaminate one billion gallons of water. Dr. Nebojsha Srbljak said in 2001 the results of these bombs have had devastating effects on health. “There is no other place in the modern world where so many people and so many young people — aged between 30 and 40 — die from cancer. Blood and lung cancer are most widespread.” The New York Times reported in 2001 that soldiers from nations which sent them to the war had begun to fall sick and die in large numbers. Marlise Simons: “Alarm bells rang first in Belgium, where nine Balkan veterans have fallen ill with cancer, five having since died. Two veterans have died of leukemia in the Netherlands, and one in Spain. France said it was treating four veterans for leukemia. In Italy, 30 veterans contracted serious illnesses, 12 of whom developed cancer. Six of the cancer patients have already died of leukemia.” A British biologist, Dr. Roger Coghill, said at a London conference that “one single particle of depleted uranium lodged in a lymph node can devastate the entire immune system.” A pertinent report released in 2014 revealed a notable increase in the number of patients with malignant tumors, according to Slobodan Cekaric, the head of the Serbian Cancer Society. Lymph node cancer incidences between 1999 and 2012 rose 80 percent, with terminal cases showing an 11 percent rise. Malignant diseases in Serbia have grown at a higher rate than in Western Europe, increasing year to year. According to expert estimates, in 2013 and 2014 alone, cancer incidences in Kosovo, rose a hefty 57 percent, he said. Slobodan Cekaric: “If this trend is maintained, Serbia will have 5,500 registered cancer patients per million residents compared to just 2,000 per million elsewhere in the world.” “Ten million Serbians were exposed to radiation during the NATO bombings and still remain so today.” Last year group of Serbians launched a suit against NATO in an attempt to obtain compensation. Srdjan Aleksic, a Serbian lawyer who leads the legal team, formed by the Serbian Royal Academy of Scientists and Artists, said: “In Serbia, 33,000 people fall sick because of this every year (many of them children.)” That’s a glance at the physical damage. More grievous, for the long run, is that Clinton sabotaged any chance of friendly relationships between the US and Russia for generations just when there was an opportunity to give peace a chance, as they used to say. Kosovo had been a Serbian province for 700 years. Clinton stripped it off and gave it to the Albanian mafia on the basis of demographics. From that point in time, the Russians took the attitude that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Their two provinces in Georgia have a majority Russian population and Crimea was part of Russia long before it got stripped into the Ukraine.in the 1950s by Nikita Khrushchev, who was from the Ukraine. Crimea includes of the port of Sevastopol with access to the Black Sea, with military and economic importance. The Americans are paying lip service to Russia returning the Crimea to the Ukraine but that will happen the day after the Likud gives east Jerusalem to the Arabs or the sun dies, whichever comes first. The Americans could return Kosovo to Serbia, correct a grievous injustice, and that would go a long way to repairing relations with Russia. It gets even worse. Once NATO’s ally, the Albanian mafia, took over Kosovo a mob fell upon the 100,000 Gypsies living there, burning their homes or driving them out, murdering some, raping women, dispossessing them of all of their property, including their cars. The British set up a camp for them on a toxic dump, left them there without access to fresh water, and walked away. They all got sick from lead poisoning. No one for four years provided medical care. If it weren’t for volunteers coming in from elsewhere in Europe to try to help them, the UN, which took over for NATO, would have just let them all suffer or die miserable deaths without offering them even an aspirin to ease their pain. Paul Polansky, head of mission for the Society for Threatened Peoples International in Switzerland, said the UN abandoning Gypsies on toxic wasteland, which damaged the health of all and caused any number of deaths, was an act of genocide. At one point Albanian hoodlums beat up Gypsies, severely injuring some children. The UN would not take these children to the hospital. Not NATO nor anyone else made any attempt to obtain for these people compensation for the property stolen from them, damage to their health, deaths, or personal losses. It gets even worse. The mafia rounded up minorities, put them in concentration camps, fed the healthiest to fatten them up, and then killed them to sell their body parts. The government had been the source of all rampant crime in Kosovo. The UN, whose agency was called UNMIK, was supposed to be providing the policing. It never arrested any member of the mafia for anything. Kosovo, now independent, floods Europe with heroin and is involved in every crime in the book. Or as Milos Zemos, president of the Czech Republic, summed it up, “Kosovo is ruled by a mafia regime financed by the trafficking in narcotics.” Clinton created a failed state and for what purpose? Unemployment runs beyond 30 per cent and street crime is rampant. This is a never-ending story. While those who run Kosovo were committing crimes against their own people during the Obama regime, who was encouraging them all the time? Obama’s ambassador. Vedat Xhymshiti: “Some citizens of the country, outraged by US ambassador Greg Delawie, whose office permanently supported politicians who are officially accused of crime involvement, had initiated an online petition to address their concern at … Obama’s office in Washington. This democratic act received an imminent threat by the country’s prime minister Isa Mustafa, describing it as an act of terrorism.” Let’s go back to the Ukraine. When the Soviet Union fell, the Ukraine possessed 1,700 nuclear warheads, third largest number in the world, They didn’t want them, but their leaders said, with an eye on Russia, maybe we should hang on to 30 or 40. Clinton told them in 1994, “You don’t have to worry. America will always have your back.” After Russia invaded Georgia, they again expressed their concerns in 2009. Obama told them, “You don’t have to worry. America will always have your back.” What happened? Paul Johnson, UK historian best known here for his history of the Jews, said Putin knew a weakling when he saw one and took full advantage. He wrote this just after Trump came on the scene. “No one could be a bigger contrast to the spineless, pusillanimous, and underdeserving Barack Obama, who has never done a thing for himself and is entirely the creation of reverse discrimination.” “Under Obama the U.S. — by far the richest and most productive nation on earth — has been outsmarted, outmaneuvered and made to appear a second-class power by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. America has presented itself as a victim of political and economic Alzheimer’s disease, a case of national debility and geopolitical collapse.” The required response to aid the Ukraine was very simple. Putin telegraphed his moves and there was plenty of time for Obama to send in an aircraft carrier and some support ships into Sevastopol. Only two things could have happened, Putin would have blinked, most likely, or everyone would have headed for what remained of the fallout shelters. But there is no other way to stand up to a threat of aggression except head on. Obama did absolutely nothing. Even after Russia acted Obama refused to supply the Ukraine with weapons they requested despite the fact that fighting had spilled over into their home territory. Trump sent them anti-tank weapons immediately. The same slide to war was happening in the Far East, but a few paces behind. China was turning the South China Sea into a Chinese lake affecting ownership of natural resources. In the crosshairs were the Philippines and Vietnam. In the summer of 2016 China told India, you have to choose up sides in the coming conflict over the South China Sea. The Philippines, despite having a formal defence treaty with the US, went to talk to China directly after its leader Rodrigo Duterte called Obama “a son of a whore” for hanging them out to dry. The Vietnamese are still the same old Vietnamese and prepared to fight. When Trump got in he sent an aircraft carrier into Hanoi and things calmed down. No sooner had Trump won the 2016 election than the entire Democratic zoo began chanting in unison, “Russia, Russia, Russia” — everyone from Pocahontas to Spartacus to Da Nang Dick to Adam O. Sscchhiitt. Putin had enabled Trump to win the election was the hysterical scream throughout the US mass media, the MSM, which is little more than the propaganda wing of the Democratic zoo. The warmongering hit its peak when Trump met Putin at Helsinki where Trump was blasted for not kicking Putin in the shins for his interference. There was just one minor detail. There had been no outside interference that affected the outcome of the US election by Russians or anyone else. This hysteria led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special prosecutor by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein to investigate a crime that never happened, Trump colluding with the Russians. Anyone else with an honest bone in his body would have come back in two months and said there is nothing here. Not Mueller. He has a long record of persecuting the innocent and turning a blind eye to the guilty. He was in his element. Mueller first made his miserable name in Massachusetts. Evidence surfaced that four men convicted of murder were innocent. Instead of getting them sprung, he let them rot in prison, while shooting the messengers, figuratively. After he was gone the four received $100 million in compensation, two posthumously. Then in 2001 after being appointed FBI director he headed an investigation into an anthrax attack. He started by ignoring the likely suspects, al Queda, and dragged it out for 10 years persecuting two innocent Americans one after the other. The first won $6 million in compensation; the second committed suicide. At the end he wrote a self-serving phoney report. The hoax of Russian election interference centres around two main events, the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server in June 2016 with the e-mails posted on WikiLeaks in July and the theft in March of the e-mails of John Podesta, campaign chairman, which appeared on WikiLeaks in October. The Democrats blamed the Russians for the DNC hack and they were off to the races. Later Robby Mook, Hillary’s campaign manager, would add, on the basis of his dreams, that the Russians did it at the behest of Trump. But the Russians, specifically the GRU military intelligence agency, which was blamed, had nothing to do with either theft of e-mails. Let’s take them one at a time. The DNC brought in CrowdStrike, a company headed by two known hoaxers, George Kurtz and Dmitri Alperovitch, to determine who hacked their server. The Russians, they announced; and we figured it out in two hours. Immediately a character by the name of Guccifer 2.0 responded that the Russians didn’t do it. I did. I was on the scene. The first to publicly challenge the conclusions of CrowdStrike was the Mossad that summer. Debkafile, an Israeli website specializing in intelligence matters, asked contacts in the Mossad, is it even possible to identify a hacker in two hours? The reply was, if pigs can fly, it is. Their full answer was that in identifying hackers, you first try to establish motive. The Mossad would have immediately ruled out the GRU as a likely suspect. “They concentrate resources on securing strategic and economic data and have no possible interest in information relating to Bernie Sanders’s religious orthodoxy.” To the main point, the Mossad said that no one could determine the source of the hack in two hours. They explained “getting to the bottom of an APT (advanced persistent threat) calls for extra-powerful computers, working in conjunction with the Internet service provider (ISP), and consuming weeks, if not months of analysis.” As time went on, other tech experts came forward and said the theft could not have been done remotely unless you can suspend the laws of physics. The package taken was too large. It could only have been done locally. Who was lying, CrowdStrike or Guccifer 2.0, could have been resolved easily if the FBI had done what any village police force in the world would have done and examined the server. When they requested to do that, the DNC told them to get lost and they just walked away. On the basis of his absurd DNC Russian hacking claim and previous work he did for a private client in 2013 Kurtz comes off as nothing more than a scam artist. He identified the hacker of a private client as Hurricane Panda out of China. He then collected his exorbitant fee and ran. What’s wrong with this is there ain’t no such animal as Hurricane Panda. Josh Weider: “George Kurtz has quite the resume. Perhaps you remember the time he spent at McAfee, a company founded by a drug-addled heavily-armed lunatic and maybe murderer whose recent contributions to infosec include being one of the handful of companies to use BSAFE encryption library in their products, the library famously back-doored by government security contractors/prostitutes RSA for a National Security Agency cheque in the amount of $10 million. “Or perhaps you are more familiar with his time as chief financial officer of General Motors, whose flagship ‘IT’ product, OnStar, is best known to actual security researchers as the government tracking device that allows police to disable your car remotely and quite likely kill you in the process. Did I say police? Because I meant basically anybody who has a computer and can read. And did I say disable? Because I also meant unlock the car and start the engine. “George Kurtz is to the information technology community what Bull Connor was to the civil rights community. Which is to say: not helpful.” Weider supplies the technical details of the Hurricane Panda scam. Kurtz’s partner Alperovitch, who has close ties to anti-Russian Ukrainians, got into the act in the fall of 2016. Kurtz had declared that Fancy Bear of Russian intelligence did the DNC hack. Alperovitch solemnly announced that Fancy Bear had hacked Ukrainian artillery and knocked 80 per cent out of commission. Donna Brazile, the interim DNC chairman, was quick to tweet, “Cybersecurity firm finds a link between DNC hack and Ukrainian artillery.” The tweet engendered publicity through the length and breadth of the MSM, without anyone as usual bothering to check anything. Despite the intense competition, this news item could have won the Fake News Pulitzer Prize, the one award that all MSM hacks and flacks aspire to someday winning. The Ukrainian defence minister quickly announced that nothing of this sort ever happened. It wasn’t difficult to track Alperovitch’s source. He scalped it out of a Russian blog entitled, “Bullhorn of Totalitarian Propaganda.” Guccifer 2.0 did his best to protect his identity because he doesn’t want to go to prison, but he did have a long cyber romance with former actress-model Robbin Young, still a dish and a half. At one point he asked her if she knew a good private eye because his courier to WikiLeaks had been murdered in Washington and he was afraid that the DC Police would cover it up and not do a proper investigation. He named the courier, Seth Rich. And, indeed, the police falsely described the murder as a “robbery gone wrong,” which is preposterous. Rich worked at the DNC and like all Sanders’s supporters was incensed at the way the DNC had sabotaged his campaign. But Guccifer 2.0 was non-political. He hacks for the same reason mountain climbers do what they do. He explained himself in a dissertation he sent in the fall of 2016 to a cybersecurity conference in London. His identity was confirmed by Thomas Fox Brewster of Forbes Magazine. He’s a foreigner, probably Romanian, but has been in the US a long time. He knows how to use the word “ain’t” correctly. You can’t learn that in any language course. He told Robbin Young that he had worked for a very long time on the DNC theft with a full-time assistant. At the conference he referred to Josh Uretsky, the data director for Sanders who had been recommended by Rich and then fired by the DNC in Dec. 2015. The firing was a sore point among Sanders’s supporters. If Guccifer 2.0 had not been present at that early time, he would not have known about the firing. The bottom line, he said, was that the NGP VAN company had sold the DNC a program full of holes and he just walked through the holes. Guccifer 2.0: “Who made it possible, that I hacked into the DNC? … You already know the answer. This is the NGP VAN company that operates the DNC network. And this is its CEO Stu Trevelyan who is really responsible for the breach. “Their software is full of holes. And you knew about it even before I came on stage.” Guccifer 2.0 swiped the e-mails on May 20, 2016, handed them to Seth Rich, who relayed them to Gavin MacFayden, an American who was director for the Centre of Investigative Journalism in London and a close associate of Julian Assange, head of WikiLeaks. MacFayden would die of natural causes that October. I was not being facetious when I wrote that last sentence. Let’s go to the murder. We can guess the motive of those who beat up Rich prior to his being shot. We can also guess the likely suspects. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the DNC chairman, had the most to lose from the e-mails being published on WikiLeaks, which would happen July 22. The e-mails showed DNC officials conspiring to stop Sanders, running against Hillary Clinton, from becoming the presidential candidate. Wasserman-Schultz resigned in disgrace when the e-mails appeared. I am not suggesting that Wasserman-Schultz told someone directly to have a talk with Rich in hopes of persuading him to block the publication. We are now at July 10. The idea could have come from someone else close to the boss-lady. The consequences of the e-mails being published was no secret. Wasserman-Schultz had surrounded herself for years by a gang of Pakistani hoodlums, who acted as her high-tech experts. They were led by Imran Awan. He was well-known to the police because his various concubines kept calling them to complain that Awan had beat them and to ask for help. The gang was reported having ties to the Hezbollah terrorist organization and bragged of knowing people who did kidnapping on demand in Pakistan in order to frighten people during shakedowns. After his 12-hour shift at the DNC, Rich as usual went to a bar he frequented. This night he seemed to be depressed over a girl, asked the bartender to stop playing a sad country song, and drank heavily. He left at 1:15 a.m. His home was 1.7 miles away, a normal half-hour leisurely walk. Since he was wobbly it might have taken him longer than normal but he didn’t arrive near to this home until three hours later. It seems obvious he had been detained along the way and beat up. When he appeared near his home Rich had bruises on his face, hands, and knees. The only people who would know his movements in the middle of the night from the bar to his home were people who knew him or knew someone who knew him. The only people informed enough to know what questions to ask in between slugging him were high-tech experts. The only people who had a motive to beat him up, after possibly luring him to a location by someone who knew him, were associates of Wasserman-Schultz, who wanted him to block the publication of the e-mails. There was no attempt at robbery. He left his place of detention still wearing his watch, a $2,000 necklace, and with his cellphone and wallet. As he approached his home he was talking on his phone to a girlfriend or former girlfriend and accusing her of setting him up. Two men appeared behind him. They called out to him. Said one, “Stop! Turn around! It doesn’t have to be this way. Think of your family.” The man spoke with a New England, possibly Connecticut, accent. Rich’s last words on the phone apparently were: “They are going to off me! You knew this! How could you do this?” There was a punch. Rich kept walking. The men then fired two bullets in his back. The shooters made no attempt to rob him. Why should they take a chance of leaving fingerprints when they had already made their payday? Rich was still alive a few hours after he was taken to the hospital. The family said he was in a state of confusion and feeling no pain before he died. That would not have been from the alcohol, the effects of which would have worn off long before this. To this day the chief medical officer has refused to release the autopsy report. The public has not been told the cause of death. Someone who would know why the cause of death has not been released is Steven Wasserman, an assistant attorney in DC, brother of her nibs. The DC Police asking no questions of no one, just wrote off the murder as a “robbery gone wrong.” Democrats call all the shots in DC. The mysteries are only just begun. We have two investigative journalists working independently who talked to FBI agents in the cyber squad who said the FBI took possession of Rich’s computer within days after his death. What happened to the computer? That should not be a rhetorical question. What’s on the computer proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Rich supplied the e-mails to WikiLeaks and not the Russians, which is still the Mueller claim, as he goes round and round chasing after his shadow exactly as he did in the anthrax case. One of the journalists is Seymour Hersh, the legendary Seymour Hersh. He posted an audio of what the FBI told him. He spoke mostly of process. Rich sent samples of e-mails to WikiLeaks. Hersh said, and asked for money. Seymour Hersh: “Then later WikiLeaks did get the password. He had a Dropbox — a protected Dropbox — which isn’t hard to do. I mean you don’t have to be an IT wizard. He was certainly, was not a dumb kid.” The other journalist is Malia Zimmerman, as reliable as Hersh. The FBI provided her with copious details. Malia Zimmerman: “A federal investigator who reviewed an FBI forensic report detailing the contents of DNC staffer Seth Rich’s computer generated within 96 hours after his murder, said Rich made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time. “He said: ‘I have seen and read the e-mails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,’ …. He said the e-mails are in possession of the FBI, while the stalled case is in the hands of the Washington Police Department.” “The federal investigator, who requested anonymity, said 44,053 e-mails and 17,761 attachments between Democratic National Committee leaders, spanning from Jan. 2015 through late May 2016, were transferred from Rich to MacFadyen before May 21.” She wrote this in 2017 with the FBI agent under the impression that the FBI still had the computer. But James Comey, then the FBI chief, announced an investigation into a Russian connection to the DNC hack late in July 2016 and was still testifying about Russians, Russians, Russians before Congress until he was fired the next year. Something doesn’t add up in the FBI because if anyone looks at the computer, they can write off a major plank in the Russian hoax. But no one outside the cyber squad seems to have looked at it. And what police force in the world on purpose makes material evidence in a murder case vanish without a trace? The FBI under Comey did. Under Obama the FBI was politicized to its gizzards and the Democrats do not want this murder investigated under any circumstances. But surely now that the decapitated Jeff Sessions is out as chief at the justice department and there’s a new FBI director, it should be possible to track down Rich’s computer. I wouldn’t be surprised if Democrats in the FBI destroyed the records and even the computer itself or its contents but both Hersh and Zimmerman talked to actual agents. They can’t make the agents vanish. There is one other indication that Seth Rich delivered the e-mails to WikiLeaks and not Russians. Assange offered a $20,000 reward for any information leading to solving the murder. He would not pull the name out of a hat of an American murder victim he did not know and had not sacrificed his life in order to bring truth to light at WikiLeaks. We come to the Podesta e-mails, which is a much simpler case. Mueller is going nuts trying to make a big deal of Jerome Corsi being aware of the existence of the e-mails in August and that this could lead to the Russians. The e-mails were swiped in March by Sanders supporters but they didn’t seem to know what to do with them. They must have talked to a fair number of people and finally were led in the direction of WikiLeaks. So why wouldn’t word get back to Corsi about the e-mails’ existence? You could take any retarded guy, lobotomize him, and he would do a better job as a cop than Mueller. The Mail Online in the UK published the whole story of how WikiLeaks got the e-mails in Dec. 2016 and all the lobotomized retarded guy would have to do is read that. No Russians were involved. Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close Assange associate, said in his blog early in Sept. 2016 that he would be coming to a whistleblowers’ conference in Washington Sept. 25 if he could get an entry visa. He was denied the visa at first so it was touch and go. But he did show up at American University and there a Sanders supporter put the e-mails in his hand. Three weeks later they were published. Murray has a well-read blog and then he did the interview with the Mail Online. No one from the FBI, supposedly investigating the Podesta e-mails, went to talk to him. In fact Comey as if he were deaf, dumb, and blind was still pushing the Russian line when testifying before Congress in March 2017. Adam O. Sscchhiitt asked Comey this question about the Podesta e-mails. “Do you know whether the Russian intelligence service has dealt directly with WikiLeaks or whether they too used an intermediary?” Comey answered, “We assessed they used some kind of cutout. They didn’t deal directly with WikiLeaks.” Comey lives in the same insane parallel universe as Mueller does. And he doesn’t even know how to use the word “cutout” properly as applied in the intelligence community. A “cutout” is a contact who doesn’t know who is calling when an agent in trouble calls him. There is no such thing as “some kind of cutout.” It’s a precise term. We will never know what kind of dirty games the FBI was playing beyond the fanatical anti-Trump Peter Strozk in trying to nail Trump, unless a special prosecutor with integrity is appointed, but in Oct. 2016 a relatively minor Russian hacker named Yevgeny Nikulin was arrested in Prague. A few days later he said someone representing himself as FBI offered him a bribe. Admit to hacking the Democrats’ server on behalf of Russia for Trump — he wasn’t clear which server because this was all new to him — and they would drop all charges, give him American citizenship, an apartment, and money. The offer was made again in Feb. 2017. He told the story to the Russian press and his Moscow lawyer Vladimir Makeyev wrote to Trump to ask, what in hell is going on? In any other country in the world with a free press Nikulin would have been swamped with journalists seeking an interview. Real journalists run towards a story; the fake journalists in the US run away from a story. The fact is that if the FBI had done a normal investigation, followed up on the material on Seth Rich’s computer, examined the DNC server, and talked to Murray in London about the Podesta e-mails, they would not have had someone in Feb. 2017 trying to bribe a minor hacker in Prague in order to link Trump to Russians. If it wasn’t the FBI in his cell it was some official American representative; no one gets into a Czech prison without standing. Meanwhile this story is still out there. Nikulin is now in jail in San Francisco, won’t talk to his current lawyers, who are claiming the Russians may try to assassinate him. That would be one way of getting the fake news media in the US to cover a real story. From almost the time CrowdStrike launched the hoax that the Russians hacked the DNC server, the Democrats pushed the assertion that they did it for Trump. But this did not take hold in the Obama government itself until one guy ran with it and dragged everyone else along. The conclusion, arrived separately by both Murray and Hersh, was that the culprit is John Brennan, the ex-Commie who somehow slithered up to be head of the CIA. There is no evidence that he ever stopped being a Commie. Murray was upset at the way the US government was ignoring the facts on the Podesta e-mail theft and he blamed that on Brennan. Craig Murray: “I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story — blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of e-mails showing Clinton’s corruption. Yes this rubbish has been the lead today in the Washington Post in the US and the Guardian here, and was the lead item on the BBC main news. I suspect it is leading the American broadcasts also. “A little simple logic demolishes the CIA’s claims. The CIA claim they ‘know the individuals’ involved.’ Yet under Obama the USA has been absolutely ruthless in its persecution of whistleblowers, and its pursuit of foreign hackers through extradition. We are supposed to believe that in the most vital instance imaginable, an attempt by a foreign power to destabilize a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions against Russian individuals? Plainly it stinks. The anonymous source claims of ‘We know who it was, it was the Russians’ are beneath contempt.” Seymour Hersh: “Brennan’s an asshole. I’ve known all these people for years.” “It’s a Brennan operation. It was an American disinformation operation f-cking the f-cking president. … I mean it’s all bullshit.” In late Oct. 2016 Hillary built this up in an interview in Vanity Fair to “all 17 intelligence agencies agree” the Russians interfered in the election. The fake news media immediately turned that into gospel. No one asked, for example, who were the agents who informed the Coast Guard, mermaids? It was Brennan and Brennan alone pushing the Democratic talking points and the others, knowing nothing, just dumbly nodded in agreement. Rosenstein ambushed Trump with a list of 12 GRU Russian spies just before he met with Putin in Helinski, who Rosenstein said had interfered in the US election. He added that they didn’t change any votes and they had nothing to do with Trump. The logical question from that is how many Russian spies does it take to change a light bulb if they were consummately ineffective and why even mention them at that moment, except to ruin the atmosphere of the Trump-Putin summit? Rosenstein didn’t reveal which of the “17 intelligence agencies” provided his information but he did name Guccifer 2.0 as one of the GRU agents, describing him as a persona. That claim had originated with CrowdStrike, the Democrats’ hoax machine, long before, early in the game. If anyone had investigated the Seth Rich murder they would have got to Guccifer 2.0, not a persona, because those two had worked together for a considerable time. Guccifer 2.0’s motive for being at the DNC was the same reason paparazzi stalk celebrities. He assessed that Hillary was where the action would be. He was following the example of his hero, fellow Romanian Marcel Lazar, the original Guccifer, now in prison. When Hillary was secretary of state, he managed to get his hands on all the e-mails of her fixer, Sidney Blumenthal, and posted them on WikiLeaks. Blumenthal all the time was trying to stampede her into going to war in Libya so he could make a killing on field hospitals and such. Anyone can read his e-mails now. Guccifer 2.0 also told Robbin Young during their correspondence that he would not go near Assange because he suspected that he was too close to the Russians. Guccifer 2.0 is no persona and he has no connection to Russians. If the first button on the shirt is not in the right hole, none of the rest will be. Why should we believe the remainder of what Rosenstein says without actual evidence and sources? The false information on Guccifer 2.0 was invented by CrowdStrike, so all the rest of what Rosenstein is saying is suspect. All CrowdStrike ever does is make things up and lie in the Democrat cause. At one point two voting rolls in Arizona and Illinois were hacked. ThreatStrike, a subsidiary of CrowdStrike, identified Vladmir Fomenko as the “mastermind” in the hacks. Forbes Magazine sent a reporter to talk to him in Siberia. He’s a 26-year-old guy with a small server business and two of his clients, probably from western Europe, did it. They still owe him $290. And he said he can’t be held responsible for what clients do. Russian hackers are active all the time in a major way, both criminal and government. Circa March 2016 thieves stole account details from 272-million e-mail accounts from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Mail.ru e-mail users. The Mail Online reported that the account details were being sold in Russia. They could have taken Podesta’s Gmails at the same time but there was no money in it. Government hackers for years have tried to penetrate a vast array of infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and manufacturing. None of this is connected to Trump or the US election. If the Russians had really wanted to screw up the US election, they could have done some serious damage. A group linked to the Kremlin made total fools out of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the summer of 2016. They stole their prized cyberweapons. Sonam Sheth: “The theft caused panic throughout the US intelligence apparatus because the custom-made cyberweapons — including zero-day exploits that targeted antivirus software and Microsoft products — could wreak havoc when used by the wrong entity.” Next a Russian claiming he could, offered to give them back. The NSA gave him $100,000; he sent them Russian reports of Trump in Moscow and vanished. Meanwhile Yahoo Finance reported that the Mossad had watched the theft in real time. Maybe the NSA should have given the $100,000 to the Mossad and gotten something for their money. What these guys demonstrate is that Kremlin operatives are not consummately ineffective as Rosenstein would have us believe. The NSA with all its resources in a matter of high national priority to this day cannot identify who’s got their cyberweapons, even though they are known to be connected to the Kremlin. Yet Rosenstein is facilely able to trot out 11 names of GRU agents supposedly engaged in trivial activities that no one ever heard of and are irrelevant to his task at hand, determining whether Trump colluded with the Russians in the election. Here’s the difference. The NSA lives in the real world. Mueller works with CrowdStrike, the only group in history able to solve major hacks not in the normal weeks or months but in two hours. Producing 11 names, any names, shouldn’t have taken them no more than a half-hour. That was always the way witch-hunts worked. Everyone the witch-hunters named was always guilty whether or not a crime had ever been committed. The Mossad, having monitored the GRU for years, said their interests are well-known and don’t include politics. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a change in their behavior in 2016 but let Rosenstein prove it. The original assertion of GRU involvement at the DNC hack came from CrowdStrike and they were lying. The Mossad proved correct in ruling out GRU involvement in the DNC hack without knowing the existence of the actual theft tandem, Guccifer 2.0 and Seth Rich. I’d like to see what they have to say about the Rosenstein’s list before I’d even consider it as being factual. Russia was a country involved in two shooting wars, one with considerable daily bloodshed in Syria, and we are supposed to believe that the GRU assigned at that moment 11 military specialists to piddle around in a US election, an area they are not trained in to engage in actions that were both meaningless and a total waste of time. As with everything else CrowdStrike is involved in, Rosenstein’s list, on which they have their fingerprints because of the Guccifer 2.0 persona canard, appears to be a total scam. The US has not been without double-agents in Russia, of course, who could be sources of reliable information. In Dec. 2016 Russia arrested four high-ranking intelligence officials, who they said were spying for America. They are not GRU. One was Sergei Mikhailov. The Russians discovered to their astonishment that he was a man with no personal history, who seemed to have materialized out of thin air. To this day as far as I know they don’t know who he is or where he came from. He apparently was on the CIA payroll and somehow, as a civil servant, amassed a fortune worth $12 million. Another, Dmitri Dokuchaev, ended up on the FBI’s Most Wanted list in March 2017. Even if he was also working for the CIA, the FBI wanted him for being part of a group that stole 500 million Yahoo e-mail accounts from Jan. 2014 to Dec. 2016.

The Russian Collusion Delusion In A Nutshell
Times of Israel

URL: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-rus ... -nutshell/
Category: Politics
Published: August 1, 2018

Description: The list of Russian military intelligence (GRU) spies that Robert Mueller, US witch-hunter-in-chief, sprung on Trump before his summit with Putin is as phoney as a three-dollar bill. I am not a partisan of Russians but I am a partisan of truth. If anyone believes Mueller’s claim that the GRU meddled in the US election, get in touch with me. I got a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge to sell you. I’ll give you easy payments. Here is the Russian collusion delusion in a nutshell. George Kurtz, head of CrowdStrike, has a record of hoaxing. Someone hacked the DNC server. In June 2016 CrowdStrike said the Russians did it. The theft of the e-mails was done locally, not remotely. Those who actually did it was the hacker Guccifer 2.0, who gave the e-mails to Seth Rich, the courier, who gave them to Gavin MacFayden, the representative of WikiLeaks, since deceased. On July 12. Seth Rich was murdered on his way home from a bar. He was detained and they beat him up. It looks like they were trying to get him to block publication on WikiLeaks. He refused so they shot him. The e-mails told the story of how the DNC shafted Bernie Sanders in his primary run against the winner Hillary Clinton. They would be very embarrassing for Deborah Wasserman Schultz. the DNC chairman, who would have to resign in disgrace when the e-mails were published. She happened to always surround herself with a gang of Pakistani thugs who were also IT experts. If anyone were doing an investigation into the murder, those would be the first suspects you would question. The FBI cyber squad took Seth Rich’s computer. Seymour Hersh, an investigative journalist of long standing, saw the FBI report. Another journalist Malia Zimmerman also had a source in the FBI, who confirmed that Rich gave the e-mails to Gavin MacFayden. This was never made public. What this means is that a cover-up of this murder is not just being done by DC Police but also by the FBI. This is not surprising since the FBI was totally corrupt with the top six FBI officials now either having being been fired or resigned. The FBI had mobilized to nail Trump led by Peter Strozk. When asked by his paramour Lisa Page, a FBI lawyer, “(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” he replied, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” Guccifer 2.0 had a long cyber romance with former actress-model Robbin Young. At one point he asked her if she knew a good investigative journalist because he was afraid the DNC Police would not investigate the murder of his courier, Seth Rich. He also told her he keeps his distance from Julian Assange, head of WikiLeaks, because he wasn’t sure that maybe Assange was working for the Russians. Of course no one knows Guccifer 2.0’s actual name because as he told a cybersecurity conference in London, where he sent in a speech, he doesn’t want to go to prison. CrowdStrike said that they had identified the Russian hackers in two hours. Debkafile, an Israeli military intelligence website, asked a source in the Mossad if that were possible. Firstly the Mossad said that they would have immediately ruled out the GRU, as a likely suspect. “They concentrate resources on securing strategic and economic data and have no possible interest in information relating to Bernie Sanders’s religious orthodoxy.” But to the point, the Mossad said no one could ascertain the source of a hack of this nature in two hours. “Getting to the bottom of an APT (advanced persistent threat) calls for extra-powerful computers, working in conjunction with the Internet service provider (ISP), and consuming weeks, if not months of analysis.” WikiLeaks published July 22. Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, then told CNN the Russians did that for Trump. The Russian collusion delusion was born and based entirely on this offhand comment. But Hillary had been up to something for some time hiring a smear-on-demand company Fusion GPS to recruit UK spymaster Christopher Steele so that they could feed him a dirty dossier smearing Trump concocted by her notorious fixers, Sydney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer. FBI chief James Comey could have exploded the hoax of a Russian hack of the DNC server at a stroke if he had examined the server. The DNC would not let him near it. Then he announced an investigation into Russian meddling, pointing at Trump. On what basis has never been explained. There was only Robby Mook connecting Trump to Russians at that point. But they were off to the races. Susan Rice, national security adviser, at that very moment told the White House cybersecurity co-ordinator Michael Daniel to stand down. This meant that CrowdStrike would be calling all the shots as the “investigation” went along. Jump to March 2018. The Daily Beast reported that Mueller’s probe had determined that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian intelligence officer. Source: ThreatConnect, subsidiary of CrowdStrike. That same month Ken Dilanian, a CIA asset who masquerades as a journalist, reported at NBC that indictments were coming down linking Russian intelligence to the DNC hack and also the theft of John Podesta’s Gmail e-mails. Guccifer 2.0 was described in that article as a persona. Source: CrowdStrike. Sanders’ supporters stole Podesta’s Gmails in revenge for the abysmal treatment their candidate had received from the DNC and delivered them into the hands of Craig Murray, former UK ambassador, in Washington Sept. 25 who took them to WikiLeaks. No Russians were involved in that theft either. Murray told the whole story to the Mail Online. Besides inventing the hoax that the Russians hacked the DNC server, CrowdStrike was involved in two other major hoaxes that we know of. This is a regular hoax machine. In 2013 Kurtz identified the perpetrator of a major hack as Hurricane Panda from China The problem was that Hurricane Panda did not exist. They had attributed the DNC hack to Fancy Bear. In the fall of 2016 Kurtz’s partner Dmitri Alperovitch announced that Fancy Bear had knocked out 80 per cent of the Ukrainian artillery. This flashed round the world. Rather quickly the Ukrainian defence minister said no such thing ever happened. In this case we know Alperovitch’s source. He scalped that report from a Russian blog called “Bullhorn of Totalitarian Propaganda.” Rod Rosenstein, deputy a-g, who created the witch-hunt in the first place for reasons never explained to this day, announced on the eve of the Trump-Putin summit the names of 12 GRU agents who had been involved in meddling in the US election. But over the list he named Guccifer 2.0 as a persona. The old saying is that the first button in a shirt is not in the right hole none of the rest will be too. CrowdStrike started with the hoax that Russians hacked the DNC server. Guccifer 2.0 immediately responded they are lying, he did it. He also explained in some detail how he did it to that London cybersecurity conference and he told Robbin Young that he employed a full-time assistant to do it. The evidence is overwhelming that Guccifer is a real guy and the only people who are claiming that he is a persona is CrowdStrike, so the credibility of the whole list depends on whether that is true. If not the shirt needs to be rebuttoned. They’ve got back-to-back hoaxes here. The GRU hacked the DNC server and here are the names of their agents led by a persona. But the Russians had nothing to do with the hack of the DNC server so what were these agents doing, buying ads on Facebook that no one will ever read? And why would Putin, engaged in two shooting wars with threats of major terrorist attacks all the time, assign blue-chip GRU military intelligence agents to buy Facebook ads when there are college students looking for part-time work? The truth is out there. Kit Dotcom, a character in New Zealand, had a lengthy on-going relationship with Seth Rich and he knows the entire true story of the DNC hack. He asked twice to testify at the Mueller witch-hunt and they did not respond, not wishing to be confused with the facts. Those who support the witch-hunt, the same people who want Trump’s head on a platter, shout “intelligence” says so, so it must be true. What did intelligence say about the probability of a major terrorist attack on US soil before 9/11? And where are the WMDs intelligence assured everyone would be found in Iraq? If this was baseball and you are blaming Mueller’s report on intelligence, this would be called strike three. You don’t have to go that far, you can blame it on the hoax machine, CrowdStrike. Here is what needs to be done. Obtain the FBI report on Seth Rich’s murder, where the FBI confirms that he and not the Russians supplied the DNC e-mails to WikiLeaks, and that should put an end to the Russian collusion delusion. And where is the Rich computer? Can the FBI just toss out evidence in a murder case without telling anyone? Both Seymour Hersh and Malia Zimmerman were given copious details from their FBI sources including the numbers of e-mails and attachments that were sent to WikiLeaks and also the date they were taken, May 21, 2016. If you are interested I’ve got all this in a book available on Amazon entitled, “Trump, Israel, And The Ayatollah Fruit Loops.”

The WikiLeaks E-Mails. The Russians Didn’t Do It.
Times of Israel

URL: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-wik ... dnt-do-it/
Category: Politics
Published: May 24, 2017

Description: I come from a port city in New Brunswick, Canada, founded by penniless refugees who landed there following the American Revolutionary War. They were the Loyalists, who decided to sacrifice all to remain true to the British crown. Many residents today are descendants of the original settlers. There was only one famous man among them, the esteemed patriot Benedict Arnold, who arrived later from the UK. Things did not go well for Arnold. He welshed on his debts, his esteem evaporated, and the residents ran the deadbeat out of the town. The city remembers its founders with a holiday each year but beyond that the descendants of the Loyalists as the rule are no more than faces in the crowd. There are exceptions: my Grade 8 teacher for example. She was no face in any crowd. This was mid-1950s. Every now and then she would get wound up, and just as if she had been transported back in time and at that very moment had come on land from the ship, would begin to tee off on the Americans. These tirades were worth coming to school for. Her main points were two. American culture is flawed and inferior. And the Americans will never learn how to run a country properly. We kids never understood what she was talking about when it came to “culture.” All the movies, music, and sports, except for hockey, came out of America. You eliminate American “culture,” and what you were left with was what Quebec singer Gilles Vigneault sang about a few years later. “Mon pays, ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver.” (My country is not a country, it’s the winter.) Of course in Quebec, American culture loses a lot in translation, but every Canadian, at that time at least, knew what he meant. Occasionally as time went on my teacher would began to appear like an oracle. Everyone would have to agree with her. In the late 60s Americans began burning down their cities one after the other and meanwhile scores of young men, draft-dodgers, were swarming over the border to get away from there. Today is another such period. They elect a new president Donald Trump and instead of moving on, the rival Democratic party comes up with a cock ‘n’ bull story that he colluded with the Russians, who tipped the election. They stampeded Congress into two committee investigations and now they have graduated to a special prosecutor or counsel. The odds that the Russians meddled in the election are probably are about the same that unicorns meddled in the election. But then again don’t bet against unicorns simply because no one knows much about them. I’ve done a book on this subject. Here I’ll focus on one aspect — who supplied e-mails in two cases to WikiLeaks, the whistleblower group run by Julian Assange? Those were from the Democratic National Committee and then from John Podesta, campaign manager of Hillary Clinton, the losing candidate. The DNC put out the hoax that Russians did it in their case and that was later applied to Podesta too, automatically. Let’s start with the Podesta Gmail e-mails. The Keystone Kops could have solved this case in a half a day. It would have taken them a week to crack the DNC case because this was a hack and the hacker used an alias and meanwhile his whistleblower, the guy who delivered the goods to WikiLeaks, was murdered. As for the originators of the hoax of Kremlin involvement, that would have required the Keystone Kops to do a background check of the principals who invented it and that would meant end of hoax. By contrast if James Comey had remained head of the FBI, the investigation would have dragged on for four years when they would have ended at a dead end after going around in circles all that time. The Podesta breach — it wasn’t a hack — involved stealing personal data, that is, user name and password. The Podesta people said this occurred in March 2016. The e-mails, did not begin to appear on WikiLeaks until Oct. 7. That sort of breach did not happen in a vacuum. During that spring, account details from 272-million e-mail accounts from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Mail.ru e-mail users were stolen. The MailOnline reported that the account details were being sold in Russia. These were lawless private groups and individuals trying to make a fast ruble, not the Kremlin. But this demonstrates that doing this stuff was as easy as picking apples off trees if no one was guarding the trees. Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and former rector of the University of Dundee, close associate of Assange, informed the MailOnline that he scooped up the Podesta e-mails in September in a clandestine meeting in a wooded area near American University in Washington from disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporters. This article was published Dec. 16. All you needed to do was verify that Murray was at American University that month. Murray was chairman for the annual awards ceremony of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity Intelligence, a group dedicated to honoring whistleblowers, to put this in broad strokes. Members include many former intelligence agents. This event was held at American University Sept. 25. Murray was seen there by hundreds of people, many of whom are former intelligence agents. WikiLeaks possessed these e-mails from Sept. 25 or whenever Murray got back to the UK until they published them Oct. 7. All Comey had to do when the MailOnline article appeared Dec. 16 was send someone to interview Murray — Scotland Yard could have done it — and this was case closed. Yet on March 20 Comey was testifying under oath to the House intelligence committee that the Podesta e-mails were stolen by Russian intelligence and supplied by “cutouts” — a word employed in espionage circles referring to intermediaries. This goes beyond even stupidity and incompetence; it’s criminal negligence. Here’s what Murray said in his blog. He’s blaming the CIA for perpetuating the myth of Russian involvement, but the FBI is the investigator in the e-mail cases, as of July 25, and the CIA is just an echo chamber. Craig Murray: “I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story — blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of e-mails showing Clinton’s corruption. Yes this rubbish has been the lead today in the Washington Post in the US and the Guardian here, and was the lead item on the BBC main news. I suspect it is leading the American broadcasts also. “A little simple logic demolishes the CIA’s claims. The CIA claim they ‘know the individuals’ involved.’ Yet under Obama the USA has been absolutely ruthless in its persecution of whistleblowers, and its pursuit of foreign hackers through extradition. We are supposed to believe that in the most vital instance imaginable, an attempt by a foreign power to destabilize a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions against Russian individuals? Plainly it stinks. The anonymous source claims of ‘We know who it was, it was the Russians’ are beneath contempt. “As Julian Assange has made crystal clear, the leaks did not come from the Russians. As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks — there is a major difference between the two. And it should be said again and again, that if Hillary Clinton had not connived with the DNC to fix the primary schedule to disadvantage Bernie, if she had not received advance notice of live debate questions to use against Bernie, if she had not accepted massive donations to the Clinton Foundation and family members in return for foreign policy influence, if she had not failed to distance herself from some very weird and troubling people, then none of this would have happened. “The continued ability of the mainstream media to claim the leaks lost Clinton the election because of ‘Russia.” while still never acknowledging the truths the leaks reveal, is Kafkaesque.” Let’s go to the originators of the hoax of Kremlin meddling in the election. Officials discovered that DNC servers had been hacked. They hired a company named CrowdStrike to investigate the hack. Based on their findings, the DNC announced definitively June 14 that Russian intelligence did it without giving technical details, through the auspices of two groups known as Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear. “Bear” in this business refers to Russians and “panda” refers to Chinese. These e-mails would start to appear in WikiLeaks July 22. No one spelled it out that the Kremlin did the hack on behalf of Trump, but the mass media (MSM), hostile to Trump from start to finish, jumped to that conclusion and ran with it. Until Hillary lost the election, these hacks were not looked upon as a big deal because she was regarded as a shoo-in by all the pundits with her chances of winning ranging to 71 to 98 per cent with Trump having no pathway to reach the magic 270 electoral votes. Comey asked Obama in July if he wanted him to go public with the suspected Kremlin meddling and Obama, who was responsible for the integrity of the election, told him it was not necessary. That was the time to expel 35 diplomats to nip this in the bud and strip Trump of his purported advantage. The Democrats didn’t go crazy with “Russian meddling” until Trump won as if he could not done it fair and square. The two founders of Crowd Strike are George Kurtz and Dmitri Alperovitch. Kurtz has a history of hoaxing. In 2013 he attributed a major hack to a Chinese group called Hurricane Panda. There is no such group. Alperovitch is a crony of Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, a major funder of the agenda of anti-Russian Ukrainians. Pinchuk plays all sides against the middle and when Trump won the election he invited Newt Gringrich to be the speaker at the annual meeting of his foundation. On the other hand he is reputed to rate as the largest individual donor to the Clinton Foundation. The hoax of the Kremlin hack would be what you would expect from Alperovitch, killing two birds with one stone, besmirching Putin, the enemy of the Ukraine, at the same time as helping Hillary, the enemy of Trump. At one point CrowdStrike overplayed their hand. They claimed that Russian intelligence using the same methods as they had employed in the DNC hack had knocked out 80 per cent of the Ukraine’s howitzers. Donna Brazile, the interim DNC chairman, was quick to tweet, “Cybersecurity firm finds a link between DNC hack and Ukrainian artillery.” The source of this revelation turned out to be a Russian blogger who calls himself the “Bullhorn of Totalitarian Propaganda.” This hoax was swiftly exposed; the Ukrainian defence ministry declaring that nothing of this sort ever happened. The FBI, if it had done a background check on these two birds, would have seen very quickly that their Kremlin hacking assertions was a scam. They would found this out as well had they been permitted to examine the DNC servers. When the FBI requested this, CrowdStrike told them to get lost. Legally the FBI could not force the DNC to comply due to privacy considerations. Comey then just swallowed whatever guff CrowdStrike was handing him, including whatever the Bullhorn of Totalitarian Propaganda was contributing, and added his imprimatur. Meanwhile someone in the FBI began to fidget. They apparently decided that they needed in order to give the FBI some credibility to produce a live Russian body admitting that in the service of the Kremlin he had grabbed the Democratic e-mails for WikiLeaks. (The source is Newsweek and like so many sources they use the word “hack” also as applying to the Podesta breach. That was a simple swipe of account data whereas “hacking” is intruding into software. Because of the confusion in terminology and in the dates it is not clear if they mean to be talking about the Podesta breach or the DNC hack or both.) A Russian Yevgeniy Nikulin, 29 was arrested in the Czech Republic at the request of the US on suspicion of hacking the servers of major sites LinkedIn, Dropbox, and Formspring between 2012 and 2013. He denies everything, claiming he is just a used car salesman who knows nothing about computers. According to Newsweek the FBI approached him on Oct.5 with a deal. He would admit that he “hacked” Podesta on behalf of the Kremlin and in return he would be given US citizenship, cash, an apartment in the US, and a clean state. Nikulin says they told him that he had to say that he did it for Trump. He turned them down but they came back with the same offer at least twice more, the last time in February. Meanwhile because of the publicity Nikulin’s presence in Prague became known to authorities in Moscow and they put in their extradition request. He is wanted there for stealing $3,450 from an on-line money transfer system. At is looks now he is not going anywhere soon. Let’s get to real life. Who did the actual DNC hack and who was his whistleblower, that is, the courier who delivered the e-mails to WikiLeaks? And what was their motive? The hacker goes by the name of Guccifer 2.0. He is not to be confused with another Guccifer, a Russian or a Romanian, now in prison. This guy does everything he can to cover his tracks and remain in the dark so he won’t go to prison. By the lilt of his language and his knowledge of US politics, he appears to be an American. He did it for Bernie. The last access to the DNC servers was May 21. His courier was Seth Rich who delivered the e-mails to WikiLeaks via Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American documentary filmmaker and director of WikiLeaks, who was living in London at the time. Rich also did it for Bernie. Rich was murdered July 10 in Washington. Guccifer 2.0 said when the Russian hoax surfaced in June and CrowdStrike made it appear that it was oh so very complex to hack the DNC requiring the skills of the most expert technicians in Russian intelligence, he replied in a blog, “I’m very pleased the company appreciated my skills so highly. But it was easy, very easy.” He sent a speech to a cybersecurity conference in London Sept. 13 delivered through a representative. Forbes Magazine examined tweets from him and was satisfied that this was from the authentic Guccifer 2.0. Here’s part of it. Guccifer 2.0: “How I hacked the DNC???” “Now you know this is a wrong question. Who made it possible, that I hacked into the DNC? This is the question. And I suppose, you already know the answer. This is NGP VAN Company that operates the DNC network. And this is its CEO Stu Trevelyan who is really responsible for the breach. “Their software is full of holes. And you knew about it even before I came on stage. “You may remember Josh Uretsky, the national data director for Sander’s presidential campaign. He was fired in December, 2015 after improperly accessing proprietary data in the DNC system. As it was agreed, he was intentionally searching for voter information belonging to other campaigns. “However, he is not to blame. The real reason voter in-formation became available for non-authorized users was NGP VAN’s raw software which had holes and errors in the code. And this is the same reason I managed to get access to the DNC network. Vulnerabilities in the NGP VAN software installed on its server which they have plenty of. Shit! Yeah? “This scheme shows how NGP VAN is incorporated in the DNC infrastructure. It’s for detailed examination, if you are interested. And here are a couple of NGP VAN’s documents from their network. If you are interested in their internal documents, you can have them via the link on the screen. The password is usual. It’s also on the screen. You may also ask the conference producers for them later.” “We need to shake the situation, to make our voices sound. Yeah, I know if they find me I’m doomed to live like Assange, Snowden, Manning, or Lazar. In exile or in prison. “But it’s worth it for they are the heroes, heroes of new era.” Marcel Lazar is the original Guccifer. After Rich was murdered, Assange posted a $20,000 reward. He did not name him as his source because he would not violate his principle of revealing sources, but the reward speaks for itself. Guccifer 2.0 messaged actress Robbin Young “Seth (Rich) was my whistleblower.” The FBI, which ignored Murray as well as MacFadyen when he was alive, who could have established the source of both batches of WikiLeaks e-mails exploding the Russian hoax, did summon Robbin Young for questioning, as if she knew something. Seth Rich by all accounts was a quiet, loyal Democratic staffer plainly driven by an active social conscience, and was about to be hired by the Hillary campaign before his murder. But if he were a subversive, his only chance of succeeding was to adhere to the innocuous image that everyone saw, not draw attention to himself. His record wasn’t without flaws. He was the guy that recommended the hiring of Uretsky, the Bernie activist who would be fired after a few months on the job. His father Joel Rich said this upon his death. Joel Rich: “He liked pandas and his mother had sent him a little stuffed panda that got named Bamboo.” “‘At the DNC, they would hide the panda – it would be in someone’s office, and in a filing cabinet.” It is reasonable to conclude, although not confirmed, that Seth Rich’s blog was called Pandas4Bernie. If so it would show Rich’s subversive dimension, someone who would be ready, willing, and able to conspire to deliver the DNC e-mails to WikiLeaks to strike a blow for Bernie against the party establishment. His last entry is entitled “Won’t Back Down” illustrated by a dove and a clenched fist. Here are excerpts. Pandas4Bernie: I didn’t vote for Bernie because he’s a cute old man. I voted for a set of demands. For public health care, free college tuition, a social safety net. An end to war and empire, police murder and mass incarceration, For jobs and worker protections, For dignity for immigrants, For clean water for our communities, For someone who can use the government To mobilize our people to respond to the existential threat of climate change. I voted for Bernie to build a movement for political and economic justice. … We can stop Trump without swearing our fealty to the one who betrayed us. We’re taking this to the convention. We are not backing down. Kim Dotcom, the New Zealand whistleblower, has now added his voice to the evidence that Rich supplied the DNC e-mails to Wikeleaks. Kim Dotcom: “I know that Seth Rich was involved in the DNC leak. “I know this because in late 2014 a person contacted me about helping me to start a branch of the Internet Party in the United States. He called himself Panda. I now know that Panda was Seth Rich. Panda advised me that he was working on voter analytics tools and other technologies that the Internet Party may find helpful. “I communicated with Panda on a number of topics including corruption and the influence of corporate money in politics. “He wanted to change that from the inside.” Malia Zimmerman, an investigative reporter for Fox News, is the source of the name of Rich’s contact, MacFadyen, in Assange’s organization. She got it from an FBI agent. They knew McFadyen name’s within three days, that’s July 13. Comey opened the official FBI investigation into the hacks July 25. He immediately began chasing after mythical Russians or unicorns. What happened to Rich’s laptop that Zimmerman’s source said the FBI had in their possession immediately after the murder? The FBI disavows any suggestion that they ever had it. Rich was gunned down a 4:19 a.m. in Washington outside his home, two minutes after he clicked off talking to his girlfriend on the phone, by two gunman who shot him in the back. For reasons I discuss in my book, there is no question but that this was a political assassination done by pros. The book is called “Did Russians Hijack The Trump Train? Do Pigs Fly?” I’ve now added a chapter on the Seth Rich murder and will update it as there are developments in the investigation, assuming that someone somewhere someday somehow actually decides to open an investigation.
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After Arrest of Julian Assange, the Russian Mysteries Remain

Postby smix » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:00 am

After Arrest of Julian Assange, the Russian Mysteries Remain
The New York Times

URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/11/us/p ... trump.html
Category: Pollitics
Published: April 11, 2019

Description: WASHINGTON — In June 2016, five months before the American presidential election, Julian Assange made a bold prediction during a little-noticed interview with a British television show. “WikiLeaks has a very big year ahead,” he said, just seconds after announcing that the website he founded would soon be publishing a cache of emails related to Hillary Clinton. He was right. But an indictment unsealed on Thursday charging Mr. Assange with conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer in 2010 makes no mention of the central role that WikiLeaks played in the Russian campaign to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s presidential chances and help elect President Trump. It remains unclear whether the arrest of Mr. Assange will be a key to unlocking any of the lingering mysteries surrounding the Russians, the Trump campaign and the plot to hack an election. The Justice Department spent years examining whether Mr. Assange was working directly with the Russian government, but legal experts point out that what is known about his activities in 2016 — including publishing stolen emails — is not criminal, and therefore it would be difficult to bring charges against him related to the Russian interference campaign. Numerous significant questions are left unanswered, including what, if anything, Mr. Assange knew about the identity of Guccifer 2.0, a mysterious hacker who American intelligence and law enforcement officials have identified as a front for Russian military intelligence operatives. Court documents have revealed that it was Russian intelligence — using the Guccifer persona — that provided Mr. Assange thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and the personal account of John D. Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign. Another question is whether Mr. Assange was a conduit between the Russian hackers and the Trump campaign. Mr. Assange exchanged emails with Donald Trump Jr., Mr. Trump’s eldest son, during the campaign, and a Trump campaign official dispatched Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime adviser to the president, to get information about the hacked Democratic emails, according to a January indictment by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel. Mr. Mueller concluded his investigation without an indictment that directly connected WikiLeaks, the Russians and the Trump campaign, suggesting that prosecutors did not find sufficient evidence that Mr. Assange knowingly engaged in a conspiracy with Russia to help the Trump campaign. But the report drafted by Mr. Mueller’s team, and expected to be released next week, could have additional details about the ties between the Trump campaign and Mr. Assange. Those details could be redacted by the Justice Department, however, if officials believe the material includes classified intelligence, said Carrie Cordero, a former official with the Justice Department’s National Security Division and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. “What was the actual interaction between Russian intelligence surrogates, WikiLeaks and Trump campaign surrogates?” she said. “That is a question that has not yet been answered.” On Thursday, congressional Democrats sent a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr again demanding that they be provided the full, unredacted report, along with underlying evidence. The special counsel also handed off his work to other prosecutors, including those who have long been examining Mr. Assange’s dealings with Guccifer, the Russian intelligence front. Many Democrats and Republicans remain convinced that Mr. Assange knowingly worked with Russian intelligence. On Thursday, Senator Richard M. Burr, the North Carolina Republican who is chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks “have effectively acted as an arm of the Russian intelligence services for years.” The committee’s Democratic vice chairman, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, said Mr. Assange had become “a direct participant in Russian efforts to undermine the West.” Mr. Assange has long been a polarizing figure — hailed at the beginning of his career as champion for government transparency but also viewed by American national security officials as a disruptive force who conspired with Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst, to publish hundreds of thousands of classified documents. But it was WikiLeaks’ publication of material stolen by Russian intelligence in 2016 that hardened the view of national security officials, even those at the highest reaches of the Trump administration. A spotlight on the people reshaping our politics. A conversation with voters across the country. And a guiding hand through the endless news cycle, telling you what you really need to know. In April 2017, in one of his first major speeches, Mike Pompeo — who was C.I.A. director at the time but months earlier, as a Republican congressman, had praised WikiLeaks for its releases that damaged the Clinton campaign — signaled that the government would take a hard line on WikiLeaks. Mr. Pompeo compared WikiLeaks to “a hostile intelligence service,” and said it sought support from anti-democratic countries as it targeted the United States with its disclosures. Mr. Pompeo’s public remarks coincided with a private push against Mr. Assange by the Trump administration. The C.I.A. intensified espionage efforts against WikiLeaks, seeking to learn more about his interactions with the Russian intelligence operatives. The timing of Mr. Assange’s actions fueled suspicions. His June 2016 interview announcing the impending release of Democratic emails came three days after a meeting at Trump Tower in New York between Russians and senior Trump campaign officials — a meeting set up on the promise that the Russians would have damaging information about Mrs. Clinton.


Throughout the 2016 campaign, Mr. Assange played down accusations of Russian interference, and misled the public on his source for the damaging documents WikiLeaks released. He offered a $20,000 reward for information about the killing in Washington of Seth Rich, a young Democratic National Committee staff member shot to death in an apparent bungled street robbery. Some supporters of Mr. Trump suggested that it was Mr. Rich who had leaked the committee’s emails and that he had been killed in retaliation. During an August 2016 discussion with Dutch television about the sources of WikiLeaks’ information, Mr. Assange suddenly brought up Mr. Rich’s killing. “That was just a robbery, I believe, wasn’t it?” the interviewer said. “What are you suggesting?” “I’m suggesting that our sources take risks,” Mr. Assange said. He then declined to say if Mr. Rich was a source.
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Jerome Corsi: Julian Assange Has Information That Could "Destroy The Russian Hoax"

Postby smix » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:16 pm

Jerome Corsi: Julian Assange Has Information That Could "Destroy The Russian Hoax"

URL: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video ... _hoax.html
Category: Politics
Published: April 12, 2019

Description: Author Jerome Corsi, who was questioned by the Mueller probe about his relationship with Wikileaks, reacts to the arrest of Julian Assange on FBN's "Trish Regan Primetime," saying the Wikileaks founder is being unjustly prosecuted. "This is another attack on journalism," Corsi said about Assange's arrest. "in 2013 the Obama Justice Department decided not to indict Julian Assange over these Chelsea Manning issues because they said it would be tantamount to indicting the New York Times of the Washington Post. As a journalist, Julian Assange has a right to publish even stolen materials." "The New York Times and Washington Post, in 1971, worked hand in glove with Daniel Ellsberg to get the Pentagon Papers in print. That is not a collaboration that is criminal, that is journalism, and Julian Assange is being unjustly prosecuted." "I would recommend to Julian Assange that he fight back just like I did," Corsi said. "Julian Assange can come back and prove the second shoe dropping, the double whammy. Robert Mueller says there was no Russian collusion. Julian Assange can come back and prove that Russia was not involved in stealing the Democrats' emails. Julian Assange can come back and open up the Seth Rich case, where he has suggested time and again that there was this DNC employee who was murdered in Washington during the 2016 campaign who supplied him the emails."

"Julian Assange should do what I've done and write a book," he also said. "If Julian Assange wants to write a book and get it published we'll get it published for him. If he wants a co-author or a ghostwriter call on me. Fight back! Because Assange has information that can absolutely destroy the Russian collusion hoax. He said it from the beginning. I never talked to him, all I had to do was listen to his press conferences. He said the Russians were not involved in stealing the emails."
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VIPS: Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings

Postby smix » Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:05 am

VIPS: Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings
Consortium News

URL: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/03/13/v ... -findings/
Category: Politics
Published: March 13. 2019

Description: The final Mueller report should be graded “incomplete,” says VIPS, whose forensic work proves the speciousness of the story that DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking.
March 13, 2019
MEMORANDUM FOR: The Attorney General
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings
Executive Summary
Media reports are predicting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to give you the findings of his probe into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump. If Mueller gives you his “completed” report anytime soon, it should be graded “incomplete.” Major deficiencies include depending on a DNC-hired cybersecurity company for forensics and failure to consult with those who have done original forensic work, including us and the independent forensic investigators with whom we have examined the data. We stand ready to help. We veteran intelligence professionals (VIPS) have done enough detailed forensic work to prove the speciousness of the prevailing story that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking. Given the paucity of evidence to support that story, we believe Mueller may choose to finesse this key issue and leave everyone hanging. That would help sustain the widespread belief that Trump owes his victory to President Vladimir Putin, and strengthen the hand of those who pay little heed to the unpredictable consequences of an increase in tensions with nuclear-armed Russia. There is an overabundance of “assessments” but a lack of hard evidence to support that prevailing narrative. We believe that there are enough people of integrity in the Department of Justice to prevent the outright manufacture or distortion of “evidence,” particularly if they become aware that experienced scientists have completed independent forensic study that yield very different conclusions. We know only too well — and did our best to expose — how our former colleagues in the intelligence community manufactured fraudulent “evidence” of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We have scrutinized publicly available physical data — the “trail” that every cyber operation leaves behind. And we have had support from highly experienced independent forensic investigators who, like us, have no axes to grind. We can prove that the conventional-wisdom story about Russian-hacking-DNC-emails-for-WikiLeaks is false. Drawing largely on the unique expertise of two VIPS scientists who worked for a combined total of 70 years at the National Security Agency and became Technical Directors there, we have regularly published our findings. But we have been deprived of a hearing in mainstream media — an experience painfully reminiscent of what we had to endure when we exposed the corruption of intelligence before the attack on Iraq 16 years ago. This time, with the principles of physics and forensic science to rely on, we are able to adduce solid evidence exposing mistakes and distortions in the dominant story. We offer you below — as a kind of aide-memoire— a discussion of some of the key factors related to what has become known as “Russia-gate.” And we include our most recent findings drawn from forensic work on data associated with WikiLeaks’ publication of the DNC emails. We do not claim our conclusions are “irrefutable and undeniable,” a la Colin Powell at the UN before the Iraq war. Our judgments, however, are based on the scientific method — not “assessments.” We decided to put this memorandum together in hopes of ensuring that you hear that directly from us. If the Mueller team remains reluctant to review our work — or even to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, we fear that many of those yearning earnestly for the truth on Russia-gate will come to the corrosive conclusion that the Mueller investigation was a sham. In sum, we are concerned that, at this point, an incomplete Mueller report will fall far short of the commitment made by then Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “to ensure a full and thorough investigation,” when he appointed Mueller in May 2017. Again, we are at your disposal.
The centerpiece accusation of Kremlin “interference” in the 2016 presidential election was the charge that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee emails and gave them to WikiLeaks to embarrass Secretary Hillary Clinton and help Mr. Trump win. The weeks following the election witnessed multiple leak-based media allegations to that effect. These culminated on January 6, 2017 in an evidence-light, rump report misleadingly labeled “Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA).” Prepared by “handpicked analysts” from only three of the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies (CIA, FBI, and NSA), the assessment expressed “high confidence” in the Russia-hacking-to-WikiLeaks story, but lacked so much as a hint that the authors had sought access to independent forensics to support their “assessment.” The media immediately awarded the ICA the status of Holy Writ, choosing to overlook an assortment of banal, full-disclosure-type caveats included in the assessment itself — such as:
“When Intelligence Community analysts use words such as ‘we assess’ or ‘we judge,’ they are conveying an analytic assessment or judgment. …Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. … Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary … High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong.”

To their credit, however, the authors of the ICA did make a highly germane point in introductory remarks on “cyber incident attribution.“ They noted: “The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber operation — malicious or not — leaves a trail.” [Emphasis added.]
The imperative is to get on that “trail” — and quickly, before red herrings can be swept across it. The best way to establish attribution is to apply the methodology and processes of forensic science. Intrusions into computers leave behind discernible physical data that can be examined scientifically by forensic experts. Risk to “sources and methods” is normally not a problem. Direct access to the actual computers is the first requirement — the more so when an intrusion is termed “an act of war” and blamed on a nuclear-armed foreign government (the words used by the late Sen. John McCain and other senior officials). In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in March 2017, former FBI Director James Comey admitted that he did not insist on physical access to the DNC computers even though, as he conceded, “best practices” dictate direct access. In June 2017, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr asked Comey whether he ever had “access to the actual hardware that was hacked.” Comey answered, “In the case of the DNC … we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. …” Sen. Burr followed up: “But no content? Isn’t content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?” Comey: “It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks … is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016.” The “private party/high-class entity” to which Comey refers is CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm of checkered reputation and multiple conflicts of interest, including very close ties to a number of key anti-Russian organizations. Comey indicated that the DNC hired CrowdStrike in the spring of 2016. Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – including a possible impeachment battle and greatly increased tension between Russia and the U.S. — it is difficult to understand why Comey did not move quickly to seize the computer hardware so the FBI could perform an independent examination of what quickly became the major predicate for investigating election interference by Russia. Fortunately, enough data remain on the forensic “trail” to arrive at evidence-anchored conclusions. The work we have done shows the prevailing narrative to be false. We have been suggesting this for over two years. Recent forensic work significantly strengthens that conclusion.
We Do Forensics
Recent forensic examination of the Wikileaks DNC files shows they were created on 23, 25 and 26 May 2016. (On June 12, Julian Assange announced he had them; WikiLeaks published them on July 22.) We recently discovered that the files reveal a FAT (File Allocation Table) system property. This shows that the data had been transferred to an external storage device, such as a thumb drive, before WikiLeaks posted them. FAT is a simple file system named for its method of organization, the File Allocation Table. It is used for storage only and is not related to internet transfers like hacking. Were WikiLeaks to have received the DNC files via a hack, the last modified times on the files would be a random mixture of odd-and even-ending numbers. Why is that important? The evidence lies in the “last modified” time stamps on the Wikileaks files. When a file is stored under the FAT file system the software rounds the time to the nearest even-numbered second. Every single one of the time stamps in the DNC files on WikiLeaks’ site ends in an even number. We have examined 500 DNC email files stored on the Wikileaks site. All 500 files end in an even number—2, 4, 6, 8 or 0. If those files had been hacked over the Internet, there would be an equal probability of the time stamp ending in an odd number. The random probability that FAT was not used is 1 chance in 2 to the 500th power. Thus, these data show that the DNC emails posted by WikiLeaks went through a storage device, like a thumb drive, and were physically moved before Wikileaks posted the emails on the World Wide Web. This finding alone is enough to raise reasonable doubts, for example, about Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the DNC emails given to WikiLeaks. A defense attorney could easily use the forensics to argue that someone copied the DNC files to a storage device like a USB thumb drive and got them physically to WikiLeaks — not electronically via a hack.
Role of NSA
For more than two years, we strongly suspected that the DNC emails were copied/leaked in that way, not hacked. And we said so. We remain intrigued by the apparent failure of NSA’s dragnet, collect-it-all approach — including “cast-iron” coverage of WikiLeaks — to provide forensic evidence (as opposed to “assessments”) as to how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks and who sent them. Well before the telling evidence drawn from the use of FAT, other technical evidence led us to conclude that the DNC emails were not hacked over the network, but rather physically moved over, say, the Atlantic Ocean. Is it possible that NSA has not yet been asked to produce the collected packets of DNC email data claimed to have been hacked by Russia? Surely, this should be done before Mueller competes his investigation. NSA has taps on all the transoceanic cables leaving the U.S. and would almost certainly have such packets if they exist. (The detailed slides released by Edward Snowden actually show the routes that trace the packets.) The forensics we examined shed no direct light on who may have been behind the leak. The only thing we know for sure is that the person had to have direct access to the DNC computers or servers in order to copy the emails. The apparent lack of evidence from the most likely source, NSA, regarding a hack may help explain the FBI’s curious preference for forensic data from CrowdStrike. No less puzzling is why Comey would choose to call CrowdStrike a “high-class entity.” Comey was one of the intelligence chiefs briefing President Obama on January 5, 2017 on the “Intelligence Community Assessment,” which was then briefed to President-elect Trump and published the following day. That Obama found a key part of the ICA narrative less than persuasive became clear at his last press conference (January 18), when he told the media, “The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive … as to how ‘the DNC emails that were leaked’ got to WikiLeaks.
Is Guccifer 2.0 a Fraud?
There is further compelling technical evidence that undermines the claim that the DNC emails were downloaded over the internet as a result of a spearphishing attack. William Binney, one of VIPS’ two former Technical Directors at NSA, along with other former intelligence community experts, examined files posted by Guccifer 2.0 and discovered that those files could not have been downloaded over the internet. It is a simple matter of mathematics and physics. There was a flurry of activity after Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016: “We have emails relating to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication.” On June 14, DNC contractor CrowdStrike announced that malware was found on the DNC server and claimed there was evidence it was injected by Russians. On June 15, the Guccifer 2.0 persona emerged on the public stage, affirmed the DNC statement, claimed to be responsible for hacking the DNC, claimed to be a WikiLeaks source, and posted a document that forensics show was synthetically tainted with “Russian fingerprints.” Our suspicions about the Guccifer 2.0 persona grew when G-2 claimed responsibility for a “hack” of the DNC on July 5, 2016, which released DNC data that was rather bland compared to what WikiLeaks published 17 days later (showing how the DNC had tipped the primary scales against Sen. Bernie Sanders). As VIPS reportedin a wrap-up Memorandum for the President on July 24, 2017 (titled “Intel Vets Challenge ‘Russia Hack’ Evidence),” forensic examination of the July 5, 2016 cyber intrusion into the DNC showed it NOT to be a hack by the Russians or by anyone else, but rather a copy onto an external storage device. It seemed a good guess that the July 5 intrusion was a contrivance to preemptively taint anything WikiLeaks might later publish from the DNC, by “showing” it came from a “Russian hack.” WikiLeaks published the DNC emails on July 22, three days before the Democratic convention. As we prepared our July 24 memo for the President, we chose to begin by taking Guccifer 2.0 at face value; i. e., that the documents he posted on July 5, 2016 were obtained via a hack over the Internet. Binney conducted a forensic examination of the metadata contained in the posted documents and compared that metadata with the known capacity of Internet connection speeds at the time in the U.S. This analysis showed a transfer rate as high as 49.1 megabytes per second, which is much faster than was possible from a remote online Internet connection. The 49.1 megabytes speed coincided, though, with the rate that copying onto a thumb drive could accommodate. Binney, assisted by colleagues with relevant technical expertise, then extended the examination and ran various forensic tests from the U.S. to the Netherlands, Albania, Belgrade and the UK. The fastest Internet rate obtained — from a data center in New Jersey to a data center in the UK — was 12 megabytes per second, which is less than a fourth of the capacity typical of a copy onto a thumb drive. The findings from the examination of the Guccifer 2.0 data and the WikiLeaks data does not indicate who copied the information to an external storage device (probably a thumb drive). But our examination does disprove that G.2 hacked into the DNC on July 5, 2016. Forensic evidence for the Guccifer 2.0 data adds to other evidence that the DNC emails were not taken by an internet spearphishing attack. The data breach was local. The emails were copied from the network.
Presidential Interest
After VIPS’ July 24, 2017 Memorandum for the President, Binney, one of its principal authors, was invited to share his insights with Mike Pompeo, CIA Director at the time. When Binney arrived in Pompeo’s office at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017 for an hour-long discussion, the director made no secret of the reason for the invitation: “You are here because the President told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk with you.” Binney warned Pompeo — to stares of incredulity — that his people should stop lying about the Russian hacking. Binney then started to explain the VIPS findings that had caught President Trump’s attention. Pompeo asked Binney if he would talk to the FBI and NSA. Binney agreed, but has not been contacted by those agencies. With that, Pompeo had done what the President asked. There was no follow-up.
Confronting James Clapper on Forensics
We, the hoi polloi,do not often get a chance to talk to people like Pompeo — and still less to the former intelligence chiefs who are the leading purveyors of the prevailing Russia-gate narrative. An exception came on November 13, when former National Intelligence Director James Clapper came to the Carnegie Endowment in Washington to hawk his memoir. Answering a question during the Q&A about Russian “hacking” and NSA, Clapper said: “Well, I have talked with NSA a lot … And in my mind, I spent a lot of time in the SIGINT business, the forensic evidence was overwhelming about what the Russians had done. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever.” [Emphasis added] Clapper added: “… as a private citizen, understanding the magnitude of what the Russians did and the number of citizens in our country they reached and the different mechanisms that, by which they reached them, to me it stretches credulity to think they didn’t have a profound impact on election on the outcome of the election.” (A transcript of the interesting Q&A can be found hereand a commentary on Clapper’s performance at Carnegie, as well as on his longstanding lack of credibility, is here.) Normally soft-spoken Ron Wyden, Democratic senator from Oregon, lost his patience with Clapper last week when he learned that Clapper is still denying that he lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee about the extent of NSA surveillance of U.S. citizens. In an unusual outburst, Wyden said: “James Clapper needs to stop making excuses for lying to the American people about mass surveillance. To be clear: I sent him the question in advance. I asked him to correct the record afterward. He chose to let the lie stand.” The materials brought out by Edward Snowden in June 2013 showed Clapper to have lied under oath to the committee on March 12, 2013; he was, nevertheless, allowed to stay on as Director of National Intelligence for three and half more years. Clapper fancies himself an expert on Russia, telling Meet the Presson May 28, 2017 that Russia’s history shows that Russians are “typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever.” Clapper ought to be asked about the “forensics” he said were “overwhelming about what the Russians had done.” And that, too, before Mueller completes his investigation.
For the steering group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:
William Binney, former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center (ret.)
Richard H. Black, Senator of Virginia, 13th District; Colonel US Army (ret.); Former Chief, Criminal Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General, the Pentagon (associate VIPS)
Bogdan Dzakovic, former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator
James George Jatras, former U.S. diplomat and former foreign policy adviser to Senate leadership (Associate VIPS)
Larry C. Johnson, former CIA and State Department Counter Terrorism officer
John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003
Edward Loomis, Cryptologic Computer Scientist, former Technical Director at NSA (ret.)
David MacMichael, Ph.D., former senior estimates officer, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst; CIA Presidential briefer (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council & CIA political analyst (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
Peter Van Buren, US Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Sarah G. Wilton, CDR, USNR, (ret.); Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)
Kirk Wiebe, former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA
Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army reserve colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is made up of former intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers and congressional staffers. The organization, founded in 2002, was among the first critics of Washington’s justifications for launching a war against Iraq. VIPS advocates a US foreign and national security policy based on genuine national interests rather than contrived threats promoted for largely political reasons. An archive of VIPS memoranda is available at Consortiumnews.com.

VIPS Fault Mueller Probe, Criticize Refusal to Interview Assange
Consortium News

URL: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/16/v ... w-assange/
Category: Politics
Published: April 16. 2019

Description: The bug in Mueller’s report released on Thursday is that he accepts that the Russian government interfered in the election. Trump should challenge that, says VIPS.
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: The Fly in the Mueller Ointment
April 16, 2019
Mr. President:
The song has ended but the melody lingers on. The release Thursday of the redacted text of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” nudged the American people a tad closer to the truth on so-called “Russiagate.” But the Mueller report left unscathed the central-but-unproven allegation that the Russian government hacked into the DNC and Podesta emails, gave them to WikiLeaks to publish, and helped you win the election. The thrust will be the same; namely, even if there is a lack of evidence that you colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin, you have him to thank for becoming president. And that melody will linger on for the rest of your presidency, unless you seize the moment. Mueller has accepted that central-but-unproven allegation as gospel truth, apparently in the lack of any disinterested, independent forensic work. Following the odd example of his erstwhile colleague, former FBI Director James Comey, Mueller apparently has relied for forensics on a discredited, DNC-hired firm named CrowdStrike, whose credibility is on a par with “pee-tape dossier” compiler Christopher Steele. Like Steele, CrowdStrike was hired and paid by the DNC (through a cutout). We brought the lack of independent forensics to the attention of Attorney General William Barr on March 13 in a Memorandum entitled “Mueller’s Forensic-Free Findings”, but received no reply or acknowledgement. In that Memorandum we described the results of our own independent, agenda-free forensic investigation led by two former Technical Directors of the NSA, who avoid squishy “assessments,” preferring to base their findings on fundamental principles of science and the scientific method. Our findings remain unchallenged; they reveal gaping holes in CrowdStrike’s conclusions. We do not know if Barr shared our March 13 Memorandum with you. As for taking a public position on the forensics issue, we suspect he is being circumspect in choosing his battles carefully, perhaps deferring until later a rigorous examination of the dubious technical work upon which Mueller seems to have relied.
Barr’s Notification to Congress
As you know, the big attention-getter came on March 24 when Attorney General William Barr included in his four-page summary a quote from Mueller’s report: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Understandably, that grabbed headlines — the more so, since most Americans had been convinced earlier by the media that the opposite was true. There remains, however, a huge fly in the ointment. The Mueller report makes it clear that Mueller accepts as a given — an evidence-impoverished given — that the Russian government interfered in the election on two tracks:
Track 1 involves what Barr, echoing Mueller, claims “a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA)” did in using social media “to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election.” A careful look at this allegation shows it to be without merit, despite Herculean efforts by The New York Times, for example, to put lipstick on this particular pig. After some rudimentary research, award winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter promptly put that pig out of its misery and brought home the bacon. We do not believe “Track 1” merits further commentary.
Track 2 does need informed commentary, since it is more technical and — to most Americans — arcane. In Barr’s words: “The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election.”
We are eager to see if Mueller’s report contains more persuasive forensic evidence than that which VIPS has already debunked. In Barr’s summary, the only mention of forensics refers to “forensic accountants” — a far cry from the kind of forensic investigators needed to provide convincing proof of “hacking” by the Russian government.
But They Were Indicted!
Circular reasoning is not likely to work for very long, even with a U.S. populace used to being brainwashed by the media. Many Americans had mistakenly assumed that Mueller’s indictment of Russians — whether they be posting on FaceBook or acting like intelligence officers — was proof of guilt. But, as lawyers regularly point out, “one can easily indict a ham sandwich” — easier still these days, if it comes with Russian dressing. Chances have now increased that the gullible folks who had been assured that Mueller would find collusion between you and Putin may now be a bit more circumspect — skeptical even — regarding the rest of the story-line of the “Russian hack,” and that will be even more likely among those with some technical background. Such specialists will have a field day, IF — and it is a capital “IF” — by some miracle, word of VIPS’ forensic findings gets into the media this time around. The evidence-impoverished, misleadingly labeled “Intelligence Community Assessment” of January 6, 2017 had one saving grace. The authors noted: “The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber operation — malicious or not — leaves a trail.” Forensic investigators can follow a trail of metadata and other technical properties. VIPS has done that.
A “High-Class Entity?”
If, as we strongly suspect, Mueller is relying for forensics solely on CrowdStrike, the discredited firm hired by the DNC in the spring of 2016, he is acting more in the mold of Inspector Clouseau than the crackerjack investigator he is reputed to be. It simply does not suffice for Mueller’s former colleague James Comey to tell Congress that CrowdStrike is a “high-class entity.” It is nothing of the sort and, in addition to its documented incompetence, it is riddled with conflicts of interest. Comey needs to explain why he kept the FBI away from the DNC computers after they were said to have been “hacked.” And former National Intelligence Director James Clapper needs to explain his claim last November that “the forensic evidence was overwhelming about what the Russians had done.” What forensic evidence? From CrowdStrike? We at VIPS, in contrast, are finding more and more forensic evidence that the DNC emails were leaked, not hacked by the Russians or anyone else — and that “Guccifer 2.0” is an out-and-out fraud. Yes, we can prove that from forensics too.
But the Talking Heads Say …
Again, if Mueller’s incomplete investigation is allowed to assume the status of Holy Writ, most Americans will continue to believe that — whether you colluded the Russians or not — Putin came through for you big time. In short, absent President Putin’s help, you would not be president. Far too many Americans will still believe this because of the mainstream-media fodder — half-cooked by intelligence leaks — that they have been fed for two and a half years. The media have been playing the central role in the effort of the MICIMATT (the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank) complex to stymie any improvement in relations with Russia. We in VIPS have repeatedly demonstrated that the core charges of Russian interference in the 2016 election are built on a house of cards. But, despite our record of accuracy on this issue — not to mention our pre-Iraq-war warnings about the fraudulent intelligence served up by our former colleagues — we have gotten no play in mainstream media. Most of us have chalked up decades in the intelligence business and many have extensive academic and government experience focusing on Russia. We consider the issue of “Russian interference” of overriding significance not only because the allegation is mischievously bogus and easily disproven. More important, it has brought tension with nuclear-armed Russia to the kind of dangerous fever pitch not seen since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when the Russian provocation was real — authentic, not synthetic. Sober minds resolved that crisis more than a half-century ago, and we all got to live another day. These days sober minds seem few and far between and a great deal is at stake. On the intelligence/forensics side, we have proved that the evidence adduced to “prove” that the Russians hacked into the DNC and Podesta emails and gave them to WikiLeaks is spurious. For example, we have examined metadata from one key document attributed to Russian hacking and shown that it was synthetically tainted with “Russian fingerprints.”
Who Left the Bread Crumbs?
So, if it wasn’t the Russians, who left the “Russian” bread-crumb “fingerprints?” We do not know for sure; on this question we cannot draw a conclusion based on the principles of science — at least not yet. We suspect, however, that cyber warriors closer to home were responsible for inserting the “tell-tale signs” necessary to attribute “hacks” to Russia. We tacked on our more speculative views regarding this intriguing issue onto the end of our July 24, 2017 Memorandum to you entitled “Intelligence Veterans Challenge Russia Hack Evidence.” We recall that you were apprised of that Memorandum’s key findings because you ordered then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo to talk to William Binney, one of our two former NSA Technical Directors and one of the principal authors of that Memorandum. On October 24, 2017, Pompeo began an hour-long meeting with Binney by explaining the genesis of the odd invitation to CIA Headquarters: “You are here because the president told me that if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk to you.” On the chance Pompeo has given you no report on his meeting with Binney, we can tell you that Binney, a plain-spoken, widely respected scientist, began by telling Pompeo that his (CIA) people were lying to him about Russian hacking and that he (Binney) could prove it. Pompeo reacted with disbelief, but then talked of following up with the FBI and NSA. We have no sign, though, that he followed through. And there is good reason to believe that Pompeo himself may have been reluctant to follow up with his subordinates in the Directorate of Digital Innovation created by CIA Director John Brennan in 2015. CIA malware and hacking tools are built by the Engineering Development Group, part of that relatively new Directorate.
A leak from within the CIA, published on March 31, 2017 by WikiLeaks as part of the so-called “Vault 7” disclosures, exposed a cyber tool called “Marble,” which was used during 2016 for “obfuscation” (CIA’s word). This tool can be used to conduct a forensic attribution double game (aka a false-flag operation); it included test samples in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, and Russian. Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima, to her credit, immediately penned an informative article on the Marble cyber-tool, under the catching (and accurate) headline “WikiLeaks’ latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.” That was apparently before Nakashima “got the memo.” Mainstream media have otherwise avoided like the plague any mention of Marble. Mr. President, we do not know if CIA’s Marble, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA’s Directorate of Digital Innovation have been with the White House — or with former Director Pompeo — on this touchy issue. Since it is still quite relevant, we will repeat below a paragraph included in our July 2017 Memorandum to you under the sub-heading “Putin and the Technology:”
“We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today’s technology enables hacking to be “masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin” [of the hack] … And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack. Hackers may be anywhere,” he said. “There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can’t you imagine such a scenario? … I can.”

As we told Attorney General Barr five weeks ago, we consider Mueller’s findings fundamentally flawed on the forensics side and ipso facto incomplete. We also criticized Mueller for failing to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.
Political Enemies & Mainstream Media (Forgive the Redundancy)
You may be unaware that in March 2017 lawyers for Assange and the Justice Department (acting on behalf of the CIA) reportedly were very close to an agreement under which Assange would agree to discuss “technical evidence ruling out certain parties” in the leak of the DNC emails and agree to redact some classified CIA information, in exchange for limited immunity. According to the investigative reporter John Solomon of The Hill, Sen. Mark Warner, (D-VA) vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, learned of the incipient deal and told then-FBI Director Comey, who ordered an abrupt “stand down” and an end to the discussions with Assange. Why did Comey and Warner put the kibosh on receiving “technical evidence ruling out certain parties” [read Russia]? We won’t insult you with the obvious answer. Assange is now in prison, to the delight of so many — including Mrs. Clinton who has said Assange must now “answer for what he has done.” But is it too late to follow up somehow on Assange’s offer? Might he or his associates be still willing to provide “technical evidence” showing, at least, who was not the culprit? You, Mr. President, could cause that to happen. You would have to buck strong resistance at every turn, and there all manner of ways that those with vested interests and a lot of practice in sabotage can try to thwart you — with the full cooperation of most media pundits. By now, you know all too well how that works. But you are the president. And there may be no better time than now to face them down, show the spurious nature of the concocted “evidence” attempting to put you in “Putin’s pocket,” and — not least — lift the cloud that has prevented you from pursuing a more decent relationship with Russia.
For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Bogdan Dzakovic, former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Mike Gravel, former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator
James George Jatras, former U.S. diplomat and former foreign policy adviser to Senate leadership (Associate VIPS)
Larry Johnson, former CIA Intelligence Officer & former State Department Counter-Terrorism Official, (ret.)
Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF (ret.); ex-Master SERE Instructor for Strategic Reconnaissance Operations (NSA/DIA) and Special Mission Units (JSOC)
John Kiriakou, former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former Senior Investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003
Clement J. Laniewski, LTC, U.S. Army (ret.)
Linda Lewis, WMD preparedness policy analyst, USDA (ret.)
Edward Loomis, NSA Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)
David MacMichael, former Senior Estimates Officer, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East & CIA political analyst (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
Peter Van Buren,U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Robert Wing, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (former) (associate VIPS)
Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq War

The ‘Guccifer 2.0’ Gaps in Mueller’s Full Report
Consortium News

URL: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/18/t ... ll-report/
Category: Politics
Published: April 18. 2019

Description: Like Team Mueller’s indictment last July of Russian agents, the full report reveals questions about Wikileaks’ role that much of the media has been ignoring, writes Daniel Lazare.
As official Washington pores over the Gospel According to Saint Robert, an all-important fact about the Mueller report has gotten lost in the shuffle. Just as the Christian gospels were filled with holes, the latest version is too – particularly with regard to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. The five pages that the special prosecutor’s report devotes to WikiLeaks are essentially lifted from Mueller’s indictment last July of 12 members of the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU. It charges that after hacking the Democratic National Committee, the GRU used a specially-created online persona known as Guccifer 2.0 to transfer a gigabyte’s worth of stolen emails to WikiLeaks just as the 2016 Democratic National Convention was approaching. Four days after opening the encrypted file, the indictment says, “Organization 1 [i.e. WikiLeaks] released over 20,000 emails and other documents stolen from the DNC network by the Conspirators [i.e. the GRU].” Mueller’s report says the same thing, but with the added twist that Assange then tried to cover up the GRU’s role by suggesting that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich may have been the source and by telling a congressman that the DNC email heist was an “inside job” and that he had “physical proof” that the material was not from Russian. All of which is manna from heaven for corporate news outlets eager to pile on Assange, now behind bars in London. An April 11, 2019, New York Times news analysis, for instance, declared that “[c]ourt documents have revealed that it was Russian intelligence – using the Guccifer persona – that provided Mr. Assange thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee,” while another Times article published shortly after his arrest accuses the WikiLeaks founder of “promoting a false cover story about the source of the leaks.” But there’s a problem: it ain’t necessarily so. The official story that the GRU is the source doesn’t hold water, as a timeline from mid-2016 shows. Here are the key events based on the GRU indictment and the Mueller report:
* June 12: Assange tells Britain’s ITV that another round of Democratic Party disclosures is on the way: “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton, which is great. WikiLeaks is having a very big year.”
* June 14: The Democratic National Committee accuses Russia of hacking its computers.
* June 15: Guccifer 2.0 claims credit for the hack. “The main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to WikiLeaks ,” he brags. “They will publish them soon.”
* June 22: WikiLeaks tells Guccifer via email: “Send any new material here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing.”
* July 6: WikiLeaks sends Guccifer another email: “if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [sic] days prefable [sic] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after.”Replies Guccifer: “ok . . . i ”
* July 14: Guccifer sends WikiLeaks an encrypted file titled “wk dnc link1.txt.gpg.”
* July 18: WikiLeaks confirms it has opened “the 1Gb or so archive” and will release documents “this week.”
* July 22: WikiLeaks releases more than 20,000 DNC emails and 8,000 other attachments.
According to Mueller and obsequious news outlets like the Times, the sequence is clear: Guccifer sends archive, WikiLeaks receives archive, WikiLeaks accesses archive, WikiLeaks publishes archive. Donald Trump may not have colluded with Russia, but Julian Assange plainly did. [Attorney General Will Barr, significantly calling WikiLeaks a publisher, said at his Thursday press conference: “Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy.”]
Avoiding Questions
The narrative raises questions that the press studiously avoids. Why, for instance, would Assange announce on June 12 that a big disclosure is on the way before hearing from the supposed source? Was there a prior communication that Mueller has not disclosed? What about the reference to “new material” on June 22 – does that mean Assange already had other material in hand? After opening the Guccifer file on July 18, why would he publish it just four days later? Would that give WikiLeaks enough time to review some 28,000 documents to insure they’re genuine? “If a single one of those emails had been shown to be maliciously altered,” blogger Mark F. McCarty observes, “Wikileaks’ reputation would have been in tatters.” There’s also the question that an investigator known as Adam Carter poses in Disobedient Media: why would Guccifer brag about giving WikiLeaks“thousands of files” that he wouldn’t send for another month? The narrative doesn’t make sense – a fact that is crucially important now that Assange is fighting for his freedom in the U.K. New Yorker staff writer Raffi Khatchadourian sounded a rare note of caution last summer when he warned that little about Guccifer 2.0 adds up. While claiming to be the source for some of WikiLeaks’ most explosive emails, the material he released on his own had proved mostly worthless – 20 documents that he “said were from the DNC but which were almost surely not,” as Khatchadourian puts it, a purported Hillary Clinton dossier that “was nothing of the sort,” screenshots of emails so blurry as to be “unreadable,” and so forth. While insisting that “our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party, Assange told Khatchadourian that the source was not Guccifer either. “We received quite a lot of submissions of material that was already published in the rest of the press, and people seemingly submitted the Guccifer archives,” he said somewhat cryptically. “We didn’t publish them. They were already published.” When Khatchadourian asked why he didn’t put the material out regardless, he replied that “the material from Guccifer 2.0 – or on WordPress – we didn’t have the resources to independently verify.”
No Time for Vetting
So four days was indeed too short a time to subject the Guccifer file to proper vetting. Of course, Mueller no doubt regards this as more “dissembling,” as his report describes it. Yet WikiLeaks has never been caught in a lie for the simple reason that honesty and credibility are all-important for a group that promises to protect anonymous leakers who supply it with official secrets. (See “Inside WikiLeaks: Working with the Publisher that Changed the World,” Consortium News, July 19, 2018.) Mueller, by contrast, has a rich history of mendacity going back to his days as FBI director when he sought to cover up the Saudi role in 9/11 and assured Congress on the eve of the 2003 invasion that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction pose “a clear threat to our national security.” So if the Mueller narrative doesn’t hold up, the charge of dissembling doesn’t either. Indeed, as ex-federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy observes in The National Review, the fact that the feds have charged Assange with unauthorized access to a government computer rather than conspiring with the Kremlin could be a sign that Team Mueller is less than confident it can prove collusion beyond a reasonable doubt. As he puts it, the GRU indictment “was more like a press release than a charging instrument” because the special prosecutor knew that the chances were zero that Russian intelligence agents would surrender to a U.S. court. Indeed, when Mueller charged 13 employees and three companies owned by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin with interfering in the 2016 election, he clearly didn’t expect them to surrender either. Thus, his team seemed taken aback when one of the alleged “troll farms” showed up in Washington asking to be heard. The prosecution’s initial response, as McCarthy put it, was to seek a delay “on the astonishing ground that the defendant has not been properly served – notwithstanding that the defendant has shown up in court and asked to be arraigned.” When that didn’t work, prosecutors tried to limit Concord’s access to some 3.2 million pieces of evidence on the grounds that the documents are too “sensitive” for Russian eyes to see. If they are again unsuccessful, they may have no choice but to drop the charges entirely, resulting in yet another “public relations disaster” for the Russia-gate investigation. None of which bodes well for Mueller or the news organizations that worship at his shrine. After blowing the Russia-gate story all these years, why does the Times continue to slander the one news organization that tells the truth?

The Real Mueller-Gate Scandal
Consortium News

URL: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/05/14/t ... e-scandal/
Category: Politics
Published: May 14. 2019

Description: Craig Murray blasts the special counsel for naming and condemning people without ever interviewing them.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is either a fool, or deeply corrupt. I do not think he is a fool. I did not comment instantly on the Mueller report as I was so shocked by it, I have been waiting to see if any other facts come to light in justification. Nothing has. I limit myself here to that area of which I have personal knowledge — the leak of Democratic National Committee and John Podesta emails to WikiLeaks. On the wider question of the corrupt Russian 1 percent having business dealings with the corrupt Western 1 percent, all I have to say is that if you believe that is limited in the U.S. by party political boundaries, you are a fool. On the DNC leak, Mueller started with the prejudice that it was “the Russians” and he deliberately and systematically excluded from evidence anything that contradicted that view. Mueller, as a matter of determined policy, omitted key steps which any honest investigator would undertake. He did not commission any forensic examination of the DNC servers. He did not interview Bill Binney, a retired technical director at the National Security Agency, the $14 billion a year U.S. surveillance organization. He did not interview Julian Assange, publisher of WikiLeaks. His failure to do any of those obvious things renders his report worthless. There has never been, by any U.S. law enforcement or security service body, a forensic examination of the DNC servers, despite the fact that the claim those servers were hacked is the very heart of the entire investigation. Instead, the security services simply accepted the “evidence” provided by the DNC’s own IT security consultants, Crowdstrike, a company which is politically aligned to the Clintons. That is precisely the equivalent of the police receiving a phone call saying: “Hello? My husband has just been murdered. He had a knife in his back with the initials of the Russian man who lives next door engraved on it in Cyrillic script. I have employed a private detective who will send you photos of the body and the knife. No, you don’t need to see either of them.”
No Honest Policeman
There is no honest policeman in the world who would agree to that proposition, and neither would Mueller were he remotely an honest man. Two facts compound this failure. The first is the absolutely key word of Bill Binney, an acknowledged world leader in cyber surveillance who is infinitely more qualified than Crowdstrike. Binney states that the download rates for the “hack” given by Crowdstrike are at a speed — 41 megabytes per second — that could not even nearly be attained remotely at the location: thus the information must have been downloaded to a local device, eg a memory stick. Binney has further evidence regarding formatting that supports this. Mueller’s identification of “DC Leaks” and “Guccifer 2.0” as Russian security services is something Mueller attempts to carry off by simple assertion. Mueller shows DNC Leaks to have been the source of other, unclassified emails sent to WikiLeaks that had been obtained under a Freedom of Information request and then Mueller simply assumes, with no proof, the same route was used again for the leaked DNC material. His identification of the Guccifer 2.0 persona with Russian agents is so flimsy as to be laughable. Nor is there any evidence of the specific transfer of the leaked DNC emails from Guccifer 2.0 to WikiLleaks. Binney asserts that had this happened, the packets would have been instantly identifiable to the NSA. Bill Binney is not a “deplorable.” He is a former technical director of the NSA. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met him to hear his expertise on precisely this matter. Binney offered to give evidence to Mueller. Yet did Mueller call him as a witness? No. Binney’s voice is entirely unheard in the report. Mueller’s refusal to call Binney and consider his evidence was not the action of an honest man.
Vault 7 Release
The second vital piece of evidence we have is from WikiLeaks Vault 7 release of CIA material, in which the CIA themselves outline their capacity to “false flag” hacks, leaving behind misdirecting clues including scraps of foreign script and language. This is precisely what Crowdstrike claim to have found in the “Russian hacking” operation. So here we have Mueller omitting the key steps of independent forensic examination of the DNC servers and hearing Bill Binney’s evidence. Yet this was not for lack of time. While deliberately omitting to take any steps to obtain evidence that might disprove the “Russian hacking” story, Mueller had boundless time and energy to waste in wild goose chases after totally non-existent links between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign, including the fiasco of interviewing Roger Stone and Randy Credico. It is worth remembering that none of the charges against Americans arising from the Mueller inquiry have anything to do with Russian collusion or Trump-WikiLeaks collusion, which simply do not exist. The charges all relate to entirely extraneous matters dug up, under the extraordinary U.S. system of “justice,” to try to blackmail those charged with unrelated crimes turned up by the investigation, into fabricating evidence of Russian collusion. The official term for this process of blackmail is of course “plea-bargaining.” Mueller has indicted 12 Russians he alleges are the GRU agents responsible for the “hack.” The majority of these turn out to be real people who, ostensibly, have jobs and lives which are nothing to do with the GRU. Mueller was taken aback when, rather than simply being in absentia, a number of them had representation in court to fight the charges. Mueller had to back down and ask for an immediate adjournment as soon as the case opened, while he fought to limit disclosure. His entire energies since on this case have been absorbed in submitting motions to limit disclosure, individual by individual, with the object of ensuring that the accused Russians can be convicted without ever seeing, or being able to reply to, the evidence against them. Which is precisely the same as his attitude to contrary evidence in his report. Mueller’s failure to examine the servers or take Binney’s evidence pales into insignificance compared to his attack on Julian Assange. Based on no conclusive evidence, Mueller accuses Assange of receiving the emails from Russia. Most crucially, he did not give Assange any opportunity to answer his accusations. For somebody with Mueller’s background in law enforcement, declaring somebody in effect guilty, without giving them any opportunity to tell their side of the story, is plain evidence of malice. Inexplicably, for example, the Mueller report quotes a media report of Assange stating he had “physical proof” the material did not come from Russia, but Mueller simply dismisses this without having made any attempt at all to ask Assange himself. It is also particularly cowardly as Assange was and is held incommunicado with no opportunity to defend himself. Assange has repeatedly declared the material did not come from the Russian state or from any other state. He was very willing to give evidence to Mueller, which could have been done by video-link, by interview in the Ecuadorian embassy or by written communication. But as with Binney and as with the DNC servers, the entirely corrupt Mueller was unwilling to accept any evidence which might contradict his predetermined narrative.
‘Courier’ Ignored
Mueller’s section headed “The GRU’s Transfer of Stolen Material to Wikileaks” is a ludicrous farrago of internet contacts between WikiLeaks and persons not proven to be Russian, transferring material not proven to be the DNC leaks. It too is destroyed by Binney and so pathetic that, having pretended he had proven the case of internet transfer, Mueller then gives the game away by adding “The office cannot rule out that stolen documents were transferred by intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016.” He names Andrew Muller-Maguhn as a possible courier. Yet again, he did not ask Muller-Maguhn to give evidence. Nor did he ask me, and I might have been able to help him on a few of these points.


To run an “investigation” with a pre-determined idea as to who are the guilty parties, and then to name and condemn those parties in a report, without hearing the testimony of those you are accusing, is a method of proceeding that puts the cowardly and corrupt Mueller beneath contempt. Mueller gives no evidence whatsoever to back up his simple statement that Seth Rich was not the source of the DNC leak. He accuses Julian Assange of “dissembling” by referring to Seth Rich’s murder. It is an interesting fact that the U.S. security services have shown precisely the same level of interest in examining Seth Rich’s computers that they have shown in examining the DNC servers. It is also interesting that this murder features in a report of historic consequences like that of Mueller, yet has had virtually no serious resource put into finding the killer. Mueller’s condemnation of Julian Assange for allegedly exploiting the death of Seth Rich, would be infinitely more convincing if the official answer to the question “who murdered Seth Rich?” was not “who cares?”

Why Didn’t Mueller Investigate Seth Rich?
Consortium News

URL: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/06/12/w ... seth-rich/
Category: Politics
Published: June 12. 2019

Description: The idea that the DNC email disclosures were produced by a hack — not a leak —makes less and less sense, writes Daniel Lazare.
After bungling every last aspect of Russia-gate since the day the pseudo-scandal broke, the corporate press is now seizing on the Mueller report to shut down debate on one of the key questions still outstanding from the 2016 presidential election: the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. No one knows who killed Rich in Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016. All we know is that he was found at 4:19 a.m. in the Bloomingdale neighborhood “with apparent gunshot wound(s) to the back” according to the police report. Conscious and still breathing, he was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:57. Police have added to the confusion by releasing information only in the tiniest dribs and drabs. Rich’s mother, Mary, told local TV news that her son struggled with his assailants: “His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything…. They took his life for literally no reason. They didn’t finish robbing him, they just took his life.” But cops said shortly after the killing that they had no immediate indication that robbery was a motive. Despite his mother’s report of two shots in the back, all the local medical examiner would say is that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the torso. According to Rich’s brother, Aaron, Seth “was very aware, very talkative,” when police found him lying on the pavement. Yet cops have refused to say if he described his assailant. A month later, they put out a statement that “there is no indication that Seth Rich’s death is connected to his employment at the DNC,” but refused to elaborate. The result is a scattering of disconnected facts that can be used to support just about any theory from a random killing to a political assassination. Nonetheless, Robert Mueller is dead certain that the murder had nothing to do with the emails — just as he was dead certain in 2003 that Iraq was bristling with weapons of mass destruction “pos[ing] a clear threat to our national security.
Mueller’s Theory About Assange ‘Dissembling’
Mueller is equally positive that, merely by expressing concern that the murder may have had something to do with the release of thousands of DNC emails less than two weeks later, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was trying to protect the real source, which of course is Russia. Here’s how the Mueller report puts it: “Beginning in the summer of 2016, Assange and WikiLeaks made a number of statements about Seth Rich, a former DNC staff member who was killed in July 2016. The statements about Rich implied falsely that he had been the source of the stolen DNC emails. On August 9, 2016, the @WikiLeaks Twitter accounted posted: ‘ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.’ Likewise, on August 25, 2016, Assange was asked in an interview, ‘Why are you so interested in Seth Rich’s killer?’ and responded, ‘We’re very interested in anything that might be a threat to alleged WikiLeaks sources.’ The interviewer responded to Assange’s statement by commenting, ‘I know you don’t want to reveal your source, but it certainly sounds like you’re suggesting a man who leaked information to WikiLeaks was then murdered.’ Assange replied, ‘If there’s someone who’s potentially connected to our publication, and that person has been murdered in suspicious, circumstances, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the two are connected. But it is a very serious matter … that type of allegation is very serious, as it’s taken very seriously by us’” (vol. 1, pp. 48-49). This is what the Mueller report calls “dissembling.” The conclusion caused jubilation in corporate newsrooms where hostility to both Russia and WikiLeaks runs high. “The Seth Rich conspiracy theory needs to end now,” declared Vox.com. “The special counsel’s report confirmed this week that Seth Rich … was not the source,” said The New York Times. “The Mueller report might not end the debate over what President Donald Trump did,” the Poynter Institute’s Politifact added, “but it has scuttled one conspiracy theory involving a murdered Democratic party staffer and WikiLeaks.”
One Conspiracy Theory for Another
But all the Mueller report did was replace one conspiracy theory with another involving the Kremlin and its minions that is equally unconvincing. Remarkably, there’s nothing in the Mueller report indicating that the special counselor independently reviewed the forensic evidence or questioned family members and friends. He certainly didn’t interview Assange, the person in the best position to know who supplied the data, even though Craig Murray, the ex-British diplomat who serves as an unofficial WikiLeaks spokesman, says the WikiLeaks founder would have been “very willing to give evidence to Mueller” while holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, “which could have been done by video-link, by interview in the Embassy, or by written communication.” Murray says Mueller’s team made no effort to contact him either even though he has publicly stated that he met clandestinely with an associate of the leaker near the American University campus in Washington. Why not? Because Mueller didn’t want anything that might disturb his a priori assumption that Russia is the guilty party. If he had bucked the intelligence community finding – set forth in a formal assessment in January 2017 – that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign aimed at undermining Hillary Clinton’s candidacy — it would have been front-page news since an anti-Trump press had already accepted the assessment as gospel. ButMueller is far too much of an establishmentarian to do anything so reckless. So he selected evidence in support of the official theory that “[t]he Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion,” as the report states on its very first page. And since Assange had consistently maintained that the data was the result of an inside leak rather than internal hack and that “[o]ur source is not the Russian government,” he cherry picked evidence to show that Assange is a liar, not only about Russia but about Seth Rich.
Cryptic Exchange
It’s a self-serving myth that corporate media have swallowed whole because it serves their interests too. One problem in exposing it, however, is Assange’s pledge – intrinsic to the WikiLeaks mission – to safeguard the identities of whistleblowers who furnish it with information. The upshot has been a good deal of beating around the bush. A month after the murder, the WikiLeaks founder appeared on a Dutch program called “Nieuwsuur” and took part in a cryptic exchange with journalist Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal:
Assange: Whistle blowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. There’s a 27-year-old – works for the DNC – who was shot in the back, murdered, just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington, so….
Rosenthal: That was just a robbery, I believe, wasn’t it?
Assange: No, there’s no finding, so –
Rosenthal: What are you suggesting?
Assange: I’m suggesting that our sources take risks, and they become concerned to see things occurring like that.
Rosenthal: But was he one of your sources then? I mean –
Assange: We don’t comment about who our sources are.
Rosenthal: But 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, you know, face serious risks. That’s why they come to us – so we can protect their anonymity.
Rosenthal: But it’s quite something to suggest a murder. That’s basically what you’re doing.

This was as close as Assange could come to confirming that Rich was tied up with the leak without actually saying it. Hours later, WikiLeaks tweeted about the $20k reward. Four months after that, Craig Murray told the Libertarian Institute’s Scott Horton: “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that he [Rich] was the source of the leaks. What I’m saying is that it’s probably not an unfair indication to draw that WikiLeaks believe[s] that he may have been killed by someone who thought he was the source of the leaks.” (Quote begins at 11:20.) Thanks to such foggy rhetoric, it was all but inevitable that conspiracy theories would ignite. Two months after the killing, an ultra-conservative talk-radio host named Jack Burkman – best known for organizing a protest campaign against the Dallas Cowboys’ hiring of an openly gay football player named Michael Sam – approached members of the Rich family and offered to launch an investigation in their behalf. The family said yes, but then backed off when Burkman grandly announced that the murder was a Kremlin hit. Things turned even more bizarre a year later when Kevin Doherty, an ex-Marine whom Burkman had hired to look into the case, lured his ex-boss to a Marriott hotel in Arlington, Virgina, where he shot him twice in the buttocks and then tried to run him down with a rented SUV. Doherty received a nine-year sentence last December. The rightwing Washington Times meanwhile reported thatWikiLeaks had paid Seth and Aaron Rich an undisclosed sum, a story it was forced to retract, and Fox News named Seth as the source as well. (A sympathetic judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Rich family on technical grounds.) But still the speculation bubbled on, with conservative nuts blaming everyone from ex-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to acting DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and Bill and Hillary themselves. All of which plays into the hands of a corporate press happy to write off any and all suspicion as a product of alt-right paranoia. But if speculation refuses to die, it’s for a simple reason. If the DNC email disclosure was a hack, then Rich clearly had nothing to do with it, which means his death was no more than a robbery gone awry. But if it was a leak, then – based on broad hints dropped by Assange and Murray – it looks like the story could well be more complicated. This proves nothing in and of itself. But it guarantees that questions will grow as long as the Washington police make zero progress in its investigation and the Mueller report continues to fall apart. And that’s just what’s happening. Mueller’s account of how Russian intelligence supposedly supplied WikiLeaks with stolen data makes no sense because, according to the report’s chronology, the transfer left WikiLeaks with just four days to review some 28,000 emails and other electronic documents to make sure that they were genuine and unaltered – a clear impossibility. (See “The ‘Guccifer 2.0’ Gaps in Mueller’s Full Report,” April 18.) The FBI assessment that Paul Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik “has ties to Russian intelligence” – which Mueller cites (vol. 1, p. 133) in order to justify holding Manafort in solitary confinement during the Russia-gate investigation – is similarly disintegrating amid reports that Kilimnik actually served as an important State Department intelligence source. So the idea of a hack makes less and less sense and an inside leak seems more and more plausible, which is why questions about the Rich case will not go away. Bottom line: you don’t have to be a loony rightist to suspect that there is more to the murder than Robert Mueller would like us to believe.

RAY McGOVERN: Sic Transit Gloria Mueller
Consortium News

URL: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/16/r ... a-mueller/
Category: Politics
Published: July 16. 2019

Description: Democrats, stenographers who pass for journalists and the “Mueller team” will need all the time they can to come up with imaginative responses to two recent bombshell revelations, says Ray McGovern.
Making the Worst Case Appear the Better
Friday’s surprising report that Robert Mueller had successfully sought an extra week to prepare for his House testimony on Russiagate (now set for July 24) must have come as scary news to those of his fans who can put two and two together. Over the past few weeks, it has become clearer that each of the two frayed findings of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has now come apart at the seams. Saturday’s New York Times reports that “the Democrats said they chose to delay at the request of Mr. Mueller” after a day of negotiations, “as both Democrats and Republicans were deep in preparations for his testimony” earlier scheduled for July 17. The Washington Post, on the other hand, chose not to say who asked for the delay. Rather, it explained the abrupt change in timing with a misleading article entitled, “Mueller, House panels strike deal to delay hearing until July 24, giving lawmakers more time to question him.”
How to Avoid Eating Crow
As the truth seeps out, there will be plenty of crow to go around. To avoid eating it, the Democrats on the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, the stenographers who pass for journalists at the Times and Post, and the “Mueller team” will need all the time they can muster to come up with imaginative responses to two recent bombshell revelations from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Perhaps the most damning of the two came last Monday, when it was disclosed that, on July 1, Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Mueller to stop pretending he had proof that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency’s supposed attempt to interfere via social media in the 2016 election. While the corporate media so far has largely ignored Judge Friedrich’s order, it may well have been enough to cause very cold feet for those attached to the strained Facebook fable. (The IRA social-media “interference” has always been ludicrous on its face, as journalist Gareth Porter established.) Ten days is not a lot of time to conjure up ways to confront and explain Judge Friedrich’s injection of some unwelcome reality. Since the Democrats, the media, and Mueller himself all have strong incentive to “make the worst case appear the better” (one of the twin charges against Socrates), they need time to regroup and circle the wagons. The more so, since Mueller’s other twin charge — Russian hacking of the DNC — also has been shown, in a separate Court case, to be bereft of credible evidence. No, the incomplete, redacted, second-hand “forensics” draft that former FBI Director James Comey decided to settle for from the Democratic National Committee-hired CrowdStrike firm does not qualify as credible evidence. Both new developments are likely to pose a strong challenge to Mueller. On the forensics, Mueller decided to settle for what his former colleague Comey decided to settle for from CrowdStrike, which was hired by the DNC despite it’s deeply flawed reputation and well known bias against Russia. In fact, the new facts — emerging, oddly, from theU.S. District Court,pose such a fundamental challenge to Mueller’s findings that no one should be surprised if Mueller’s testimony is postponed again.
Requiem for ‘Interference’
Daniel Lazare’s July 12 Consortium News piece shatters one of the twin prongs in Mueller’s case that “the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” It was the prong dripping with incessant drivel about the Kremlin using social media to help Trump win in 2016. Mueller led off his Russiagate report, a redacted version of which was published on April 18, with the dubious claim that his investigation had
“…established that Russia interfered in the 2016 election principally through two operations. First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working in the Clinton campaign, and then released stolen documents.”

Judge to Mueller: Put Up or Shut Up
Regarding the social-media accusation, Judge Friederich has now told Mueller, in effect, to put up or shut up. What happened was this: On February 16, 2018 a typically credulous grand jury — the usual kind that cynics say can be persuaded to indict the proverbial ham sandwich — was convinced by Mueller to return 16 indictments of the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and associates in St. Petersburg, giving his all-deliberate-speed investigation some momentum and a much-needed, if short-lived, “big win” in “proving” interference by Russia in the 2016 election. It apparently never occurred to Mueller and the super-smart lawyers around him that the Russians would outsmart them by hiring their own lawyers to show up in U.S. court and seek discovery. Oops. The Feb. 2018 indictment referred repeatedly to the IRA simply as a “Russian organization.” But in Mueller’s report 14 months later, the “Russian organization” had somehow morphed into “Russia.” The IRA’s lawyers argued, in effect, that Mueller’s ipse-dixit “Russia did it” does not suffice as proof of Russian government involvement. Federal Judge Friedrich agreed and ordered Mueller to cease promoting his evidence-less charge against the IRA; she added that “any future violations of her order will trigger a range of potential sanctions.” More specifically, at the conclusion of a hearing held under seal on May 28, Judge Friedrich ordered the government “to refrain from making or authorizing any public statement that links the alleged conspiracy in the indictment to the Russian government or its agencies.” The judge ordered further that “any public statement about the allegations in the indictment . . . must make clear that, one, the government is summarizing the allegations in the indictment which remain unproven, and, two, the government does not express an opinion on the defendant’s guilt or innocence or the strength of the evidence in this case.” Reporting Thursday on Judge Friedrich’s ruling, former CIA and State Department official Larry C. Johnson described it as a “potential game changer,” observing that Mueller “has not offered one piece of solid evidence that the defendants were involved in any way with the government of Russia.” After including a lot of useful background material, Johnson ends by noting:
“Some readers will insist that Mueller and his team have actual intelligence but cannot put that in an indictment. Well boys and girls, here is a simple truth–if you cannot produce evidence that can be presented in court then you do not have a case. There is that part of the Constitution that allows those accused of a crime to confront their accusers.”

IRA Story a ‘Stretch’
Last fall, investigative journalist Gareth Porter dissected and debunked The New York Times’s far-fetched claim that 80,000 Facebook posts by the Internet Research Agency helped swing the election to Donald Trump. What the Times story neglected to say is that the relatively paltry 80,000 posts were engulfed in literally trillions of posts on Facebook over the two-year period in question — before and after the 2016 election. In testimony to Congress in October 2017, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch had cautioned earlier that from 2015 to 2017, “Americans using Facebook were exposed to, or ‘served,’ a total of over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds.” Shamefully misleading “analysis” by Times reporters Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti in a 10,000-word article on September 20, 2018 made the case that the IRA’s 80,000 posts helped deliver the presidency to Trump. Shane and Mazzetti neglected to report the 33 trillion number for needed context, even though the Times’ own coverage of Stretch’s 2017 testimony stated outright: “Facebook cautioned that the Russia-linked posts represented a minuscule amount of content compared with the billions of posts that flow through users’ News Feeds everyday.” The chances that Americans saw any of these IRA ads—let alone were influenced by them—are infinitismal. Porter and others did the math and found that over the two-year period, the 80,000 Russian-origin Facebook posts represented just 0.0000000024 of total Facebook content in that time. Porter commented that this particular Times contribution to the Russiagate story “should vie in the annals of journalism as one of the most spectacularly misleading uses of statistics of all time.” And now we know, courtesy of Judge Friederich, that Mueller has never produced proof, beyond his say-so, that the Russian government was responsible for the activities of the IRA — feckless as they were. That they swung the election is clearly a stretch.
The Other Prong: Hacking the DNC
The second of Mueller’s two major accusations of Russian interference, as noted above, charged that “a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working in the Clinton campaign, and then released stolen documents.” Sadly for Russiagate aficionados, the evidence behind that charge doesn’t hold water either. CrowdStrike, the controversial cybersecurity firm that the Democratic National Committee chose over the FBI in 2016 to examine its compromised computer servers, never produced an un-redacted or final forensic report for the government because the FBI never required it to, the Justice Department admitted. The revelation came in a court filing by the government in the pre-trial phase of Roger Stone, a long-time Republican operative who had an unofficial role in the campaign of candidate Donald Trump. Stone has been charged with misleading Congress, obstructing justice and intimidating a witness. The filing was in response to a motion by Stone’s lawyers asking for “unredacted reports” from CrowdStrike challenging the government to prove that Russia hacked the DNC server. “The government … does not possess the information the defendant seeks,” the DOJ filing says. Small wonder that Mueller had hoped to escape further questioning. If he does testify on July 24, the committee hearings will be well worth watching.

RAY McGOVERN: Rich’s Ghost Haunts the Courts
Consortium News

URL: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/08/12/r ... he-courts/
Category: Politics
Published: August 12. 2019

Description: UPDATED: It is verboten to utter his name, but a lawsuit and possible declassification of NSA documents could get to the bottom of the Seth Rich controversy, says Ray McGovern.
As if it weren’t enough of a downer for Russiagate true believers that no Trump-Russia collusion was found, federal judges are now demanding proof that Russia hacked into the DNC in the first place. It is shaping up to be a significant challenge to the main premise of the shaky syllogism that ends with “Russia did it.” If you’re new to this website, grab onto something, as the following may come as something of a shock. Not only has there never been any credible evidence to support the claim of Russian cyber interference, there has always been a simple alternative explanation that involves no “hacking” at all — by Russia or anyone else. As most Consortium News habitués are aware, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (which includes two former NSA technical directors), working with independent forensic investigators, concluded two years ago that what “everyone knows to be Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee” actually involved an insider with physical access to DNC computers copying the emails onto an external storage device — such as a thumb drive. In other words, it was a leak, not a hack. VIPS based its conclusion on the principles of physics applied to metadata and other empirical information susceptible of forensic analysis. But if a leak, not a hack, who was the DNC insider-leaker? In the absence of hard evidence, VIPS refuses “best-guess”-type “assessments” — the kind favored by the “handpicked analysts” who drafted the evidence-impoverished, so-called Intelligence Community Assessment of Jan. 6, 2017.
Conspiracy Theorists
Simply letting the name “Seth Rich” pass your lips can condemn you to the leper colony built by the Washington Establishment for “conspiracy theorists,” (the term regularly applied to someone determined to seek tangible evidence, and who is open to alternatives to “Russia-did-it.”) Rich was a young DNC employee who was murdered on a street in Washington, DC, on July 10, 2016. Many, including me, suspect that Rich played some role in the leaking of DNC emails to WikiLeaks. There is considerable circumstantial evidence that this may have been the case. Those who voice such suspicions, however, are, ipso facto, branded “conspiracy theorists.” That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the “brand-them-conspiracy-theorists” ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected — understandably — to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The “conspiracy theorist” tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now.
Rich Hovers Above the Courts
U.S. Courts apply far tougher standards to evidence than do the intelligence community and the pundits who loll around lazily, feeding from the intelligence PR trough. This (hardly surprising) reality was underscored when a Dallas financial adviser named Ed Butowsky sued National Public Radio and others for defaming him about the role he played in controversial stories relating to Rich.On August 7, NPR suffered a setback, when U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant affirmed a lower court decision to allow Butowsky’s defamation lawsuit to proceed. Judge Mazzant ruled that NPR had stated as “verifiable statements of fact” information that could not be verified, and that the plaintiff had been, in effect, accused of being engaged in wrongdoing without persuasive sourcing language. Imagine! — “persuasive sourcing” required to separate fact from opinion and axes to grind! An interesting precedent to apply to the ins and outs of Russiagate. In the courts, at least, this is now beginning to happen. And NPR and others in similarly vulnerable positions are scurrying around for allies. The day after Judge Mazzant’s decision, NPR enlisted help from discredited Yahoo! News pundit Michael Isikoff (author, with David Corn, of the fiction-posing-as-fact novel Russian Roulette). NPR gave Isikoff 37 minutes on its popular Fresh Air program to spin his yarn about how the Seth Rich story got started. You guessed it; the Russians started it. No, we are not making this up. It is far from clear that Isikoff can be much help to NPR in the libel case against it. Isikoff’s own writings on Russiagate are notably lacking in “verifiable statements of fact” — information that cannot be verified. Watch, for example, his recent interview with Consortium News Editor Joe Lauria on CN Live! Isikoff admitted to Lauria that he never saw the classified Russian intelligence document reportedly indicating that three days after Rich’s murder the Russian SVR foreign intelligence service planted a story about Rich having been the leaker and was killed for it. This Russian intelligence “bulletin,” as Isikoff called it, was supposedly placed on a bizarre website that Isikoff admitted was an unlikely place for Russia to spread disinformation. He acknowledged that he only took the word of the former prosecutor in the Rich case about the existence of this classified Russian document. In any case, The Washington Post, had already debunked Isikoff’s claim (which later in his article he switched to being only “purported”) by pointing out that Americans had already tweeted the theory of Rich’s murder days before the alleged Russian intervention.
‘Persuasive Sourcing’ & Discovery??
Butowsky’s libel lawsuit can now proceed to discovery, which will include demands for documents and depositions that are likely to shed light on whatever role Rich may have played in leaking to WikiLeaks. If the government obstructs or tries to slow-roll the case, we shall have to wait and see, for example, if the court will acquiesce to the familiar government objection that information regarding Rich’s murder must be withheld as a state secret? Hmmm. What would that tell us? During discovery in a separate court case, the government was unable to produce a final forensic report on the “hacking” of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC-hired cyber firm, CrowdStrike, failed to complete such a report, and that was apparently okay with then FBI Director James Comey, who did not require one. The incomplete, redacted, draft, second-hand “forensics” that Comey settled for from CrowdStrike does not qualify as credible evidence — much less “persuasive sourcing” to support the claim that the Russians “hacked” into the DNC. Moreover, CrowdStrike has a dubious reputation for professionalism and a well known anti-Russia bias. The thorny question of “persuasive sourcing,” came up even more starkly on July 1, when federal Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Robert Mueller to stop pretending he had proof that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency’s supposed attempt to interfere via social media in the 2016 election. Middle school-level arithmetic can prove the case that the IRA’s use of social media to support Trump is ludicrous on its face.
Russia-gate Rubble
As journalist Patrick Lawrence put it recently: “Three years after the narrative we call Russiagate was framed and incessantly promoted, it crumbles into rubble as we speak.” Falling syllogism! Step nimbly to one side. The “conspiracy theorist” epithet is not likely to much longer block attention to the role, if any, played by Rich — the more so since some players who say they were directly involved with Rich are coming forward. In a long interview with Lauria a few months ago in New Zealand aired this month on CN Live!, Kim Dotcom provided a wealth of detail, based on what he described as first-hand knowledge, regarding how Democratic National Committee documents were leaked to WikiLeaks in 2016. The major takeaway: the evidence presented by Dotcom about Seth Rich can be verified or disproven if President Trump summons the courage to order the director of NSA to dig out the relevant data, including the conversations Dotcom says he had with Rich and Rich may have had with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. Dotcom said he put Rich in touch with a middleman to transfer the DNC files to WikiLeaks. Sadly, Trump has flinched more than once rather than confront the Deep State — and this time there are a bunch of very well connected, senior Deep State practitioners who could face prosecution. Another sign that Rich’s story is likely to draw new focus is the virulent character assassination indulged in by former investigative journalist James Risen.
Not Risen to the Challenge
On August 5, in an interview on The Hill’s “Rising,” Risen chose to call former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney — you guessed it — a “conspiracy theorist” on Russia-gate, with no demurral, much less pushback, from the hosts. The having-done-good-work-in-the-past-and-now-not-so-much Risen can be considered a paradigm for what has happened to so many Kool-Aid drinking journalists. Jim’s transition from investigative journalist to stenographer is, nonetheless unsettling. Contributing causes? It appears that the traditional sources within the intelligence agencies, whom Risen was able to cultivate discreetly in the past, are too fearful now to even talk to him, lest they get caught by one or two of the myriad surveillance systems in play. Those at the top of the relevant agencies, however, are only too happy to provide grist. Journalists have to make a living, after all. Topic A, of course, is Russian “interference” in the 2016 election. And, of course, “There can be little doubt” the Russians did it. “Big Jim” Risen, as he is known, jumped on the bandwagon as soon as he joined The Intercept, with a fulsome article on February 17, 2018 titled “Is Donald Trump a Traitor?” Here’s an excerpt:
“The evidence that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump win is already compelling, and it grows stronger by the day. “There can be little doubt now that Russian intelligence officials were behind an effort to hack the DNC’s computers and steal emails and other information from aides to Hillary Clinton as a means of damaging her presidential campaign. … Russian intelligence also used fake social media accounts and other tools to create a global echo chamber both for stories about the emails and for anti-Clinton lies dressed up to look like news. “To their disgrace, editors and reporters at American news organizations greatly enhanced the Russian echo chamber, eagerly writing stories about Clinton and the Democratic Party based on the emails, while showing almost no interest during the presidential campaign in exactly how those emails came to be disclosed and distributed.” (sic)

Poor Jim. He shows himself just as susceptible as virtually all of his fellow corporate journalists to the epidemic-scale HWHW virus (Hillary Would Have Won) that set in during Nov. 2016 and for which the truth seems to be no cure. From his perch at The Intercept, Risen will continue to try to shape the issues. Russiagaters major ally, of course, is the corporate media which has most Americans pretty much under their thumb. Incidentally, neither The New York Times, The Washington Post, nor The Wall Street Journal has printed or posted a word about Judge Mazzant’s ruling on the Butowsky suit. Mark Twain is said to have warned, “How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again!” After three years of “Russia-Russia-Russia” in the corporate — and even in some “progressive” — media, this conditioning will not be easy to reverse. Here’s how one astute observer with a sense of humor described the situation last week, in a comment under one of my recent pieces on Consortium News:
“… One can write the most thought-out and well documented academic-like essays, articles and reports and the true believers in Russiagate will dismiss it all with a mere flick of their wrist. The mockery and scorn directed towards those of us who knew the score from day one won’t relent. They could die and go to heaven and ask god what really happened during the 2016 election. God would reply to them in no uncertain terms that Putin and the Russians had absolutely nothing to do with anything in ‘16, and they’d all throw up their hands and say, ‘aha! So, God’s in on this too!’ It’s the great lie that won’t die.”

I’m not so sure. It is likely to be a while though before this is over. In the meantime, here are six pieces of circumstantial evidence suggesting that Rich may have indeed leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks:
* Butowsky said Rich’s parents told him they know their son leaked the emails. Parents deny it.
* Butowsky said Ellen Ratner told him and others that Assange told her Rich was the leaker. Video emerges of Ratner saying Assange told her a Democratic insider leaked the emails but she didn’t name Rich. She now denies it was Rich.
* Kim Dotcom, a leading expert on the internet, says the metadata shows it was a leak, not a hack, and that he communicated with Rich and put him in touch with a middleman to transfer the emails to WikiLeaks. Dotcom also says he communicated with Rich’s parents who said they knew their son was the leaker.
* The NSA said in a FOIA request from Butowsky’s lawyer that they have 15 documents regarding conversations Rich had with one of several people named in the request, which include the possibility Rich communicated with Assange and/or Kim Dotcom.
* Investigative journalist Sy Hersh, in audio interview with Butowsky, says he has a source in FBI who had seen the report of Rich’s computer proving he had sent emails to WikiLeaks. When Butowsky made this secretly recorded interview public Hersh’s sources dried up and he then tried to deny what he’d told Butowsky.
* WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange strongly suggested in a Dutch TV interview that Rich was the source of the DNC emails. WikiLeaks also offered a $20,000 reward leading to information about Seth’s killers.

The FBI Has Been Lying About Seth Rich
Consortium News

URL: https://consortiumnews.com/2020/01/29/t ... seth-rich/
Category: Politics
Published: January 29,. 2020

Description: In light of emails produced by an unrelated FOIA request, Craig Murray wonders what other documents the agency might hold about the slain DNC employee.
A persistent American lawyer has uncovered the undeniable fact that the FBI has been continuously lying, including giving false testimony in court, in response to Freedom of Information Act requests for its records on Seth Rich, a young employee of the Democratic National Committee who was murdered in July 2016. The FBI has previously given affidavits that it has no records regarding Seth Rich. A Freedom of Information request to the FBI which did not mention Seth Rich, but asked for all email correspondence between FBI Head of Counterterrorism Peter Strzok, who headed the investigation into the DNC leaks and WikiLeaks, and FBI attorney Lisa Page, has revealed two pages of emails which do not merely mention Seth Rich but have “Seth Rich” as their heading. The emails were provided in, to say the least, heavily redacted form. Before I analyze these particular emails, I should make plain that they are not the major point. The major point is that the FBI claimed it had no records mentioning Seth Rich, and these have come to light in response to a different FOIA request that was not about him. What other falsely denied documents does the FBI hold about Rich, that were not fortuitously picked up by a search for correspondence between two named individuals?
Emails Forwarded to Lisa Page
To look at the documents themselves in chronological order, they have to be read from the bottom up, and they consist of a series of emails between members of the Washington Field Office of the FBI (WF in the telegrams) into which Strzok was copied, and which he ultimately forwarded on to the lawyer Lisa Page. The opening email, at the bottom, dated 10 August 2016 at 10.32 a.m., precisely, just one month after the murder of Seth Rich, is from the media handling department of the Washington Field Office. It references WikiLeaks’ offer of a reward for information on the murder of Seth Rich, and that Assange seemed to imply Rich was the source of the DNC leaks. The media handlers are asking the operations side of the FBI field office for any information on the case. The unredacted part of the reply fits with the official narrative. The redacted individual officer is “not aware of any specific involvement” by the FBI in the Seth Rich case. But his next sentence is completely redacted. Why? It appears that the word “adding” [in the email with a 12:53 p.m. time stamp] refers to a new person added to the distribution “to” list. This appears to have not worked, and probably the same person (precisely same length of deleted name) then tries again, with “adding … for real” and blames the technology – “stupid Samsung.” The interesting point here is that the person added appears not to be in the FBI – a new redacted addressee does indeed appear, and unlike all the others does not have an FBI suffix after their deleted email address. So, who are they? (This section on “adding” was updated after commenters offered a better explanation than my original one.)
Fourth & Most Interesting Email
The fourth email, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday August 10, 2016, is much the most interesting. It is ostensibly also from the Washington Field Office, but it is from somebody using a different classified email system with a very different time and date format from that of the others. It is apparently from somebody more senior, as the reply to it is “will do.” And every single word of this instruction has been blanked. The final email, saying that “I squashed this with …..”, is from a new person again, with the shortest name. That phrase may only have meant I denied this to a journalist, or it may have been reporting an operational command given. As the final act in this drama, Strzok then sent the whole thread on to the lawyer, which is why we now have it. Why? It is perfectly possible to fill in the blanks with a conversation that completely fits the official narrative. The deletions could say this was a waste of time and the FBI was not looking at the Rich case. But in that case, the FBI would have been delighted to publish it unredacted. (The small numbers in the right-hand margins supposedly detail the exception to the FOIA under which deletion was made. In almost every case they are one or other category of invasion of privacy.) And if it just all said “Assange is talking nonsense. Seth Rich has nothing to do with the FBI” then why would that have to be sent on by Strzok to the FBI lawyer? It is of course fortunate that Strzok did forward this one email thread on to the lawyer, because that is the only reason we have seen it, as a result of an FOIA request for the correspondence between those two.
Investigating DNC Leak
Finally, and perhaps this is the most important point, the FBI was at this time supposed to be in the early stages of an investigation into how the DNC emails were leaked to WikiLeaks. The FBI here believed WikiLeaks to be indicating the material had been leaked by Seth Rich, who had by then been murdered. Surely in any legitimate investigation, the investigators would have been absolutely compelled to check out the truth of this possibility, rather than treat it as a media issue? We are asked to believe that not one of these emails says “well if the publisher of the emails says Seth Rich was the source, we had better check that out, especially as he was murdered with no sign of a suspect.” If the FBI really did not look at that, why on earth not? If the FBI genuinely, as they claim, did not even look at the murder of Seth Rich, that would surely be the most damning fact of all and reveal their “investigation” was entirely agenda driven from the start. In June 2016 a vast cache of the DNC emails was leaked to WikiLeaks. On July 10, 2016, an employee from the location of the leak was murdered without obvious motive, in an alleged street robbery in which nothing at all was stolen. Not to investigate the possibility of a link between the two incidents would be grossly negligent. It is worth adding that, contrary to a propaganda barrage, Bloomingdale — where Rich was murdered — is a very pleasant area of Washington, D.C. —and by no means a murder hotspot. It is also worth noting that not only is there no suspect in Seth Rich’s murder, there has never been any semblance of a serious effort to find the killer. Washington police appear perfectly happy simply to write this case off. I anticipate two responses to this article in terms of irrelevant and illogical whataboutery: Firstly, it is very often the case that family members are extremely resistant to the notion that the murder of a relative may have wider political implications. This is perfectly natural. The appalling grief of losing a loved one to murder is extraordinary; to reject the cognitive dissonance of having your political worldview shattered at the same time is very natural. In the case of David Kelly, of Seth Rich, and of Wille Macrae, we see families reacting with emotional hostility to the notion that the death raises wider questions. Occasionally the motive may be still more mixed, with the prior relationship between the family and the deceased subject to other strains (I am not referencing the Rich case here). You do occasionally get a particularly stout-hearted family who take the opposite tack and are prepared to take on the authorities in the search for justice, of which Commander Robert Green, son of Hilda Murrell, is a worthy example. (As an interesting aside, I just checked his name in the Wikipedia article on Hilda, which I discovered describes Tam Dalyell “hounding” Margaret Thatcher over the Belgrano and the fact that ship was steaming away from the Falklands when destroyed with massive loss of life as a “second conspiracy theory,” the first of course being the murder of Hilda Murrell. Wikipedia really has become a cesspool.) We have powerful cultural taboos that reinforce the notion that if the family do not want the question of the death of their loved one disturbed, nobody else should bring it up. Seth Rich’s parents, David Kelly’s wife, Willie Macrae’s brother have all been deployed by the media and the powers behind them to this effect, among many other examples. This is an emotionally powerful but logically weak method of restricting enquiry. Secondly, I do not know and I deliberately have not inquired what are the views on other subjects of either Ty Clevenger, who brought his evidence and blog to my attention, or Judicial Watch, who made the FOIA request that revealed these documents. I am interested in the evidence presented both that the FBI lied, and in the documents themselves. Those who obtained the documents may, for all I know, be dedicated otter baiters or believe in stealing ice cream from children. I am referencing the evidence they have obtained in this particular case, not endorsing — or condemning — anything else in their lives or work. I really have had enough of illogical detraction by association as a way of avoiding logical argument by an absurd extension of ad hominem argument to third parties.
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Assange Expected to confirm Wikileaks source of DNC Emails was Seth Rich not Russians

Postby smix » Fri May 03, 2019 8:39 am

Assange Expected to confirm Wikileaks source of DNC Emails was Seth Rich not Russians

URL: https://www.exopolitics.org/assange-exp ... -russians/
Category: Politics
Published: April 25, 2019

Description: The April 11 arrest of Julian Assange has resurrected the narrative that emails stored on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) were not hacked by Russia, but leaked by a disenchanted employee, Seth Rich, who wanted to expose how Bernie Sanders was systematically undermined during the 2016 primaries by the DNC. According to this narrative, Rich communicated with Assange and handed over the DNC emails through Wikileaks’ secure online drop box. Assange first stated in a June 12, 2016, interview that Wikileaks had more of the missing emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server during her time as Secretary of State: “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton … We have emails pending publication, that is correct.” Two days later, the computer security company “Crowdstrike” published a report that the DNC email servers had been hacked by Russia. The mainstream media quickly embraced the Russia hacking narrative to explain why Clinton and DNC emails were in the hands of Wikileaks. Here’s what the Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima had to say on June 14, 2016:
Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.

However, multiple sources pointed out major problems with Crowdstrike as a competent and impartial investigator into the alleged Russian hacking:
The Nakamura [Nakashima] piece marked the first salvo in the Russian hacking meme. But the claim was not backed up by independently verified forensic evidence—it rested solely on the conclusions of a computer security company—Crowdstrike. The pro-Ukrainian politics of Crowdstrike’s founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, and his strident opposition to Russia cast a pall of bias over the findings of Crowdstrike. No U.S. Federal Law Enforcement official or agency was given access to the DNC servers. Neither the FBI nor Homeland Security were permitted to examine the servers and the alleged evidence of a hack.

In his 2019 best-selling book, Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump, Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service officer, detailed the multiple flaws in the Crowdstrike investigation and the puzzling decision to deny the FBI access to the allegedly hacked DNC email server. Almost a month after Assange’s interview that Wikileaks had more Clinton emails and was vetting them for eventual release, Rich was murdered on July 10, 2016, in very strange circumstances. Nearly two weeks later, on July 22, Wikileaks dumped 20,000 DNC emails on its website. A July 25, 2016, story published in Vox by Timothy Lee covered the Wikileaks DNC dump and found that many showed the DNC favored the Clinton campaign over Bernie Sanders. In November 2017, Donna Brazile, the former chair of the DNC, confirmed that the DNC had systematically supported Clinton over Sanders. Brazile’s admission provides a solid foundation for understanding what motivated Rich to leak to DNC emails to Wikileaks in the first place. In an August 2016 Dutch television interview, Assange firmly hinted that Rich’s murder was related to his leaking of DNC emails to Wikileaks:
Assange: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often significant risks. There was a 27-year old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back… murdered.. for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.
Host: That was just a robbery wasn’t it?
Assange: No. There’s no finding.
Host: What are you suggesting?
Assange: I am suggesting that our sources take risks and they become concerned to see things occurring like that.

Wikileaks then offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible, fueling the rumors that Rich was Wikileaks source.


Those who claimed that Rich was responsible for the release of the DNC emails were vilified and forced to backtrack on their claims. Here’s how Wikipedia summarized the situation:
Fact-checking websites like PolitiFact.com,[5][8] Snopes.com,[9] and FactCheck.org stated that these theories were false and unfounded.[4] The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post wrote that the promotion of these conspiracy theories was an example of fake news. [10][11][12]

Influential figures such as Fox News and Sean Hannity were forced through litigation to abandon their investigations into Rich’s murder due to his parents leading the charge condemning “conspiracy theories”.
Rich’s parents condemned the conspiracy theorists and said that these individuals were exploiting their son’s death for political gain, and their spokesperson called the conspiracy theorists “disgusting sociopaths”.

A story published by two Fox News reporters, Malia Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky, in May 2017 was subsequently pulled from the news site and Hannity also stopped covering the story. Even Bongino’s book, Spygate, failed to mention the Rich connection and what this meant to the whole Russia hacking narrative, which he uncritically endorsed as valid. After Fox News reporters and Hannity suspended their investigations into Rich leaking the DNC emails, only alternative news sources were willing to investigate the available evidence. Most prominent among them was National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, William Binney, who was among the first to conclude that Rich was responsible for the leaking and that Russia was being framed by the Deep State. Binney, a former Technical Director at the NSA, together with Ray McGovern, a 27 year CIA analyst, wrote on September 20, 2017:
We stand by our main conclusion that the data from the intrusion of July 5, 2016, into the Democratic National Committee’s computers, an intrusion blamed on “Russian hacking,” was not a hack but rather a download/copy onto an external storage device by someone with physical access to the DNC.

After Q Anon publicly emerged in late October 2017, Seth Rich was soon mentioned in several posts alluding to his role as the true source for the Wikileaks DNC email leaks, and that he was murdered as a result by hitmen tied to the MS-13 criminal gang and the Clintons. The alternative news investigation into Rich’s role in leaking the DNC emails subsequently languished but gained renewed life a year later on October 4, 2018, when the NSA responded to a Freedom of Information request that showed Rich had indeed been communicating with Assange. In their response to a FOIA request filed by attorney Ty Clevenger about information concerning Seth Rich and Julian Assange, the NSA wrote:
Your request has been processed under the provisions of the FOIA. Fifteen documents (32 pages) responsive to your request have been reviewed by this Agency as required by the FOIA and have found to be currently and properly classified in accordance with Executive Order 13526. These documents meet the criteria for classification as set forth in Subparagraph © of Section 1.4 and remains classified TOP SECRET and SECRET.

Since the FOIA request and the NSA response were not released, the NSA’s startling admission received no attention by the mainstream media, and only a few alternative media sources picked up the story. One of these was an April 19, 2019, article by Mark McCarty who cited a blog post published six months earlier (October 23, 2018) that first discussed the NSA FOIA response. McCarty raised important questions over the precise language used in Clevenger’s FOIA request and what this meant in terms of documents being withheld. In his April 19, 2019, article he pointed out that many of these questions were resolved by Binney in an April 17 interview:
“Ty Clevenger has FOIAed information from NSA asking for any data that involved both Seth Rich and also Julian Assange. And they responded by saying we’ve got 15 files, 32 pages, but they’re all classified in accordance with executive order 13526 covering classification, and therefore you can’t have them. That says that NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange. I mean, that’s the only business that NSA is in — copying communications between people and devices.”

Binney’s interpretation of what the NSA had admitted through FOIA is astounding in its implications. The single issue that has come to dominate analyses of the 2016 election is that Russia hacked the DNC and interfered with the integrity of the US Presidential election by passing this on to Wikileaks. This spawned the nearly two-year Mueller investigation into Trump’s collusion with Russia, which generated reams of anti-Trump and anti-Russia stories in the mainstream media. Both Trump and Russia were vilified by a hostile media that was anxious to promote the Russia hacking narrative, and ridiculing anyone suggesting that Rich was the true source of the DNC info being released to Wikileaks, not Russia. The NSA’s admission is the first concrete sign that the Deep State and the mainstream media are about to be exposed for willfully lying and misrepresenting the truth. Assange is all but certain to be extradited to the USA, and will reveal what he knows about Rich and his connection to the DNC email dumps. While the questioning and extradition of Assange are likely to take an extended period of time, it’s worth emphasizing that the truth is already known to the NSA, which is keeping this classified for the moment. It is not known when and how this information will be released, and whether it will be done through Assange, the NSA or some other process. Despite knowledge of the Rich and Assange connection, the NSA and its two directors since the DNC hacking – Admiral Mike Rogers (2014-2018) and General Paul Nakasone (2018-) – have done very little to publicly alter the mainstream news narrative that Russia had hacked the DNC servers; and that Rich’s murder was unrelated to the DNC documents that Wikileaks released less than two weeks after his murder. Why did the NSA stand by and allow the accusations of Russian hacking to grow to the extent that relations with Russia have been severely damaged, economic sanctions imposed, and a two-year long investigation was established into potential collusion between the Trump Presidential Campaign and the Russians? One answer worth exploring is that the Deep State had much to fear about a potential collaboration between Trump and Putin in revealing many advanced technology secrets possessed by their respective intelligence services; secrets which President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev unsuccessfully attempted to unlock 56 years ago, with tragic consequences for both.

[Update 4/25/2019 – A May 16, 2017 article published by the Free Thought Project discussed reports about alleged email communications between Julian Assange and Seth Rich provided by a former homicide detective, Rod Wheeler, from confidential FBI sources. A week later, Wheeler’s comments were retracted. It’s important to note that the 2018 NSA FOIA release confirms that the email correspondence did take place and was being tracked by the NSA]

NSA FOIA Response reveals Seth Rich & Assange/Wikileaks communications are Classified

URL: https://www.exopolitics.org/nsa-foia-re ... lassified/
Category: Politics
Published: July 19, 2019

Description: The National Security Agency has responded to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request concerning direct communications between Seth Rich, a former staffer for the Democratic National Committee, and Julian Assange and/or Wikileaks. The NSA issued a “Glomar Response”, where it chose to neither confirm nor deny the requested information due to its existence or “non-existence” being “properly classified”. The NSA response reveals that communications between Rich and Assange/Wikileaks are subject to classification laws. Their release will have major national security implications that directly impact US Russia relations, and may facilitate disclosure of suppressed secret space program technologies. I filed the FOIA request after communicating with Ty Clevenger, Esq., who had on October 10, 2017, filed an FOIA request regarding communications between Rich and Assange, along with many other individuals. In his original FOIA letter to the NSA, Clevenger requested:
All documents, records, or communications referencing or containing communications between Seth Rich and any of the following: Julian Assange, Wikileaks, Kim Dotcom, Aaron Rich, Shawn Lucas, Kelsey Mulka, Imran Awan, Abid Awan, Jamal Awan, Hina Alvi, Rao Abbas, and/or any person or entity outside of the United States. (pdf available here)

The NSA wrote a final response to Clevenger on October 4, 2018:
Your request has been processed under the provisions of the FOIA. Fifteen documents (32 pages) responsive to your request have been reviewed by this Agency as required by the FOIA and have found to be currently and properly classified in accordance with Executive Order 13526. These documents meet the criteria for classification as set forth in Subparagraph © of Section 1.4 and remains classified TOP SECRET and SECRET. (pdf available here)

The Clevinger’s FOIA request and the NSA’s response was the subject of an article by Mark McCarty published by Medium.com on April 19, 2019, where he analyzed its consequences for those claiming Rich was the real source of the DNC emails being handed over to Wikileaks. Unfortunately, McCarty’s article was taken down by Medium.com and he was removed as an author from the site in what appears to be a flagrant case of censorship. I wrote an article on April 25, 2019 commenting on the issues raised in McCarty’s article and NSA’s response to Clevinger’s FOIA request. Of particular interest was what a prominent NSA whistleblower, William Binney, had to say about the NSA’s response:
“Ty Clevenger has FOIAed information from NSA asking for any data that involved both Seth Rich and also Julian Assange. And they responded by saying we’ve got 15 files, 32 pages, but they’re all classified in accordance with executive order 13526 covering classification, and therefore you can’t have them. That says that NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange. I mean, that’s the only business that NSA is in — copying communications between people and devices.”

In closely examining Clevinger’s request and the NSA’s response, what is left unclear is exactly who Rich was communicating with that the 15 documents (32 pages) were referring to. This was due to the initial FOIA request by Clevinger being very broad in scope since it asked for multiple individuals that Rich was communicating with in addition to Assange/Wikileaks. Basically, the NSA’s response, as cited above, made it unclear whether the information it had concerned communications between Rich and Assange, or Rich and one of the other named parties. In order to narrow the scope of the inquiry into Rich’s communications, I filed my own FOIA request to the NSA on April 27, 2019:
I am researching the circumstances surrounding the death of Seth Conrad Rich (“Seth Rich, born January 3, 1968), who was murdered in the District of Columbia on July 10, 2016. I request all documents, records, or correspondence referencing or containing communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange or Wikileaks.

I received the following response by the NSA on May 1, 2019.
We have determined that the fact of the existence of non-existence of the materials you request is a currently and properly classified matter in accordance with Executive Order 13526, as set forth in Subparagraph (c) of Section 1.4. Thus, your request is denied pursuant to the first exemption of the FOIA which provides that FOIA does not apply to matters that are specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign relations and are, in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive Order.”

Here is the relevant Section 1.4 referred to by the NSA with emphasis on subparagraph (c):
Sec. 1.4. Classification Categories. Information shall not be considered for classification unless its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause identifiable or describable damage to the national security in accordance with section 1.2 of this order, and it pertains to one or more of the following:
(a) military plans, weapons systems, or operations;
(b) foreign government information;
(c) intelligence activities (including covert action), intelligence sources or methods, or cryptology;
(d) foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources;
(e) scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national security;
(f) United States Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
(g) vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, infrastructures, projects, plans, or protection services relating to the national security; or
(h) the development, production, or use of weapons of mass destruction.

The NSA’s response is known as a “Glomar Response”, which is different from a regular denial of a request for official government records as explained by Nate Jones from Unredacted.com:
The Glomar Response is different than a regular FOIA denial—when an agency states that it has the records but that it will not release them. When an agency replies with a Glomar Response, it refuses even to admit that documents exist; this makes research (and the appeals process) much more difficult.

The NSA’s decision of neither confirming nor denying the existence of direct communications between Rich and Assange/Wikileaks affirms that the NSA is unwilling to directly admit such correspondence exists and makes it difficult for researchers to reach a definitive answer. Nevertheless, what the NSA’s response does reveal is that the alleged communications between Rich and Assange/Wikileaks are a matter of national security. The NSA response is a startingly admission given what has been previously learned about Rich’s role in handing over the DNC emails to Assange and Wikileaks as discussed in my previous article on Rich. Basically, we know that law enforcement sources told journalists Seymour Hersh and Sean Hannity/Fox News that Rich was the source for the DNC party email links. In addition, Binney was part of a group of former U.S. intelligence officers that wrote a report released on July 24, 2017 explaining why it was impossible for the DNC files to have been downloaded by online hackers, and the most likely explanation was an inside source with direct access to the DNC server who leaked the files through a thumb drive:
Forensic studies of “Russian hacking” into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer. After examining metadata from the “Guccifer 2.0” July 5, 2016 intrusion into the DNC server, independent cyber investigators have concluded that an insider copied DNC data onto an external storage device.

The NSA’s responses to Clevinger and my FOIA requests take on even more significance given recent attempts to debunk any purported connection between Rich and Assange/Wikileaks. Michael Isikoff, writing for Yahoo News on July 9, 2019, insisted that the Russians were the real source of the leak and not Rich:
Russian government-owned media organizations RT and Sputnik repeatedly played up stories that baselessly alleged that Rich, a relatively junior-level staffer, was the source of Democratic Party emails that had been leaked to WikiLeaks. It was an idea first floated by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who on Aug. 9, 2016, announced a $20,000 reward for information about Rich’s murder, saying — somewhat cryptically — that “our sources take risks.”

Many mainstream news sources ran with Isikoff’s story which neglected to discuss Binney’s intelligence assessment, the NSA FOIA responses, and what Seymour Hersh had been told about Rich being the source for the leak. It appeared that Isikoff’s story was an attempt to get in front of a developing story stemming from Assange’s looming extradition to the US, and his expected testimony tying Rich to the DNC emails released by Wikileaks. The conclusion that emerges from the NSA FOIA responses and what other researchers have revealed is that the Deep State has framed Russia for a domestic leak by a disgruntled DNC employee, Seth Rich. The Deep State’s purpose was to undermine Trump’s presidential campaign and his subsequent administration through concocted Russia collusion charges, and to impede meaningful cooperation between Trump and Putin on a host of global policy issues. One of these global policy areas concerns the official disclosure of exotic aerospace technologies secretly used by the US and Russia in their respective secret space programs, which I have described elsewhere. The disclosure of such technologies could do much to resolve global security and energy problems, but would have major repercussions for the petroleum and pharmaceutical industries that are dependent on antiquated fuel and medical technologies. What has clearly emerged since the DNC emails were leaked is that the mainstream news media, along with major social media companies such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Google, have all colluded to deceive the US and the global public over the real source of the leaked DNC emails. As the truth emerges about Rich being the true source for emails leaked by Wikileaks in 2016, the role and power of the Deep State in manipulating public opinion so brazenly for over two years is about to be exposed. This exposure will open the door for exotic technology disclosures that can revolutionize life on our planet.
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Lawsuit outs Ellen Ratner as source for Seth Rich information

Postby smix » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:20 am

Lawsuit outs Ellen Ratner as source for Seth Rich information
LawFlog - Ty Clevenger

URL: http://lawflog.com/?p=2210
Category: Legal
Published: July 15, 2019

Description: Former Fox News news analyst Ellen Ratner relayed information from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to Texas businessman Ed Butowsky regarding Seth Rich’s role in transferring emails to Wikileaks, according to an amended lawsuit that I filed this morning on behalf of Mr. Butowsky. Although Ms. Ratner previously worked for Fox News, she is by no means a Republican or a conservative, and her role in the Seth Rich saga (like that of journalist Sy Hersh) obliterates the Democratic narrative that right-wing zealots fabricated the story about Mr. Rich leaking emails from the Democratic National Committee. Mr. Rich, a DNC employee, was murdered in Washington, D.C. on July 10, 2016, and the murder remains unsolved. Here’s an excerpt from the amended suit (“RCH” stands for “Russian Collusion Hoax”):
45. Mr. Butowsky stumbled into the RCH crosshairs after Ellen Rattner [sic], a news analyst for Fox News and the White House correspondent for Talk Media News, contacted him in the Fall of 2016 about a meeting she had with Mr. Assange. Ms. Rattner’s brother, the late Michael Rattner, was an attorney who had represented Mr. Assange. According to Ms. Rattner, she made a stop in London during a return flight from Berlin, and she met with Mr. Assange for approximately six hours in the Ecuadorean embassy. Ms. Rattner said Mr. Assange told her that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron, were responsible for releasing the DNC emails to Wikileaks. Ms. Rattner said Mr. Assange wanted the information relayed to Seth’s parents, as it might explain the motive for Seth’s murder.
46. Upon her return to the United States, Ms. Rattner asked Mr. Butowsky to contact the Rich family and relay the information from Mr. Assange, apparently because Ms. Rattner did not want her involvement to be made public. In the two months that followed, Mr. Butowsky did not attempt to contact the Rich family, but he grew increasingly frustrated as the DNC and #Resistance “journalists” blamed the Russian government for the email leak. On December 16, 2016, Mr. Butowsky sent a text message to Ms. Ratner:
BUTOWSKY [7:10 a.m.]: “Why don’t [sic] you speaking up about email hack?”
RATTNER [9:28 a.m.]: “I have”
Ms. Rattner subsequently told Mr. Butowsky that she had informed Bill Shine, who was then the co-president of Fox News, about her meeting with Mr. Assange in London. Ms. Rattner also informed Fox News producer Malia Zimmerman about her meeting with Mr. Assange.
47. On December 17, 2016, at the instigation of Ms. Rattner, Mr. Butowsky finally contacted Joel and Mary Rich, the parents of Seth, and he relayed the information about Ms. Rattner’s meeting with Mr. Assange. During that conversation, Mr. Rich told Mr. Butowsky that he already knew that his sons were involved in the DNC email leak, but he and his wife just wanted to know who murdered Seth. Mr. Rich said he was reluctant to go public with Seth’s and Aaron’s role in leaking the emails because “we don’t want anyone to think our sons were responsible for getting Trump elected.” Mr. Rich said he did not have enough money to hire a private investigator, so Mr. Butowsky offered to pay for one. Mr. Rich accepted the offer and thanked Mr. Butowsky in an email.
48. On December 29, 2016 at 1:51 p.m., Mr. Butowsky sent an email to Ms. Rattner from his iPad: “If the person you met with truly said what he did, is their [sic] a reason you we aren’t reporting it ?” At 3:48 p.m. that afternoon, Ms. Rattner responded as follows: “because— it was a family meeting—- I would have to get his permission– will ask his new lawyer, my sister-in-law.”

The complaint also mentions an interesting development in my ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI. The feds claimed they had no information pertaining to Seth Rich, but they appear to be changing their tune. Shortly after Attorney General William Barr announced plans to declassify documents related to the Russian Collusion Hoax, the FBI’s attorney informed me that new documents were being processed. I should receive them not later than July 22, 2019. The DNC’s objections to our subpoenas for “Russian hacking’ information are also due on July 22, 2019, and production is due on August 8, 2019. The more I’ve reviewed the Seth Rich case, the more I’m convinced of its central role in the whole Russian Collusion Hoax. I believe DNC officials knew that the emails would become public as the result of an internal leak, and they knew that the emails would be very damaging, so they attempted to turn the tables by pointing fingers at Donald Trump and the Russians. Hopefully we will know more by next week.

Case 4:19-cv-00180-ALM-KPJ Document 62 Filed 07/15/19
LawFlog - Ty Clevenger

URL: http://lawflog.com/wp-content/uploads/2 ... tamped.pdf
Category: Legal
Published: July 15, 2019

Edward Butowsky, in his personal and professional capacities, Plaintiff,
Michael Gottlieb, Meryl Governski, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Brad Bauman, The Pastorum Group, Leonard A. Gail, Eli J. Kay-Oliphant, Suyash Agrawal, Massey & Gail LLP, Gregory Y. Porter, Michael L. Murphy, Bailey & Glasser LLP, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Anderson Cooper, Gary Tuchman, Oliver Darcy, Tom Kludt, The New York Times Company, Alan Feuer, Vox Media, Inc., and Jane Coaston, Defendants
Case No. 4:19-cv-180
NOW COMES Edward Butowsky, the Plaintiff herein, alleging and stating as follows:
1. Some of the events in this case overlap with those in Edward Butowsky v. David Folkenflik, et al., which is presently pending before this Court as Case No. 4:18-cv-442-ALM. The Folkenflik complaint is attached as Exhibit 1 and incorporated herein by reference.
2. Late in the summer of 2017, the lives of Edward Butowsky, his family, and his co-workers were upended by false allegations that he conspired with White House officials to divert attention away from earlier (and equally false) allegations that President Donald Trump “colluded” with the Russian government to “steal” the 2016 Presidential election from Hillary Clinton. On August 1, 2017, New York attorney Douglas Wigdor and his partners filed a bogus lawsuit alleging that Mr. Butowsky, Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman, and Fox News itself had fabricated a false story that a former Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) employee – not the Russian government – was responsible for stealing DNC emails and giving them to Wikileaks.
3. The bogus lawsuit portrayed Mr. Butowsky as a ruthless political operative of President Trump when, in reality, he never had (and never has) met President Trump nor spoken with him. In fact, Mr. Butowsky supported three candidates other than Mr. Trump in the primary, and in 2007 he donated $2,700 to the campaign of President Barack Obama.
4. Mr. Wigdor, et al. nonetheless made the false allegations because they knew that most American journalists were (and are) consumed with hatred of President Trump, and they knew that most American media would publish or broadcast nearly anything – with little concern for accuracy – so long as it portrayed President Trump (or anyone tangentially connected to him) in a negative light. As detailed below, Mr. Wigdor, et al. planned to use the false allegations and the resulting negative publicity to extort money from Fox News.
5. Mr. Butosky is by no means the only victim of the anti-Trump obsession within American media. On February 20, 2019, for example, the parents of 16-year-old Nick Sandmann sued The Washington Post for $250 million in damages because the newspaper smeared him with false accusations of taunting an elderly Native American veteran following a pro-life rally. The high-school student had made one unforgivable mistake: he wore a “Make America Great Again” (or “MAGA”) hat that is affiliated with President Trump's political campaign. Based on that alone, the Post and other media comfortably assumed that he was a prejudiced white elitist. Within a day of the incident, however, video emerged that proved Sandmann had not taunted or harassed anyone, and on March 1, 2019 the Post belatedly admitted that its previous coverage of Sandmann was inaccurate. Similarly, left-wing media breathlessly trumpeted allegations from actor Jussie Smollett that he had been assaulted on January 29, 2019 by men wearing MAGA hats and uttering anti-gay and racial slurs. Because of their confirmation bias, most journalists ignored immediate and obvious evidence that Smollett was lying, i.e., they were so eager to believe that Trump supporters would assault a gay black man that they forgot to ask why it would have happened at 2 a.m. during a blizzard in overwhelmingly Democratic Chicago. Smollet's story soon unraveled and on March 8, 2019 was indicted on 16 felony counts for lying to police and fabricating a hoax.
6. In Mr. Butowsky's case, the disinformation campaign has taken much longer to unravel. Unscrupulous left-wing journalists and attorneys have perpetuated a myth about a myth, i.e., that Mr. Butowsky pushed a fictitious story about the stolen emails in order to divert attention from the fictitious story about “collusion” with the Russian government. In reality, the “Russia collusion” conspiracy theory is the only myth, and Mr. Butowsky's statements about the stolen emails were accurate.
7. As a result of the lies fabricated and perpetuated by the Defendants, Mr. Butowsky and his family received death threats, he lost one third of his business clients, rocks were thrown through the windows of his home, his automobiles were burglarized, his computers were hacked, he lost friendships, and he lost the opportunity to host a planned television program. Left-wing extremists even posted a clock on the internet counting down the time until Mr. Butowsky's son would return for classes at Vanderbilt University, implying that Mr. Butowsky's son would be harmed when he returned. As a result, Mr. Butowsky had to hire a bodyguard for his son.
8. The Defendants' smear campaign never should have begun, and it has lasted for far too long. Now it's time for the Defendants to answer for the lies that they spread and the harm that they caused.
Jurisdiction and Venue
9. This Court has diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 because the
Plaintiff resides in Texas, whereas all Defendants reside in other states.
10. Venue is proper in this district and the Court has personal jurisdiction over all Defendants because they participated in intentional torts that were designed to hurt the Plaintiff in Texas. All of the Defendants knew that the Plaintiff was a resident of Texas when they targeted him. Defendant CNN, for example, repeatedly described Mr. Butowsky as a “Texas businessman,” and most other media routinely reference the fact that Mr. Butowsky lives near Dallas or in Texas.
11. Plaintiff Edward Butowksy is a financial advisor who resides in Plano, Texas. He brings claims in his personal and professional capacities.
12. Defendant Michael Gottlieb is an attorney who resides in or near Washington, D.C. He was a partner at all times relevant in the Defendant law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.
13. Defendant Meryl Governski is an attorney who resides in or near Washington, D.C. She is an associate in the Defendant law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.
14. Defendant Boies Schiller Flexner LLP is a law firm and professional partnership organized under the laws of New York and headquartered in New York, New York. Hereinafter, it and Defendants Gottlieb and Schiller are collectively the “Boies Schiller Defendants.”
15. Defendant Brad Bauman is a political communications consultant who lives in Washington, D.C. He is a partner in Defendant The Pastorum Group.
16. Defendant The Pastorum Group is a political consulting firm in Washington, D.C.
17. Defendant Leonard A. Gail is an attorney who resides in or near Chicago, Illinois. He is a partner in the Defendant law firm Massey & Gail LLP.
18. Defendant Eli J. Kay-Oliphant is an attorney who resides in or near Chicago, Illinois. He is a partner in the Defendant law firm Massey & Gail LLP.
19. Defendant Suyash Agrawal is an attorney who resides in or near Chicago,
Illinois. He is a partner in the Defendant law firm Massey & Gail LLP.
20. Defendant Massey & Gail LLP is a law firm and professional partnership organized under the laws of Illinois and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Hereinafter, it and Defendants Gail, Kay-Oliphant, and Agrawal are collectively the “Massey & Gail Defendants.”
21. Defendant Gregory Y. Porter is an attorney who resides in or near Washington, D.C. He is a partner in Bailey & Glasser LLP.
22. Defendant Michael L. Murphy is an attorney who resides in or near Washington, D.C. He is a partner in Bailey & Glasser LLP.
23. Defendant Bailey & Glasser LLP is a law partnership headquartered in West Virginia. Hereinafter, it and Defendants Porter and Murphy are collectively known as the “Bailey & Glasser Defendants.”
24. Defendant Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (hereinafter “Defendant CNN”) is a Georgia corporation headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. CNN is a left-wing media brand that is wholly-owned by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
25. Anderson Cooper is a left-wing media personality who hosts Anderson Cooper 360, an infotainment program broadcast by CNN. He lives and works in New York, New York. The Court has general jurisdiction over Mr. Cooper because, contrary to his June 28, 2019 affidavit (Doc. No. 50-2), he does transact business in Texas. From his website http://www.ac2live.com , he is now selling tickets for an upcoming live performance in Sugarland, Texas with Andy Cohen. According to the Houston Chronicle, “Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen just can't stay away from each other. And the Houston area.” Mr. Cooper has sold tickets to at least one other performance in Texas, and he is not merely the anchor of a cable program. The program bears his name, and he has a vested financial interest in expanding its reach into Texas.
26. Defendant Gary Tuchman is a reporter for CNN. He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia.
27. Defendant Oliver Darcy is a senior media reporter for CNN. He lives and works in New York, New York.
28. Defendant Tom Kludt is a media reporter for CNN. He lives and works in New York, New York.
29. Defendant The New York Times Company (“Defendant NYT”) is a New York media corporation in New York, New York. It owns and publishes the The New York Times.
30. Defendant Alan Feuer is a court reporter for The New York Times and a resident of New York. Personal jurisdiction is proper because Mr. Feuer knew Mr. Butowsky was a resident of Texas when he targeted Mr. Butowsky. The very lawsuit that Mr. Feuer wrote about (discussed hereinafter) mentions the fact that Mr. Butowsky is a Texas resident.
31. Defendant Vox Media, Inc. is a media company headquartered in New York, New York. It publishes Vox online.
32. Defendant Jane Coaston is a left-wing political activist who masquerades as the “senior political reporter” for Vox. She is a resident of Washington, D.C. Personal jurisdiction is proper because Ms. Coaston knew Mr. Butowsky was a resident of Texas when she targeted Mr. Butowsky. The lawsuits that Ms. Coaston wrote about (discussed hereinafter) mention the fact that Mr. Butowsky is a Texas resident.
33. Defendant The Democratic National Committee (“Defendant DNC”) is a political organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.
34. As indicated above, this case is the consequence of a conspiracy theory, namely that President Trump “colluded” with the Russian government to swing the 2016 Presidential election in his favor. That conspiracy theory will hereinafter be referred to as the “Russia Collusion Hoax” or just the “RCH.” Since the Plaintiff filed his ORIGINAL COMPLAINT in this case on March 12, 2019, the RCH has unraveled even more, and the public is just now beginning to understand the breadth and scope of the conspiracy to overthrow a duly-elected President.
35. In 2015, the administration of President Barrack Obama began spying on prominent Republican presidential candidates, as well as Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, in an effort to support Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. At that time, the Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) was headed by Director John Brennan, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) was under the effective control of its deputy director, Andrew McCabe. Mr. Brennan and Mr. McCabe are ruthless and unscrupulous Democratic partisans, and they were determined to destroy any candidate who might threaten the candidacy of Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Brennan even created a “working group” within the CIA to sabotage Mrs. Clinton's political opponents, particularly Donald Trump. The “working group” included Mr. McCabe and other FBI employees, as well as employees from the National Security Agency (“NSA).
36. As of 2015, Mrs. Clinton's campaign was already dogged by revelations that she had avoided using State Department email systems while she was U.S. Secretary of State, and that she had instead used a private, insecure email server kept in her home. Adding to Mrs. Clinton's political troubles, classified information was found on her homemade server, and that called into question her competence to handle national security matters. It also rendered her liable to federal criminal charges. By early 2016, Mrs. Clinton was facing multiple investigations, including Congressional, administrative, and criminal investigations, related to the private email server. Furthermore, the public learned that Mrs. Clinton's attorneys had destroyed more than 30,000 of her emails even those emails were subject to outstanding subpoenas. In other words, Mrs. Clinton's lawyers had intentionally and systematically destroyed more than 30,000 pieces of evidence. The ongoing investigations were a political albatross for Mrs. Clinton.
37. The FBI's criminal investigation of the Clinton email fiasco was known as “Operation Mid-Year Exam” or “MYE,” and it was headed by Mr. McCabe and FBI Director James Comey. Two of the most important players on the MYE team were FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the latter of whom was assigned to the FBI's Office of General Cousel. Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page were avid Hillary Clinton supporters and partisan Democrats, and they were determined to protect Mrs. Clinton and undermine her opponents at any cost.
38. As explained by retired Central Intelligence Agency analyst Larry C. Johnson, the RCH began in earnest on May 4, 2016, when Ted Cruz dropped out of the Presidential race. See Larry C. Johnson, “The Campaign to Paint Trump as a Russian Stooge Started on May 4, 2016,” (https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_sem ... hnson.html). The following are texts exchanged between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page on that date:
Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page were under pressure from Mr. McCabe to finish MYE quickly – and whitewash Mrs. Clinton's crimes – in order to minimize the damage to her political candidacy. They were also directed to shift their attention to Mr. Trump. (The CIA “working group” identified above was launched in June of 2016, and the Plaintiff alleges on information and belief that Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page were assigned to it from the outset).
39. Also in early May of 2016, Mrs. Clinton launched an initiative to divert attention from the mounting evidence that she was corrupt and incompetent. She retained the law firm Perkins Coie, LLP to create a counter-narrative that her opponent, Donald Trump, was not only corrupt, but treasonous. With Mrs. Clinton's approval, Perkins Coie hired the left-wing “investigative” firm Fusion GPS, and Fusion GPS in turn hired former British spy Christopher Steele to fabricate “evidence” that Mr. Trump had colluded with the Russian government. Mr. Steele's fabricated report was then used by Obama Administration officials to secure wiretapping warrants against members of the Trump campaign.
40. While the Clinton campaign tasked Perkins Coie with hiring Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, the DNC set in motion the false narrative that the Russian government had hacked its servers. The DNC's ultimate goal was to blame Mr. Trump for colluding with the Russian government to hack its servers. According to an article in Esquire magazine, DNC officials found out on May 5, 2016 that the DNC's servers had been breached. According to the article, the servers had been breached by Russian hackers, and the DNC asked an internet security company, CrowdStrike, Inc., to investigate the breach. In reality, Perkins Coie had hired CrowdStrike on behalf of the DNC, just like it hired Fusion GPS on behalf of the Clinton campaign, and it did so for the purpose of creating a diversion. Contrary to the Esquire story, the DNC had discovered prior to May 5, 2016 that one of its own employees had been leaking emails (the DNC likely did not know the identity of the employee at that time, but they knew the leak was internal). The DNC also knew that the emails would soon become public, and it knew that the emails would be very damaging to Mrs. Clinton's political campaign.
41. Just as Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page realized on May 4, 2016 that they needed to bury the MYE investigation into Mrs. Clinton quickly, the Clinton campaign and the DNC recognized an opportunity to rewrite the narrative about the damaging emails that would soon be released to the public. Rather than acknowledge that a DNC employee was so appalled by the corruption he had witnessed inside the DNC and the Clinton campaign that he leaked emails to Wikileaks, the DNC and Clinton campaign decided they would instead blame the leaked emails on the Russian government, then blame Mr. Trump for colluding with the Russian government.
42. The DNC employee responsible for the leaks was Seth Rich, and he was assisted by his brother Aaron. Mr. Butowsky does not know exactly when the DNC figured out that Mr. Rich was the source of the leak. On July 10, 2016, however, Mr. Rich was fatally shot while walking home in Washington, D.C., and the murder has not been solved. Mr. Butowsky does not know whether the murder is related to Mr. Rich's role in leaking DNC emails.
43. Shortly after the murder, the interim DNC chair at the time, Donna Brazile, reached out to Mr. McCabe and Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for help in dealing with the political consequences of the murder. Ms. Brazile knew suspicions would soon arise, fairly or unfairly, that the murder was connected to the email leaks. D.C. police allowed the FBI to unlock Seth Rich's electronic devices, and the FBI obtained data showing that Mr. Rich had indeed provided the DNC emails to Wikileaks. At Mr. McCabe's direction, however, that information was kept secret with orders that it not be produced in response to any Freedom of Information Act request. For her part, Ms. Bowser directed D.C. police not to pursue any investigative avenues that might connect the murder to the email leaks. At her direction, local police blamed the murder on a “botched robbery” even though Mr. Rich's watch, wallet, and other belongings were not removed from his body.
44. On July 22, 2016, Wikileaks began publishing thousands of email that had been downloaded from the DNC's servers by Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron. Those emails showed how the campaign of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had corruptly taken control of the DNC for the purpose of sabotaging her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders. Per their game plan, the Clinton campaign and the DNC immediately claimed that the emails had been obtained by hackers working for the Russian government.
45. Mr. Butowsky stumbled into the RCH crosshairs after Ellen Ratner, a news analyst for Fox News and the White House correspondent for Talk Media News, contacted him in the Fall of 2016 about a meeting she had with Mr. Assange. Ms. Ratner's brother, the late Michael Ratner, was an attorney who had represented Mr. Assange. According to Ms. Ratner, she made a stop in London during a return flight from Berlin, and she met with Mr. Assange for approximately six hours in the Ecuadorean embassy. Ms. Ratner said Mr. Assange told her that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron, were responsible for releasing the DNC emails to Wikileaks. Ms. Ratner said Mr. Assange wanted the information relayed to Seth's parents, as it might explain the motive for Seth's murder.
46. Upon her return to the United States, Ms. Ratner asked Mr. Butowsky to contact the Rich family and relay the information from Mr. Assange, apparently because Ms. Ratner did not want her involvement to be made public. In the two months that followed, Mr. Butowsky did not attempt to contact the Rich family, but he grew increasingly frustrated as the DNC and #Resistance “journalists” blamed the Russian government for the email leak. On December 16, 2016, Mr. Butowsky sent a text message to Ms. Ratner:
Ms. Ratner subsequently told Mr. Butowsky that she had informed Bill Shine, who was then the co-president of Fox News, about her meeting with Mr. Assange in London. Ms. Ratner also informed Fox News producer Malia Zimmerman about her meeting with Mr. Assange.
47. On December 17, 2016, at the instigation of Ms. Ratner, Mr. Butowsky finally contacted Joel and Mary Rich, the parents of Seth, and he relayed the information about Ms. Ratner's meeting with Mr. Assange. During that conversation, Mr. Rich told Mr. Butowsky that he already knew that his sons were involved in the DNC email leak, but he and his wife just wanted to know who murdered Seth. Mr. Rich said he was reluctant to go public with Seth's and Aaron's role in leaking the emails because “we don't want anyone to think our sons were responsible for getting Trump elected.” Mr. Rich said he did not have enough money to hire a private investigator, so Mr. Butowsky offered to pay for one. Mr. Rich accepted the offer and thanked Mr. Butowsky in an email.
48. On December 29, 2016 at 1:51 p.m., Mr. Butowsky sent an email to Ms. Ratner from his iPad: “If the person you met with truly said what he did, is their [sic] a reason you we aren't reporting it ?” At 3:48 p.m. that afternoon, Ms. Ratner responded as follows: “because--- it was a family meeting---- I would have to get his permission-- will ask his new lawyer, my sister-in-law.”
49. Mr. Butowsky later referred the Rich family to Rod Wheeler, a Fox News contributor and former homicide detective with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. Mr. Butowsky only knew Mr. Wheeler through his occasional guest appearances on Fox News. Aaron Rich's wife, Molly Rich, drafted a retainer contract for Mr. Wheeler, and he began working directly for the Rich family. Mr. Butowsky agreed to pay from Mr. Wheeler's services, but he had no control over Mr. Wheeler's work for the Rich family.
50. On May 16, 2017, FoxNews.com published a story by Malia Zimmerman which claimed that Seth Rich had been involved in the DNC email leak. The article undermined the DNC narrative that Seth Rich had been murdered in a “botched robbery,” and it likewise undermined the Russia Collusion Hoax. The story featured quotes from Mr. Wheeler regarding his investigation, as well as quotes from an unnamed federal official who claimed that federal investigators had copies of Seth Rich's communications with Wikileaks. Shortly thereafter, the Rich family terminated Mr. Wheeler, and Mr. Wheeler was subjected to withering scorn and criticism from anti-Trump media.
51. On May 18, 2017, Mr. Wheeler told Mr. Butowsky that he needed an attorney to pursue claims against Marina Marraco, a reporter for the local Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C. According to Mr. Wheeler, Ms. Marraco duped him into granting an interview about the Seth Rich investigation so she could “scoop” Ms. Zimmerman and publish her story one day before the Fox News network published Ms Zimmerman's story. At Mr. Wheeler's request, Mr. Butowsky introduced Mr. Wheeler to some well- known attorneys in Dallas. Mr. Butowsky participated in the telephone conversation between Mr. Wheeler and the Dallas attorneys, and Mr. Wheeler never once indicated that he had been misquoted or mistreated by Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, or Fox News (as opposed to the local affiliate in D.C.). On the contrary, Mr. Wheeler sent a written statement to Ms. Zimmerman at 1 p.m. on May 19, 2017 wherein he claimed that he had shared the contents of Ms. Zimmerman's story with Joel Rich and Aaron Rich the night before it was published:
In the contract I have with the family, signed by Joel, Mary and Aaron Rich, I am not allowed to speak to the media on the family's behalf, but I could speak to the media about this investigation of Seth Rich's murder or other stories I was involved in. They knew I was a Fox News contributor and regularly went on television. I called Joel Rich the night before the Fox News story was going to be published, which was Monday night. During that 18-minute call (phone logs provided), I reviewed the story with Joel Rich, he liked it and was encouraged by the new leads. Joel already knew about the story because Fox had contacted him earlier in the day. He also suggested I contact an investigative reporter, Michelle Sigona, from CrimeWatch Daily with the information. I also spoke with Aaron Rich, Joel's son, for 21 minutes the night before the story came out and told him about the new information that had emerged and the story would likely be coming out in the near future. I told them both I would be commenting on the case and asking people to come forward if they had insight on the new information. I never violated the terms of our contract as I never spoke on behalf of the family.
According to Mr. Wheeler, the Riches did not object to the Fox News story when he discussed it with them in advance of its publication.
52. On May 23, 2017, Fox News retracted the May 16, 2017 article, claiming that the article did not meet its editorial standards. Fox News did not identify any errors in the article, and there were none. Within the network, rumors began to circulate that the story was killed by Sarah and Kathryn Murdoch, the left-leaning Hillary Clinton supporters and daughters-in-law of Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch. One month prior to the May 23, 2017 retraction, Sarah and Kathryn Murdoch were credited with driving out conservative Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. See Don Kaplan, “Rupert Murdoch’s sons’ progressive wives helped oust Bill O’Reilly from Fox News Channel,” New York Daily News, April 19, 2017 (https://www.nydailynews.com/news/nation ... -1.3075872). Kathryn previously worked for the Clinton Climate Initiative, and her husband James was a donor to the Clinton Foundation.
53. About a week after speaking with the attorneys in Dallas, Mr. Wheeler told Mr. Butowsky that he had decided to use another attorney, and that he would receive $4 million for using the other attorney. Mr. Butowsky soon learned that the other attorney was Douglas Wigdor, an employment attorney in New York who had filed numerous discrimination lawsuits against Fox News. According to Mr. Wigdor's own public statements, he was hoping to recover $60 million in damages from the ongoing lawsuits against Fox News. Unbeknownst to Mr. Butowsky at the time, Mr. Wigdor had enlisted Mr. Wheeler in an extortion scheme. As of 2017, Fox News's parent company, 21st Century Fox, Inc., was trying to gain approval from British regulators to purchase Sky Television, and Mr. Wigdor saw Mr. Wheeler's case as an opportunity to extort money from Fox. Rather than pursue claims against the local affiliate in D.C. that had duped Mr. Wheeler and deceptively edited his statements, Mr. Wigdor convinced Mr. Wheeler to fabricate an entirely new story, i.e., that Mr. Butowsky and Ms. Zimmerman had been conspiring with President Trump to divert attention from the Russia collusion narrative. Mr. Wigdor planned to use those explosive allegations to sabotage Fox's attempts to buy Sky, specifically by convincing British regulators that Fox News was entirely unethical and had acted corruptly at the behest of President Trump. In fact, Mr. Wigdor mentioned Fox's attempt to buy Sky News in the lawsuit that he subsequently filed on behalf of Mr. Wigdor, and he later testified before a British parliamentary committee in opposition to the Sky Television purchase.
54. In his bogus lawsuit, Mr. Wheeler selectively quoted texts and emails from Mr. Butowsky to make it appear that Mr. Butowsky had pushed the May 16, 2017 Fox News story at the behest of President Trump. In reality, Mr. Butowsky never had (and never has) met President Trump nor spoken with him. Although Mr. Butowsky knew people who worked in the Trump White House, he had actively supported Carly Fiorina in the Republican primary. After she dropped out of the race, he supported Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. Nonetheless, because Mr. Butowsky knew people who worked in the White House, Mr. Wheeler repeatedly begged Mr. Butowsky for help in getting a job there, and Mr. Butowsky has numerous texts and emails to prove that. (When he recommended Mr. Wheeler to the Rich family, Mr. Butowsky did not know that Mr. Wheeler was habitually broke, nor did he know that Mr. Wheeler was fired from the Metropolitan Police Department for marijuana use). As a result of Mr. Wheeler's repeated requests for help in getting a White House job, Mr. Butowsky jokingly told Mr. Wheeler that the White House was anxiously awaiting the results of his Seth Rich investigation. Mr. Wheeler knew full well that Mr. Butowsky was joking, and Mr. Wheeler knew full well that Mr. Butowsky had no personal connection to the President.
55. When Mr. Wigdor filed suit against Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, and Fox News in August of 2017, he knew that Mr. Wheeler had not been misquoted in the Fox News story, and that's because Mr. Butowsky and his attorneys had provided Mr. Wigdor with texts, emails, and audio evidence proving that Mr. Wheeler had not been misquoted. Mr. Wigdor also knew that the Trump Administration played no role in the May 16, 2017 Fox News story. Mr. Wigdor filed the fraudulent lawsuit anyway.
56. Even though Fox News retracted its May 17, 2017 report by Malia Zimmerman, local affiliate WTTG (a.k.a. “Fox 5 DC”) did not retract its report by Ms. Marraco. Instead, WTTG updated its May 15, 2017 on May 17, 2017 report to prove unequivocally that Mr. Wheeler was lying to other media outlets when he denied saying there was evidence connecting Seth Rich to the DNC leak. See Maria Marraco, Fox 5 DC (http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/p ... r-to-death). WTTG uploaded video showing the following statements by Mr. Wheeler:
FOX 5 DC: “You have sources at the FBI saying that there is information...”
WHEELER: "For sure..."
FOX 5 DC: “...that could link Seth Rich to WikiLeaks?"
WHEELER: "Absolutely. Yeah. That's confirmed."
Within days of the updated May 17, 2017 report by WTTG, all of the defendants in this lawsuit were actually aware that Mr. Wheeler was lying about Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, and Fox News.
57. The website DebunkingRodWheelersClaims.com (now at DeBunkingRodWheelersClaims.net) was launched in November of 2017, and it published texts, emails, audio, and video showing that Rod Wheeler had never been misrepresented by Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, or Fox News, including the email quoted above in Paragraph 51. The evidence on the website showed unequivocally that Mr. Wheeler had lied to other media about them. The website also included audio of famed journalist Seymour “Sy” Hersh stating that he had confirmed that Seth Rich was responsible for leaking the DNC emails. According to Mr. Hersh, who was by no means a Republican or a Trump supporter, he could not find a media outlet willing to publish the Seth Rich story. In a separate phone call with Mr. Butowsky, Mr. Hersh said he obtained his information about Seth Rich from Mr. McCabe, the deputy FBI director. Not later than December of 2017, all of the Defendants in this lawsuit were aware of the contents of DebunkingRodWheelersClaims.com.
58. On May 15, 2018, after Mr. Wigdor got what he needed from Mr. Wheeler in terms of political and public relations impact, Mr. Wigdor and his firm sought to drop Mr. Wheeler as a client. Judge Daniels allowed Mr. Wigdor and his partners to withdraw on May 30, 2018, and Mr. Wheeler's frivolous lawsuit was dismissed on August 2, 2018. The unscrupulous Mr. Wigdor then settled all of his remaining clients' claims against Fox News for a $10 million lump sum (rather than the $60 million that he had originally sought), and Mr. Wigdor apportioned $7 million of that among those clients.
Defendants Bauman and The Pastorum Group
59. In early March of 2017, Joel Rich informed Mr. Butowsky that he had received a call from Defendant Bauman, and that Defendant Bauman said he had been “assigned” to the Rich family by the DNC. Defendant Bauman is an unscrupulous left-wing political operative, and the DNC assigned him to the Rich family in order to control them and keep the Russia Collusion Hoax alive. Defendant Bauman knew that Seth Rich leaked emails to Wikileaks, but Defendant Bauman's assignment was to divert attention away from Seth Rich in order to keep the RCH alive.
60. Under coercion from Mr. Bauman and the lawyer Defendants named in this lawsuit, Joel Rich stopped speaking with Mr. Butowsky and the Rich family started attacking Mr. Butowsky publicly (albeit not by name). Prior to the time of Mr. Bauman's involvement, the Rich family acknowledged to friends and relatives that Seth and Aaron were involved in the DNC email leak, but then they suddenly changed their story. On information and belief, Mr. Butowksy alleges that Joel, Mary, and Aaron Rich were told that Aaron could be charged with felony computer crimes if they did not cooperate with their new handlers, i.e. , Mr. Bauman and the lawyer Defendants. Aaron Rich's lawyers have repeatedly alleged, for example, that Mr. Butowsky accused him (i.e., Aaron) of computer crimes and treason. In reality, Mr. Butowsky has never said such a thing. This appears to be an example of psychological projection on the part of the lawyers purporting to represent Aaron. To wit, they have accused their client of committing computer crimes and treason, but they attribute the accusation to Mr. Butowsky.
61. The Rich's lawsuits against Mr. Butowsky (discussed below) are part of a larger pattern. On April 20, 2018, the DNC filed a hare-brained, kamakaze lawsuit alleging that President Trump colluded with the Russians to steal its emails, even though the DNC already knew that neither President Trump nor the Russians had anything to do with the hacking. See Democratic National Committee v. Russian Federation, et al., Case No. 1:18-cv-03501 (S.D.N.Y.). The DNC knew it could never win the case, but that was not the objective. The objective was to keep the Russian Collusion Hoax in the headlines through the 2018 Congressional elections. Similarly, Mr. Bauman orchestrated a hyper-aggressive litigation / defamation strategy designed to intimidate, discredit, and ultimately silence anyone who questioned the DNC narrative about Seth Rich's involvement in leaking emails. In particular, Mr. Bauman recruited the various lawyer Defendants herein to sue Mr. Butowsky into silence. (In fact, a left-wing publication praised the strategy. See Amanda Marcotte, “Can lawsuits slow the tide of right-wing conspiracy theory? Seth Rich’s family wants to find out,” June 1, 2018 Salon (https://www.salon.com/2018/06/01/can-la ... o-find-out)). The Boise Schiller Defendants have, for example, offered to settle their clients' claims against Mr. Butowsky's co-defendants for nominal sums if those co-defendants will agree to remain silent in the future about Seth Rich and the leaked emails. In other words, the objective of Mr. Bauman's litigation/defamation strategy is not to recover damages, but to discredit people like Mr. Butowsky and bully them into silence.
62. To be clear, Mr. Bauman and the lawyer Defendants – all of whom are Democratic partisans – knowingly joined in a larger conspiracy to promote and protect the RCH, and particularly to discredit and intimidate anyone like Mr. Butowsky who might undermine the RCH narrative. While Mr. Bauman and the lawyer Defendants were playing offense against Mr. Butowsky by suing and defaming him, their governmental co-conspirators (e.g., Mr. McCabe, Mayor Bowser, and then-Police Chief Kathy Lanier) were playing defense. Mayor Bowser and Chief Lanier, for example, blocked city investigators from pursuing any information that might undermine the RCH narrative. The lead homicide detective assigned to the case, Joseph Dellacamera, was flatly prohibited from revealing the connection between Seth Rich and Wikileaks. See, e.g., Patrick Howley, “Seth Rich Police Detective: Department Gave Me ‘Strict, Strict Rules,’ If I Talk I’ll Get ‘Re-Assigned’,” August 2, 2017, BigLeaguePolitics.com (https://bigleaguepolitics.com/seth-rich ... e-assigned). For his part, Mr. McCabe ordered FBI agents to hide all information connecting Seth Rich to Wikileaks, and to deny its existence in response to any FOIA requests.
63. The scam continues even now. In his March 22, 2019 report on alleged Russian collusion, Special Counsel Robert Mueller stated unequivocally that Russian hackers were responsible for sending DNC emails to Wikileaks, but he was later forced to admit that his investigators had never examined the DNC's servers. Instead, Mr. Mueller had relied on exclusively on a redacted copy of a report that CrowdStrike had produced for the DNC. So far as the Plaintiff is aware, the U.S. Department of Justice had never before relied exclusively on a private company's report about an alleged computer crime (as opposed to the government conducting its own investigation), and Mr. Mueller certainly did not disclose in his report that he had failed to examine the servers. Furthermore, Mr. Mueller never made any attempt to interview Mr. Assange, who would know better than anyone else how Wikileaks obtained the DNC emails. Mr. Mueller's investigation was a farce, at least so far as Seth Rich and DNC “hacking” were concerned.
64. Mr. Mueller's deputy, Andrew Weissmann, is a Democratic partisan and a Hillary Clinton supporter with a long history of prosecutorial misconduct (in fact, all of the 17 attorneys on Mr. Mueller's staff were partisan Democrats, and his investigators initially included Democratic partisans Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page). On July 13, 2019, Congressman Devin Nunes revealed that prior to his appointment to the Mueller team, Mr. Weissmann played an undisclosed role in briefing reporters about allegations that President Trump had colluded with Russia. The Plaintiff alleges that Mr. Weissman conspired with Mr. McCabe and DNC officials to maintain the false narrative that Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC, most recently by inserting false information into Mr. Mueller's report. The Plaintiff further alleges that Mr. Bauman and the lawyer Defendants herein knew that their governmental co-conspirators (e.g., Mr. Weissmann and Mr. McCabe) were hiding and misrepresenting evidence, and that they were hiding and misrepresenting the evidence at least in part to aid the campaign against people like Mr. Butowsky. As a result of this scheme, Mr. Butowsky was severely hindered in his efforts to defend himself in the litigation discussed below. Plaintiff's Counsel, for example, filed a FOIA lawsuit against the FBI for information about Seth Rich, and the Plaintiff intended to use that information for litigation purposes, but Mr. McCabe and the other governmental defendants lied to the FOIA court and hid the information.
The beginning of the litigation campaign
65. After Mr. Wigdor filed suit in New York on behalf of Mr. Wheeler, Defendant Bauman seized on the opportunity to smear and defame anyone involved suggesting that Seth Rich was involved in leaking DNC emails. He recruited the Masey & Gail Defendants to file a frivolous March 13, 2018 lawsuit on behalf of Joel and Mary Rich. Premised on the bogus Wheeler lawsuit, the Riches' lawsuit fabricated a wild tale about Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, and Fox News conspiring to harm them by manufacturing a conspiracy theory about the murder of Seth Rich. Shortly thereafter, Defendant Bauman recruited the Boies Schiller Defendants to file the baseless lawsuit against Mr. Butowsky (and others) on behalf of Aaron Rich. Around the same time, Defendant Bauman filed his own frivolous lawsuit against Mr. Butowsky (and others), alleging that Mr. Butowsky had somehow defamed him by stating that Defendant Bauman had been “assigned” by Defendant DNC.
66. As detailed below, Mr. Bauman's strategy was at least partially successful, because American journalists launched a full frontal assault on Mr. Butowsky, falsely portraying him as a con man who fabricated a false story about Seth Rich. Defendants such as CNN, Vox, and The New York Times alleged that there was “no evidence” to support the “conspiracy theory” that Seth Rich leaked emails from the DNC. In reality, there was plenty of evidence, and they knew about the evidence.
Evidence that DNC emails were leaked, not hacked
67. In an unprecedented act on August 9, 2016 on Dutch television station NOS, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange spoke specifically about Seth Rich: “Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material, often very significant risks. There’s a 27-year-old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back, murdered, just two weeks ago, for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington... I am suggesting that our sources, ah, take risks and they, they become concerned to see things occurring like that...” Mr. Assange had not before, and has not since, discussed the identify of any confidential source for Wikileaks. Wikileaks also offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Seth Rich's killers, yet the anti-Trump media treated this information as if it was part of a hoax. That's a far cry from the way journalists had treated Mr. Assange and Wikileaks in preceding years, e.g. , when Wikileaks published documents about the Iraq War that proved harmful to the Bush Administration. Mr. Assange became a pariah as soon as anti-Trump journalists concluded that Wikileaks had done something harmful to Hillary Clinton and helpful to Donald Trump.
68. Bill Binney, a former top official at the National Security Agency (“NSA”), was applauded by American media when he exposed widespread electronic surveillance of American citizens nearly 20 years ago. Like Mr. Assange and Wikileaks, however, he became a pariah to American journalists when he questioned the Russia Collusion Hoax. Mr. Binney presented overwhelming scientific evidence that the DNC emails published by Wikileaks were obtained from an internal leak versus an external hack. He will testify that it was scientifically and technologically impossible for the Russians (or anyone else) to have downloaded the DNC emails remotely via hack. Instead, both the metadata and download time for the stolen emails indicate that they were downloaded onto a thumb drive or something similar.
69. Larry Johnson is a retired officer of the Central Intelligence Agency. He and Mr. Binney both observed in a February 14, 2019 article that while some U.S. intelligence agencies reported “high” confidence that Russians hacked the DNC, the NSA reported only “moderate” confidence. See “Why the DNC was not hacked by the Russians,” https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/0 ... e-russians . As explained in the article (incorporated herein by reference), the NSA's monitoring systems would have collected an electronic record of any internet-based hack on the DNC, which in turn would have prompted a “high” confidence conclusion by the NSA that Russians were responsible for obtaining the emails. The absence of a “high” confidence conclusion means there is no electronic record of a Russian hack on the DNC. Meanwhile, agencies that expressed “high” confidence, like the FBI and CIA, have been implicated in promoting the Russia Collusion Hoax, e.g., via the fraudulent dossier of Christopher Steele.
70. Even after Mr. Wheeler filed suit against Mr. Butowsky, he alleged that Ms. Brazille had improperly interfered in the Seth Rich investigation. In an August 2, 2017 interview on MSNBC, Mr. Wheeler alleged that interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile had called Joel and Mary Rich and asked why Mr. Wheeler was investigating the murder. If Seth Rich died as the result of a “botched robbery,” Ms. Brazile should not have cared one way or another whether the Rich family hired a private detective.
71. In recorded interviews and written reports, Mr. Wheeler stated that Aaron Rich repeatedly told him not to investigate anything pertaining to Seth Rich's email communications or his work at the DNC, and that Aaron Rich denied him access to Seth Rich's computer and electronic devices. (1) Mr. Wheeler further said Aaron Rich claimed that he had already investigated the emails on his own, and Mr. Wheeler later acknowledged that it was highly suspicious for Aaron Rich to prohibit any review of Seth Rich's email communications and to prohibit interviews of Seth Rich's former co-workers.
72. Aaron Rich's suspicious behavior continued after Mr. Wheeler was terminated. Mr. Rich claimed that he was only seeking the truth when he filed suit against Mr. Butowsky, but he refused to sign a waiver authorizing Wikileaks to reveal wa “high” confidence conclusion means there is no electronic record of a Russian hack on the DNC. Meanwhile, agencies that expressed “high” confidence, like the FBI and CIA, have been implicated in promoting the Russia Collusion Hoax, e.g., via the fraudulent dossier of Christopher Steele.
70. Even after Mr. Wheeler filed suit against Mr. Butowsky, he alleged that Ms. Brazille had improperly interfered in the Seth Rich investigation. In an August 2, 2017 interview on MSNBC, Mr. Wheeler alleged that interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile had called Joel and Mary Rich and asked why Mr. Wheeler was investigating the murder. If Seth Rich died as the result of a “botched robbery,” Ms. Brazile should not have cared one way or another whether the Rich family hired a private detective.
71. In recorded interviews and written reports, Mr. Wheeler stated that Aaron Rich repeatedly told him not to investigate anything pertaining to Seth Rich's email communications or his work at the DNC, and that Aaron Rich denied him access to Seth Rich's computer and electronic devices. (1) Mr. Wheeler further said Aaron Rich claimed that he had already investigated the emails on his own, and Mr. Wheeler later acknowledged that it was highly suspicious for Aaron Rich to prohibit any review of Seth Rich's email communications and to prohibit interviews of Seth Rich's former co-workers.
72. Aaron Rich's suspicious behavior continued after Mr. Wheeler was terminated. Mr. Rich claimed that he was only seeking the truth when he filed suit against Mr. Butowsky, but he refused to sign a waiver authorizing Wikileaks to reveal what it knows about Seth Rich's involvement in the DNC email leaks. His attorneys subsequently claimed that they would issue their own subpoena for Wikileaks. They have since reneged, however, because they realized that Wikileaks would likely construe the subpoena as a waiver, in which case it would likely release records showing that Aaron Rich and Seth Rich were both responsible for leaking the DNC emails.
(1) To be clear, Mr. Wheeler's statements about the Seth Rich investigation were accurate up until Mr. Wigdor promised him $4 million to change his story. In other words, Mr. Wheeler did find evidence that Mr. Rich leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks.
73. Several analysts, including Mr. Johnson, have noted a glaring problem in the DNC's timeline of the email “hack.” According to the DNC and CrowdStrike, Russian hacking was detected on May 5, 2019, but CrowdStrike and DNC did not shut down the DNC servers until more than a month later. If hackers had access to the system – as opposed to a leaker within the DNC – then CrowdStrike never would have waited so long to shut down the servers. Furthermore, the DNC never allowed outside investigators to examine the servers that purportedly were hacked by Russian agents. As noted above, Special Counsel Robert Mueller was forced to admit that his findings were based on a redacted report from a third party.
74. There are other reasons to question the DNC version of events about the Seth Rich murder. After the May 16, 2017 FoxNews.com article was retracted, the Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) claimed that the FBI had never been involved in the Seth Rich investigation, and the anti-Trump media trumpeted this claim as proof that the Fox article was a fraud. In Aaron Rich's lawsuit against Mr. Butowsky, however, he stated that he had been cooperating with “state and federal law enforcement officials” to solve his brother's murder. Similarly, the FBI originally claimed that it had no responsive documents about Seth Rich when records were requested in 2018. After Plaintiff's Counsel sued the FBI pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), counsel for the FBI asked the FBI to search for records in its Washington Field Office (“WFO”) and with its Computer Analysis Response Team (“CART”). The FBI agreed to search the WFO, and it responded that the WFO had offered assistance to the MPD during the murder investigation and that MPD had declined the offer, but there were no records of those communications. On the other hand, the FBI flatly refused to search for responsive records in CART, even though CART is the most likely place to find any pertinent email evidence. The FOIA lawsuit remains pending.
75. After this lawsuit was filed, and around the time that Attorney General William Barr received authorization to declassify materials related to the RCH, the FBI asked for an extension of time in the FOIA litigation referenced above. Counsel for the FBI said the FBI had decided that it needed to produce additional documents. The additional documents are scheduled to be produced not later than July 22, 2019.
Massey & Gail Defendants
76. On March 13, 2018, Defendants Leonard Gail, Eli J. Kay-Oliphant, Suyash Agrawal filed Joel and Mary Rich v. Fox News Network, LLC, et al., Case No. 1:18-cv-02223, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The suit alleged that Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, and Fox News knowingly spread a fake narrative about the death of Seth Rich, and that they did so for the purpose of causing harm to Joel and Mary Rich. The Massey & Gail Defendants knew that Mr. Bauman had recruited them as part of his larger scheme to silence Mr. Butowsky and anyone else who threatened to expose the Russia Collusion Hoax. First, they knew that Joel Rich had already admitted that his sons were responsible for leaking emails from the DNC. Second, the same Defendants knew that there was (and is) no evidence that Mr. Butowsky intended to harm the Rich family. Third, the same Defendants attempted to file a defamation claim on behalf of a dead person (i.e., Seth Rich) by recharacterizing it as a claim for intentional infliction of emotional stress. Any competent attorney would have known that such a claim was frivolous.
77. On the same day that lawsuit was filed, Defendant Bauman issued a press release on behalf of himself, the Massey & Gail Defendants, and the law firm Susman Godfrey that contained the following statement: “With disregard for the truth and for the obvious harm that their actions would cause the Riches, Fox, Zimmerman and Butowsky propagated and developed a fictitious story that their deceased son, Seth – not Russian hackers or anyone else – provided Democratic National Committee emails to WikiLeaks.” That sentence is false and defamatory and it is not attributed to the lawsuit, therefore it is not privileged. Furthermore, the Defendants knew the statement was false, and they knew their lawsuit was merely a sham that was designed to provide legal cover for making such false statements about Mr. Butowsky. Contrary to the press release, Mr. Butowsky did not disregard the truth nor any “obvious harm,” nor did he propagate or develop a fictitious story.
78. In a March 15, 2018 interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC, Defendant Gail alleged that Mr. Butowsky and the other defendants “propagated a story that was false” and acted with “utter disregard for the fact that the Riches were mourning the life of their son.” He further said the defendants “had their own agenda and they moved forward with something that was baseless.” At the time he made those statements, Mr. Gail knew they were false, but he made the statement in order to advance the RCH and to discredit Mr. Butowsky and his co-defendants.
79. On August 2, 2018, U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels dismissed Rich v. Fox News Network, LLC for failure to state a claim in an order that can be found at 322 F.Supp.3d 487. That order is incorporated by reference. The Defendants filed and prosecuted the case maliciously and in bad faith.
The Boies Schiller Defendants
80. On March 26, 2018, the Boies Schiller Defendants filed Aaron Rich v. Edward Butowsky, et al., Case No. 1:18-cv-00681, on behalf of Aaron Rich in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Butowsky and others defamed Aaron Rich by alleging that he helped his brother leak DNC emails to Wikileaks. Like the other lawyer Defendants, the Boies Schiller Defendants knew that Aaron Rich actually had assisted his brother in leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks, and they knowingly joined Mr. Bauman's defamation / litigation conspiracy for the purpose of keeping the RCH alive.
81. In a March 27, 2018 interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN regarding the lawsuit, Mr. Gottlieb made false and defamatory allegations that:
(a) Mr. Butosky had said Aaron Rich “warned Seth Rich's girlfriend to break up with him.” In reality, Mr. Butowsky never said such a thing.
(b) Mr. Butosky “made up a meeting that purportedly occurred at the DNC” where Aaron Rich puroportedly threw a chair. In reality, Mr. Butowksy never said such a thing.
(c) Mr. Butowsky's statements about Aaron Rich and Seth Rich were fabricated, i.e., “all of this, all of it, is made up.” Elsewhere, Mr. Gottlieb said, “It's made up – there is no money in Aaron Rich's account” and it's a “complete fabrication.”
(d) Mr. Butowsky spread a conspiracy theory “as far as possible” to “make money off of it” from t-shirt sales, etc. In reality, Mr. Butowsky has never spread a conspiracy, and he never made nor sought to make a penny from Seth Rich, Aaron Rich, or any conspiracy theory.
(e) After Aaron Rich asked for a retraction, Mr. Butowsky and the other defendants purportedly “doubled down on the lies they were telling.” In reality, Mr. Butowksy never told any lies about Seth Rich or Aaron Rich.
Before filing this lawsuit, Mr. Butowsky asked Defendant Gottlieb to retract the false allegations above, but he refused.
82. On May 30, 2018, Plaintiff's Counsel asked Defendant Governski if her client, Aaron Rich, would authorize Wikileaks to reveal what it knew about whether he and his brother were involved in leaking emails. In an email sent at 3:14 p.m., he wrote:
I’ve attached a preservation letter that I sent to eBay and PayPal, and I have also attached a proposed waiver for your client. Julian Assange / Wikileaks likely will not cooperate unless your client consents to the release of information. Please let me know if he is willing to consent. Thanks.
Ms. Governski responded at 4:27 p.m.:
We believe the appropriate mechanism for obtaining information from third parties is to serve subpoenas to those third parties as contemplated under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Those rules do not require any advance waiver from any party in order to serve or enforce such a subpoena. If any third party has a request to make of our client as a result of a subpoena, we will address those requests directly with those third parties rather than through opposing counsel.
At 8:12 p.m. Plaintiff's Counsel replied as follows:
Yes, but as a practical matter, Julian Assange, Kim Dotcom, and Wikileaks are beyond U.S. jurisdiction. Furthermore, Assange and Wikileaks have shown that they will not be coerced into revealing the identity of their sources. It is for that reason that I am asking your client to voluntarily waive any objections to the release of such information. If you are saying your client is unwilling to do that, I think the media (and the public) will find that very interesting.
Ms. Governski did not respond, so Plaintiff's Counsel sent a letter via fax and email at 7:51 a.m. on June 1, 2018 to her, Mr. Gottlieb, and a third lawyer at the firm, Randall Jackson:
I write concerning your client’s pleadings in the case identified above. According to Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b), an attorney’s signature on the pleadings is certification that he or she has performed “an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances” to determine the accuracy and propriety of those pleadings. As you know, Ms. Governski and I have exchanged emails about whether your client, Aaron Rich, is willing to voluntarily authorize Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and/or Kim Dotcom to discuss any relationship that they may have had with Mr. Rich or his brother, Seth Rich. Thus far, it appears that your client is unwilling to authorize such disclosures. This is very telling. On the one hand, Mr. Rich boldly denies that he and/or his brother leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks. On the other, he refuses to authorize disclosures from the witnesses who are in the best position to know who leaked those emails. That begs a question: if your client has nothing to hide, why is he hiding it? Under Rule 11(b), you have a duty to answer that question. Furthermore, you should ask your client some pointed questions about what funds may have been transferred to him or his brother through eBay accounts. And you should remind him that every trip to a safe deposit box is recorded on video and preserved. If the evidence leads where we expect it to lead, my client will aggressively seek sanctions against Mr. Rich and everyone else responsible for bringing meritless claims. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
At 3:20 p.m. that afternoon, Plaintiff's Counsel received an email notifying him that Defendants Gottlieb and Governski were serving a subpoena seeking records from Twitter, including private communications from the Twitter Account of Plaintiff's Counsel. In other words, Defendants Gottlieb and Governski tried to use a subpoena to obtain privileged communications from their opposing counsel. After that stunt received negative media attention, they withdrew the subpoena.
83. In a bizarre and angry five-page letter sent on June 2, 2018 (a Saturday morning), Defendant Gottlieb offered the following rationale for refusing to authorize Wikileaks to disclose what it knew about the Riches involvement in email leaks:
[P]roviding such a waiver would create precisely the impression you claim we are seeking to avoid. Namely, the mere act of granting a waiver to disclose communications to these third parties could create an impression that there exist communications that could or should be disclosed, and that is especially so if you were to follow through on your threat of disclosing such information to the media.
Defendant Gottlieb nonetheless wrote that he would be issuing subpoenas to third parties such as Wikileaks. On June 22, 2018, Defendant Governski wrote in an email that subpoenas would need to be served on Wikileaks, Julian Assange and Kim Dotcom via letters rogatory, and that she was working on that process. The subpoenas were not issued, however, so Plaintiff's Counsel sent a news article to Defendant Governski on August 20, 2018 noting that a federal court had authorized service of a DNC lawsuit against Wikileaks via Twitter. Defendant Gottlieb responded with baseless accusations that Plaintiff's Counsel was practicing law in D.C. without a license. (Defendant Gottlieb subsequently filed a fraudulent grievance against Plaintiff's Counsel with the State Bar of Texas, but that grievance was dismissed after Plaintiff's Counsel submitted proof that Defendant Gottlieb had knowingly omitted exculpatory evidence from his grievance).
84. More than a year after the issue was first raised, and despite repeated inquiries from Plaintiff's Counsel, no subpoenas have been issued to Wikileaks, Julian Assange, or Kim Dotcom by Defendants Governski or Gottlieb. Contrast that with the fact that Defendants Governski and Gottlieb issued a subpoena within a matter of hours for the private communications of Plaintiff's Counsel. The reason for this disparity is straightforward: Defendants Governski and Gottlieb know that if Mr. Butowsky issues a subpoena to Wikileaks, the subpoena will be ignored pursuant to its policies for protecting sources. If, however, Defendants Governski and Gottlieb issue a subpoena to Wikileaks on behalf of Aaron Rich, Wikileaks will likely construe that as a waiver of confidentiality, in which case the damning emails would finally be released. That's the last thing they want, so they have reneged on their earlier statements about issuing their own subpoenas.
85. In an October 1, 2018 story published by Vox, a statement from Ms. Governski is quoted as stating that the defendants – to include Mr. Butowsky – are “conspiracy theorists who spread malicious lies for personal and political gain.” Ms. Governski is further quoted as saying, “We will continue our efforts against the remaining defendants, who to this day continue to spread unconscionable lies about Aaron in order to advance their false political narratives.” On the contrary, Mr. Butowsky is not a conspiracy theorist, and he has not spread any lies – unconscionable or otherwise – nor has he done so for personal or political gain. In fact, Ms. Governski cannot point to any statements that Mr. Butowksy made about Aaron Rich after his lawsuit was filed – false or otherwise – thus she knew that she was lying about Mr. Butowsky in her statement to Vox.
The Bailey & Glasser Defendants
86. On May 21, 2018, the Bailey & Glasser Defendants filed a ludicrous defamation lawsuit against Mr. Butowsky (and others) on behalf of Defendant Bauman. Like the other lawyer Defendants in this case, the Bailey & Glasser Defendants had knowingly and intentionally joined Mr. Bauman in the DNC's overarching scheme to keep the RCH alive by defaming, discrediting, and bullying Mr. Butowsky into silence.
87. The Bailey and Glasser Defendants alleged that Mr. Butowsky defamed Mr. Bauman when he repeated what Joel Rich had said, i.e., that the DNC had “assigned” Mr. Bauman to speak for the Rich family. They also alleged that Mr. Butowsky defamed Mr. Bauman when, responding to Mr. Bauman's accusation that he lied, Mr. Butowsky countered that Mr. Bauman had lied.
88. On March 29, 2019, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon dismissed Mr. Bauman's absurd lawsuit. See Bauman v. Butowsky, 377 F. Supp. 3d 1 (D.D.C. 2019). That opinion is incorporated herein by reference. No competent attorney would have thought that Mr. Bauman had a legitimate claim against Mr. Butowsky, and the Bailey & Glasser Defendants knew the lawsuit was frivolous when they filed it.
The CNN Defendants
89. For more than two years, Defendant CNN and its employees have shamelessly promoted the RCH, and they have repeatedly tried to demonize and discredit anyone who questioned the DNC narrative about the murder of Seth Rich. During that period, CNN has generally portrayed Mr. Butowsky as an unscrupulous political activist who knowingly and maliciously concocted and spread false stories in conjunction with Fox News and Malia Zimmerman.
90. Notwithstanding the fact that Mr. McCabe was fired from the FBI on March 16, 2018 for lying to federal investigators, and not withstanding the fact that he is the subject of at least two criminal investigations, Defendant CNN hired him as an on-air commentator so he could continue promoting the RCH on its programs. No fair-minded journalism company would hire Mr. McCabe, but then CNN is more of a partisan infotainment enterprise than a journalism company. The CNN Defendants named herein know that the Russian collusion narrative is false, and they specifically know that the Russian hacking narrative is false, but they continue to promote false stories in order to keep the RCH alive. Mr. McCabe still works for Defendant CNN as of the date of this filing.
91. A March 14, 2018 story attributed to Defendant Darcy states that Mr. Butowsky and his co-defendants had been sued for “their roles in the publication of a baseless conspiracy theory about Rich's 2016 death.” A May 21, 2018 story attributed to Defendant Darcy implicated Mr. Butowsky as someone “who pushed unfounded claims and theories about Rich's death,” and an October 1, 2018 article impugned Mr. Butowsky for “peddling a conspiracy theory” without “real evidence.” Prior to the publication of the March 14, 2018 story, however, Mr. Butowsky spoke with Defendant Darcy by telephone and emailed him evidence (including the evidence found at DebunkingRodWheelersClaims.com) to show that there was reason to believe that Seth Rich was involved in the DNC email leak. Defendant Darcy ignored all of that evidence – and falsely claimed there was no evidence – because he was more interested in promoting the Russian Collusion narrative.
92. The top of the March 14, 2018 CNN web story is linked to a propaganda video produced by Defendant Kludt, a left-wing political activist who masquerades as a journalist. In the video, Defendant Kludt falsely states that there is no evidence that Mr. Rich leaked emails to Wikileaks: “It's never been supported by any evidence,” Defendant Kludt claims. “The question is this: Will the Seth Rich lie ever disappear?” Defendant Kludt also refers to people who question the official “botched robbery” narrative as “conspiracy theorists.” The clear purpose of Defendant Kludt's propaganda video is to discredit and smear anyone who dares to question the DNC narrative, and it is tied directly to Defendant Darcy's web story about Mr. Butowsky. In other words, Defendant Kludt and Defendant Darcy jointly and intentionally misrepresented Mr. Butowsky as a liar and a crackpot conspiracy theorist. Like Defendant Darcy, Defendant Kludt was aware of the considerable evidence that Mr. Butowsky was telling the truth.
93. In a March 27, 2018 story on Anderson Cooper 360 about Aaron Rich's against Mr. Butowsky, Defendant Tuchman flatly stated that there was no evidence whatsoever that Seth Rich leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks. “There wasn't any evidence at all – it was all made up,” he said, further describing it as a “conspiracy theory concocted by right-wing commentators.” As the anchor of the show bearing his name, Defendant Cooper decided to broadcast Defendant Tuchman's defamatory statements. Prior to March 27, 2018, Defendant Tuchman and Defendant Cooper knew that there was considerable evidence that Mr. Rich was involved in the email leak, and they knew that Mr. Butowsky had not “made up” or “concocted” anything. Neither of them attempted to speak with Mr. Butowsky before broadcasting their false allegations against him, however, and that's because they were willing to sacrifice the truth in order to promote the RCH narrative.
94. The March 27, 2018 story featured the interview of Defendant Gottlieb described in Paragraph 62 above, and Mr. Butowsky was mentioned by name more than once. Unsurprisingly, Defendant Cooper never pushed back on any of Defendant Gottlieb's allegations, no matter how false or outrageous. Instead, Defendant Cooper endorsed those statements, directly implying that Mr. Butowsky and his co-defendants were responsible for “promoting unfounded claims that Seth Rich was tied to the DNC hacking.” In another statement, Defendant Cooper directly implied that Mr. Butowsky was responsible for traumatizing Joel and Mary Rich because of “[having their son] being accused of stuff that there's no evidence of.” In yet another, Mr. Cooper alleged that Mr. Butowsky and his co-defendants had been involved in spreading “lies.”
95. As set forth above, the CNN Defendants knew not later than 2017 that Mr. Wheeler was lying about Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, and Fox News, and they knew that Mr. Butowsky had not fabricated anything. They also knew as of that date that there was at least some evidence that Mr. Rich was involved in leaking DNC emails (even if they found contrary evidence more convincing). After all, Mr. Assange had publicly identified Mr. Rich as the source of the leaks as far back as late 2016. Notwithstanding this, the CNN Defendants continued to impugn Mr. Butowsky with false allegations that there was “no evidence” of Seth Rich's involvement, further alleging that Mr. Butowsky had knowingly spread a false story for malign purposes. In other words, the CNN Defendants knowingly made defamatory statements about Mr. Butowsky.
96. Defendant Governski formerly served as a spokeswoman for Defendant CNN. The Plaintiff alleges that she enlisted the CNN Defendants in the larger scheme to defame and discredit Mr. Butowsky with false allegations. As #Resistance “journalists,” the CNN Defendants were all too willing to smear Mr. Butowsky in order to keep the RCH alive.
97. On February 02, 2019, Mr. Butowsky (through counsel) requested retractions from Defendants CNN, Cooper, Tuchman, Darcy, and Kludt. In a letter dated February 15, 2019, CNN Vice President and Asst. General Counsel Johnita P. Due wrote that no retractions would be forthcoming. “CNN has reported that the claims Mr. Butowsky has made about Seth Rich's connection to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack are 'baseless,' 'unfounded,' and 'without real evidence,” she confirmed. “Indeed, there is a very long list of official sources who have either directly or indirectly said the claims about Seth Rich are not true.” She then parroted the predictable list of statements by Obama Administration officials, the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and MPD. “In other words,” she wrote, “the claims made by Mr. Butowsky are unfounded, baseless and not supported by real evidence – exactly as CNN reported.”
98. As evidenced by Ms. Due's letter, leftists and American media have come full circle with respect to trusting the government and its intelligence agencies. In the 1970s, they hailed the work of Senator Frank Church and his Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, which exposed widespread corruption and impropriety in the CIA, FBI, and NSA, some of which dated back to the 1950s. Now, leftists and American media have blind faith in those same agencies, at least as long as they are under the control of their leftist allies.
Defendants Vox and Coaston
99. On April 19, 2018 and October 1, 2018, Defendant Vox published defamatory articles written by Defendant Coaston, a left-wing extremist who masquerades as a journalist. Defendant Coaston openly advertises her left-wing politics in her articles and in her Twitter feed, and until 2016 she worked for left-wing activist groups rather than media organizations. Both of Ms. Coaston's articles conveyed the false overall impression that Mr. Butowsky had lied repeatedly and abused the trust of the Rich family for purposes of advancing a fraudulent narrative. In her April story, Defendant Coaston alleged that “the Riches’ story isn’t just about conspiracy theorists — it’s about a conspiracy of Fox News contributors who concocted a lie while purporting to be trying to find Seth’s killer.” There was no conspiracy, however, and there was no lie. For the reasons set forth above, Ms. Coaston knew at the time she wrote the articles that there had been no conspiracy among Fox News contributors, and she knew that they had not “concocted a lie.”
100. Defendant Coaston further wrote that “[d]espite Butowsky’s repeated questions about payments from WikiLeaks (which didn’t exist), Joel and Mary repeatedly told both Zimmerman and Butowsky that the conspiracy theories about their son were 'baseless,' and provided Zimmerman with information about Seth’s life for stories she said she was writing.” In reality, neither Joel nor Mary Rich told Mr. Butowsky that claims of their sons' involvement with Wikileaks were “baseless.” Instead, Joel Rich told Mr. Butowsky that he knew his sons were involved in the leak.
101. The April 19, 2018 story by Defendant Coaston included numerous other false and defamatory allegations, including the following excerpt: Wheeler stated later that he received text messages that day from Butowsky telling him what to say in media interviews:
• “If you can, try to highlight this puts the Russian hacking story to rest”
• “We need to emphasize the FBI has a report that has been suppressed that shows that Seth rich [sic] did this...”
But none of this was true. As would be revealed just a few days later, Wheeler had never said that there was any emailing between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks, and everything he’d heard had been from Butowsky and Zimmerman. “I’ve never, ever seen Seth Rich’s computer, nor have I talked with the federal investigator.” And there was no FBI investigation, either — the FBI had never even seen Seth’s laptop. In short, Butowsky and Zimmerman had worked with Rod Wheeler, told him the FBI had information about Seth Rich’s alleged connection with WikiLeaks, and then set him loose — with absolutely no proof. In fact, when Joel Rich demanded a retraction, Zimmerman told him (according to Wheeler, under direction from Fox producers) that the details about their son’s (completely false) WikiLeaks ties had come from Wheeler — whom Butowsky and Zimmerman had been working with all along.
Most of the foregoing excerpt is false and defamatory, and Ms. Coaston knew it was false at the time she made the allegations. As set forth above, it was already a matter of public record in 2017 that Mr. Wheeler had lied about Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, and Fox News. Mr. Wheeler did say that emails were exchanged between Seth Rich and Wikileaks, and he said so in a televised interview. Furthermore, Mr. Butowsky did not “set loose” Mr. Wheeler with “no evidence."
102. Elsewhere in the April 18, 2019 article, Defendant Coaston wrote, “As recently as this month, far right media articles are still being shared detailing how Joel Rich told Butowsky that he was aware Seth had leaked the emails — all of which is false.” It was not and is not false, and Defendant Coaston's allegations to the contrary are defamatory. Defendant Coaston ended the story with the following paragraph: “But by challenging how the story of their son’s murder was manipulated by people who wormed their way into their inner circle — even gaining access to their religious community — the Riches could shine a light on the darkest underbelly of the conservative media apparatus.” Contrary to the inferences in that paragraph, Mr. Butowsky did not manipulate anything, nor did he “worm” his way into the Riches inner circle or religious community (much less for purposes of propagating a false story).
103. The October 1, 2018 story by Defendant Coaston was comparably malicious and false. She wrote:
...Fox News ran a story, 'Slain DNC Staffer Had Contact with WikiLeaks, Say Multiple Sources.” A second story, also published May 15, said that Wheeler was the source. But none of this was true — in fact, the only people who had told Wheeler about WikiLeaks contacts or an FBI investigation (also a part of the original, and false, story) were Butowsky and Fox News investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman.
The foregoing paragraph is utterly false, and Defendant Coaston knew it was false at the time she wrote her article. As noted above, Mr. Wheeler had previously admitted in a television interview that he confirmed Seth Rich's role in the DNC leak using his own sources. Furthermore, Mr. Wheeler's frivolous lawsuit had been dismissed almost two months before Ms. Coaston wrote the October 1, 2018 article. The story itself notes that Mr. Wheeler's lawsuit had been dismissed, yet Defendant Coaston repeated the false allegations as if they were true. In other words, she knowingly and maliciously defamed Mr. Butowsky.
104. The October 1, 2018 story by Defendant Coaston also contains the following false and malicious paragraphs:
In the retracted Washington Times story, Butowsky is also mentioned: “According to Ed Butowsky, an acquaintance of the family, in his discussions with Joel and Mary Rich, they confirmed that their son transmitted the DNC emails to Wikileaks.” But this was a lie. ...And for Aaron, it would only get worse. Butowsky and Matthew Couch, who began working together on the Seth Rich story in the summer of 2017, would go on to defame Aaron Rich’s character and argue that he was partially responsible for his only brother’s murder, even after Fox News distanced itself from its own false reporting on the Rich family. ...They also claimed that Aaron had refused to talk to law enforcement and stated that Aaron had known Seth would be murdered and had done nothing to stop it, aside from warning Seth’s girlfriend to break up with Seth for her own safety. (To be crystal clear, none of this happened.)
Contrary to the excerpt above, Mr. Butowsky never told a “lie” about Joel Rich's admission that his sons were involved in the leak, nor did Mr. Butowsky state that Aaron Rich was “partially responsible for his only brother’s murder.” Finally, Mr. Butowsky never “claimed that Aaron had refused to talk to law enforcement and stated that Aaron had known Seth would be murdered and had done nothing to stop it, aside from warning Seth’s girlfriend to break up with Seth for her own safety.” Ms. Coaston knowingly lied when she attributed these statements to Mr. Butowsky.
105. Even though Defendant Coaston knew that the allegations against Mr. Butowsky (and particularly Rod Wheeler's allegations against Mr. Butowsky) were false, she never contacted Mr. Butowsky or tried to get his side of the story. That's because she was more interested in advancing the RCH narrative than reporting the truth. On February 1, 2019, Mr. Butowsky (through counsel) asked Defendants Vox and Coaston to retract the false statements in the April 19, 2018 and October 1, 2018 articles. In an arrogant and condescending reply dated February 8, 2019, attorney Jeremy A. Chase of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP wrote that Defendants Vox and Coaston would not retract anything. He also went a step further, stating that the contents of the articles “are demonstrably true.” He will now be forced to prove that to a jury. The April 19, 2018 and October 1, 2018 still appear on the Vox website, and the Defendants' refusal to retract or correct those articles is further proof of actual malice. See Gonzales v. Hearst Corp., 930 S.W.2d 275, 283 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1996, no writ)(“Refusal to print a retraction is evidence of an action after the publication, but it can lend support to a claim that reckless disregard or knowledge existed at the time of publication”)(emphasis in original).
Defendants The New York Times and Fauer
106. In an August 2, 2018 article written by Defendant Fauer and published in Defendant NYT, Defendant Fauer cherry-picked quotes from a court order for the purpose of creating a false impression. Defendant Fauer wrote that “in his dismissal of the lawsuit [filed by Joel and Mary Rich], Judge George B. Daniels said he sympathized with Mr. Rich's parents, but added that they had not been personally defamed by the story – despite the fact that it included 'false statements or misrepresentations.'” Elsewhere, the story reports that Mr. Butowsky was intimately involved in developing this story that purportedly included “false statements or misrepresentations.” In reality, Judge Daniels never made a factual finding that the story included “false statements or misrepresentations.” Judge Daniels's order was premised on Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), and the order plainly states that under that rule, “a court 'accept[s] all factual allegations in the complaint as true ... and draw[s] all reasonable inferences' in favor of the plaintiff.” Rich v. Fox News Network, LLC, 322 F. Supp. 3d 487, 498 (S.D.N.Y. 2018), citing Holmes v. Grubman, 568 F.3d 329, 335 (2d Cir. 2009). Throughout the order, Judge Daniels made it very clear that he was merely restating the allegations in the Rich's complaint. In one sentence, for example, Judge Daniels wrote that “the only conduct that Plaintiffs specifically attribute to Fox News relates to its publication of articles and news reports containing allegedly false statements.” Id. at 501 (emphasis added). Nowhere in the order did Judge Daniels make a factual finding that the story included “false statements or misrepresentations,” and that's because the Fox story did not contain any “false statements or misrepresentations.”
107. The August 2, 2018 story also included the following quote from the order: “It is understandable that plaintiffs might feel that their grief and personal loss were taken advantage of, and that the tragic death of their son was exploited for political purposes.” In context, however, it is clear that the foregoing statement is premised on the assumption that the Rich's complaint was true. Elsewhere Defendant Fauer wrote, “Judge Daniels dismissed the accusations against [Mr. Butowsky and Malia Zimmerman], as well, saying that even though the story they had put together was untrue, their behavior did not meet the legal standard of 'extreme and outrageous conduct.'” Again, Judge Daniels made no such statement that “the story they had put together was untrue.” He never reached that issue, nor could he have reached it under Rule 12(b)(6).
108. A paragraph toward the end of the August 2, 2018 article is similarly misleading about the significance of the order:
Mr. Wheeler and his partners at Fox news had “embarked on a collective effort to support a sensational claim regarding Seth Rich's murder,” Judge Daniels wrote. Mr. Wheeler, the judge concluded, “cannot now seek to avoid the consequences of his own complicity and coordinated assistance in perpetuating a politically motivated story not having any basis in fact.”
The foregoing paragraph omits the fact that because Judge Daniels was ruling on a 12(b) (6) motion, he was not and could not make any factual findings. Judge Daniels was ruling only on Mr. Wheeler's complaint (and Mr. Wheeler had effectively plead himself out of court). Defendant Fauer's story, however, created the false impression that Judge Daniels made factual findings adverse to Mr. Butowsky.
109. Defendant Fauer normally covers court proceedings for Defendant NYT and he knew that Rule 12(b)(6) dismissals are not factual findings, yet he deliberately misrepresented Judge Daniels's order. Like the New York Times itself, Mr. Fauer is a partisan leftist who detests President Trump, and he knowingly smeared Mr. Butowsky because of his perceived affiliation with President Trump. Mr. Butowsky (through counsel) asked Defendants Fauer and NYT to correct or withdraw the defamatory statements in a letter dated February 6, 2019, but they refused. The Defendants' refusal to retract or correct those articles is further proof of actual malice. See Gonzales , 930 S.W.2d at 283.
110. All previous paragraphs are incorporated herein by reference.
111. Mr. Butowsky brings defamation claims against all Defendants because they or their agents published or conspired with others to publish false and defamatory statements about Mr. Butowsky as described above. Mr. Butowsky does not assert defamation claims based on allegations made in Aaron Rich v. Edward Butowsky, et al.
112. The defamation claims against Defendants Bauman, The Pastorum Group, Gail, Oliphant, Agrawal, and Massey & Gail LLP arise under New York law.
Business Disparagement
113. All previous paragraphs are incorporated herein by reference.
114. Mr. Butowsky brings business disparagement claims against all Defendants because they or their agents published or conspired with others to publish false and defamatory statements that caused harm to Mr. Butowsky's business and profession. As set forth in the attached Folkenflik complaint, Mr. Butowsky's work is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and allegations of fraud or dishonesty can cost him his professional licenses. Likewise, the Defendants allegations of fraud and dishonesty have cost him the trust (and business) of approximately one third of his clients. Mr. Butowsky does not assert business disparagement claims based on allegations made in Aaron Rich v. Edward Butowsky, et al.
Malicious Prosecution
115. All previous paragraphs are incorporated herein by reference.
116. Mr. Butowsky brings malicious prosecution claims against Defendants Bauman, The Pastorum Group, Gail, Oliphant, Agrawal, and Massey & Gail LLP under New York law because they or their agents conspired to prosecute and did prosecute Joel and Mary Rich v. Fox News Network, LLC, et al., Case No. 1:18-cv-02223 (S.D.N.Y.) with malice and without probable cause.
117. Mr. Butowsky brings malicious prosecution claims against Defendants Bauman, The Pastorum Group, Gregory Y. Porter, Michael L. Murphy, and Bailey & Glasser LLP under District of Columbia law because they or their agents conspired to prosecute Brad Bauman v. Edward Butowsky, et al., Case No. 1:18-cv-01191 (D.D.C.) with malice and without probable cause.
New York Judiciary Law § 487
118. All previous paragraphs are incorporated herein by reference.
119. Mr. Butowsky brings claims under New York Judiciary Law § 487 against Defendants Bauman, The Pastorum Group, Gail, Oliphant, Agrawal, and Massey & Gail LLP because they or their agents engaged in deceit and collusion.
Civil Rights Violations
120. All previous paragraphs are incorporated by reference.
121. Mr. Butowsky brings claims against Defendants Gottlieb, Governski, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Bauman, The Pastorum Group, Gail, Oliphant, Agrawal, Massey & Gail LLP, Gregory Y. Porter, Michael L. Murphy, and Bailey & Glasser, LLP under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3), and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). The foregoing Defendants conspired with government actors to violate the equal protection rights of the Plaintiff and to inhibit his right of access to the courts as guaranteed by the Article IV Privileges and Immunities Clause, the First Amendment Petition Clause, and the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clauses.
Civil Conspiracy
122. All previous paragraphs are incorporated by reference.
123. Defendants Gottlieb, Governski, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Bauman, The Pastorum Group, Gail, Oliphant, Agrawal, Massey & Gail LLP, Gregory Y. Porter, Michael L. Murphy, and Bailey & Glasser LLP participated in an overarching conspiracy to defame, discredit, intimidate, and silence Mr. Butowsky, and they are fully liable for one another's torts and statutory violations.
Request for Relief
The Plaintiff respectfully prays that upon a final hearing of this case, judgment be entered for him against the Defendants, for damages in an amount within the jurisdictional limits of the Court; together with pre-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law; post-judgment interest at the legal rate; back pay; costs of court; attorney fees; and such other and further relief to which the Plaintiff may be entitled at law or in equity.
Respectfully submitted,
/s/ Ty Clevenger
Ty Clevenger
Texas Bar No. 24034380
P.O. Box 20753
Brooklyn, New York 11202-0753
(979) 985-5289
(979) 530-9523 (fax)
Attorney for Plaintiff Edward Butowsky
Case 4:19-cv-00180-ALM-KPJ Document 62 Filed 07/15/19

DNC and CrowdStrike refuse to provide records about alleged Russian email hack
LawFlog - Ty Clevenger

URL: http://lawflog.com/?p=2224
Category: Legal
Published: July 23, 2019

Description: Last night, attorneys for the Democratic National Committee and CrowdStrike formally objected to subpoenas from Ed Butowsky, refusing to provide any records about whether DNC emails were leaked internally or hacked by Russians. The FBI also missed a deadline yesterday for providing records about Seth Rich. Surprise, surprise. Three years after the purported Russian attack on DNC servers, and nobody outside the DNC or its contractors has seen those servers. Why not? Frankly, I expected the DNC and CrowdStrike to balk, and I’ll be filing motions to compel in the next few weeks. You will recall that Roger Stone forced federal prosecutors to admit in late May that neither the FBI nor Special Counsel Robert Mueller had investigated the DNC servers that allegedly were hacked by Russians. Instead, Mueller and the FBI relied exclusively on a redacted report from CrowdStrike. To my knowledge, the U.S. Department of Justice had never before handed off a computer crime investigation to a third-party contractor hired by the alleged victim. Instead, the FBI (or some other law enforcement agency) had always investigated those crimes. Obviously, the DNC doesn’t want any independent investigation of its claims that Russian hackers — as opposed to a DNC employee like Seth Rich — were responsible for transferring DNC emails to Wikileaks. Here’s another subject to ponder. More than a year ago, the DNC filed a kamakaze lawsuit alleging that the Trump campaign and the Russian government had conspired to hack its servers, apparently in hopes that the lawsuit would keep the Russian collusion hoax alive through the 2018 elections. At the time, President Trump welcomed the lawsuit, saying it would finally allow for an independent inspection of the DNC’s servers. Why hasn’t that happened yet? The Trump campaign and some of the other defendants are represented by major law firms (as you would expect), and those firms have dutifully filed motions to dismiss, but it seems that none of those firms have demanded discovery, e.g., an opportunity to inspect the servers. Why not? And why didn’t some of the Congressional committee chairmen subpoena the servers when the House was under GOP control? Why isn’t Sen. Lindsey Graham doing it now? I’ve long observed that Republican lawyers (and Republicans generally) tend to be very cautious and even a little passive, whereas their Democratic counterparts tend to be hyper-aggressive. Maybe some of the defendants in DNC v. Russian Federation need to light a fire under their lawyers. If somebody had demanded access to the DNC servers back in 2018, the Russian collusion hoax might have collapsed a lot earlier, and Nancy Pelosi might not be Speaker of the House.

Correction: Ellen Ratner only relayed information about Seth Rich, according to Butowsky
LawFlog - Ty Clevenger

URL: http://lawflog.com/?p=2248
Category: Legal
Published: July 28, 2019

Description: Several readers identified a contradiction between a lawsuit that I drafted on behalf of Ed Butowsky versus what he said in an interview. The mistake is mine Ellen Ratner only relayed information from Julian Assange about Seth Rich, but she said nothing about his brother, Aaron, according to Mr. Butowsky. Paragraph 45 of the First Amended Complaint in Edward Butowsy v. Michael Gottlieb, et al. mistakenly says she relayed information about both. Mr. Butowsky said he knew nothing about Aaron’s alleged involvement until he had a phone conversation with Joel Rich, father of Seth and Aaron. Wikileaks supporters pointed out that the error could lead readers to believe that Julian Assange had identified a living source, as opposed to one who had been murdered. To date, neither Wikileaks nor Mr. Assange have identified any of their living sources without permission from those sources. That’s why we asked Aaron Rich more than a year ago to authorize Wikileaks to reveal whether he was involved in leaking emails from the Democratic National Committee. Thus far, he and his lawyers have refused to do so.

Bank on it: the FBI is hiding records about Seth Rich
LawFlog - Ty Clevenger

URL: http://lawflog.com/?p=2258
Category: Legal
Published: October 15, 2019

Description: For two years, I’ve blogged about allegations that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich — not the Russians — was responsible for providing embarrassing DNC emails to Wikileaks. I think we’re finally getting close to the end zone. Last week, I provided the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn with clear evidence that FBI officials were hiding records about Mr. Rich, who was murdered in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2016. Two days after I filed the motion, Judge Lois Bloom ordered the FBI to respond. The FBI filed a response this afternoon, and it only makes the government look worse. Before I get to that, let me provide a little background. In my original motion filed on October 8, 2019, I included a transcript from Michael Isikoff’s interview of Deborah Sines, the former federal prosecutor assigned to the Rich case. According to Mr. Isikoff and Ms. Hines, the FBI did investigate Mr. Rich’s computer after his death. That’s huge, because in response to my Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the FBI has maintained all along that it conducted a “reasonable” search for records about Mr. Rich and it found nothing. The FBI has also maintained that it was never involved in the investigation of Mr. Rich’s death. The latter part may be technically true, but I didn’t ask for records about a murder investigation. I asked for all records about Seth Rich, which would include all FBI investigations pertaining to Mr. Rich, e.g., records indicating whether he was the source of Democratic National Committee emails published by Wikileaks. Now, back to today’s events. In the response filed this afternoon, the FBI attacked the statements of Mr. Isikoff and Ms. Hines as “unsworn” and “hearsay,” and it insisted that it did not need to conduct any more searches for records about Mr. Rich. Mind you, I’m just asking the FBI to pick up the phone and call its Computer Analysis Response Team (“CART”) and ask whether CART has any records about Seth Rich. The FBI refuses to do that, even though it has twice called the Washington Field Office (“WFO”) to ask whether WFO had any records about Mr. Rich. According to the FBI, any CART records would have shown up in the index search of the FBI’s Central Records System (“CRS”). As I explained in a September 17, 2019 motion, however, the FBI had already admitted that not everything gets entered in the CRS. And now we’ve got the former prosecutor who was assigned to Seth Rich’s case admitting that the FBI investigated his electronic devices… yet the FBI refuses to search for records in CART, the place where such records would most likely be found. Suspicious, no? Judge Bloom scheduled a telephone hearing for 11:15 a.m. on Friday, October 15, 2019, to discuss my motion and the FBI’s response. As you can see from that motion, I’ve asked for permission to take testimony from Ms. Sines, the chief of CART, and the head of the FBI’s FOIA response unit. Somebody’s got some ‘splaining to do. Incidentally, a couple of sources forwarded an October 2, 2019 press release about a former D.C. federal prosecutor who was investigated for leaking information from a D.C. Superior Court grand jury. Any grand jury investigation of Mr. Rich’s murder would have occurred before a Superior Court grand jury, and Ms. Sines made some pretty shocking revelations to Mr. Isikoff. Is she the leaker?

We now have unequivocal proof that the FBI is hiding records about Seth Rich
LawFlog - Ty Clevenger

URL: http://lawflog.com/?p=2282
Category: Legal
Published: January 27, 2020

Description: The FBI is hiding documents about murdered Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich, according to emails released last week, so this morning I requested a criminal investigation into the cover-up. As most people outside of solitary confinement know, the whole “Russian collusion” investigation began with the premise that Russia hacked the DNC, but considerable evidence suggests that the DNC emails were downloaded by someone inside the DNC — liike Mr. Rich — and then provided to Wikileaks. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I’ve copied and pasted my letter to U.S. Attorney John Durham, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue, and Inspector General Michael Horowitz:
Mr. Durham, Mr. Donoghue and Mr. Horowitz:

I wish to file a criminal complaint regarding false statements made by FBI Section Chief David M. Hardy in two affidavits [click here and here] filed in the FOIA case identified above [i.e., Ty Clevenger v. U.S. Department of Justice, et al., Civil Action No. 18-CV-01568]. I requested FBI records pertaining to Seth Rich, who allegedly was the source of Democratic National Committee emails published by Wikileaks in 2016 (rather than Russian hackers). In the affidavits (attached to the email version of this letter), Mr. Hardy testified that his office conducted a reasonable search, and it found no responsive records.

New evidence proves otherwise, and it appears that Mr. Hardy has perpetrated a fraud on the court. Judicial Watch recently published documents that it obtained in response to a FOIA request for communications between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page (https://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-conten ... -00154.pdf), and I would direct your attention to pages 123-125. In those pages, you will find a heavily-redacted email discussion regarding Mr. Rich. Note that the header on those emails is “Seth Rich.”

I defy Mr. Hardy to provide an innocent explanation for his office’s failure to produce these emails, and I suspect the misconduct reaches far beyond my specific FOIA request. Several facts are worth noting:

* Mr. Hardy touts the reasonableness of relying on the FBI’s Central Records System (“CRS”), but note that CRS does not search the FBI email system. That sort of half-baked, designed-to-fail search methodology would never be tolerated in litigation among private parties, yet it appears to be standard operating procedure at the FBI. And note that when I asked the FBI to search its email systems, it arbitrarily refused.

* Mr. Hardy’s staff purportedly searched for “Seth Conrad Rich” but failed to search for “Seth Rich,” another tactic designed to exclude responsive records.

* According to Mr. Hardy’s affidavit, the only records indexed by CRS are those that are manually designated by FBI personnel. Undoubtedly, FBI personnel know that they can immunize their email communications from FOIA requests simply by omitting the subject matter from the CRS, because Mr. Hardy will subsequently declare (1) that a CRS search is sufficient and (2) there is no need to conduct an email search.

I have previously written to Mr. Durham regarding evidence that the FBI was hiding information about Mr. Rich, and I have attached a December 13, 2019 order issued in Butowsky v. Folkenflik, Case No. 4:18-cv-00442-ALM-CMC (E.D. Tex.). Please see pages 23-29 in particular. Finally, I have attached an October 8, 2019 reply in the FOIA case, and it notes a previous occasion wherein Mr. Hardy provided inaccurate information to a court.

It appears that FBI personnel are deliberately hiding records about Seth Rich and deliberately deceiving the court about the reasonableness of their searches for those records. Worse, this sort of bad-faith non-compliance appears to be the norm.

I request that your respective offices investigate to determine whether responsive information has been withheld intentionally, and whether Mr. Hardy knowingly submitted false affidavits to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Thank you for your consideration.

/s/ Ty Clevenger

FBI doubles down on Seth Rich cover-up
LawFlog - Ty Clevenger

URL: http://lawflog.com/?p=2304
Category: Legal
Published: January 29, 2020

Description: When you get caught with your pants down, just deny the obvious. That appears to be the strategy of the FBI, according to a letter I received from this afternoon from the Justice Department. The letter from Asst. U.S. Attorney Kathleen Mahoney maintains — despite clear documentary proof to the contrary — that the FBI conducted a “reasonable search” for records about Seth Rich, the murdered Democratic National Committee employee who (rather than Russian hackers) is alleged to have leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks. Since your humble correspondent still works a day job (with lots of deadlines), I’ll let you read the letter addressed to Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom and analyze it for yourself. Just click here for the letter, and click here for the exhibits to the letter. Incidentally, I asked Judicial Watch to provide a declaration authenticating that it received the emails cited above in response to a FOIA request to the FBI, and Judicial Watch refused. What is that about? I needed the declaration so I could submit the emails as evidence in court (although Ms. Mahoney’s letter obviates that need). In my experience, Judicial Watch likes to hog the spotlight (specifically the Fox News studio cameras) and often does not play well with others. That’s unfortunate, because those of us seeking the truth should be working together. And it’s not like I’m a threat to JW’s multi-million dollar fundraising operation.
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Full Audio

Postby smix » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:06 pm

Full Audio
YouTube - DeBunking Rod Wheeler

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VaQcglmZvY
Category: Politics
Published: July 21, 2019

Description: Seymour Hersh - Ed Butowsky conversation recording

Hersh [Butowsky in parentheses] : I'll tell you what I know well I know it comes off an FBI report
don't have see how you could figure out I've been around long enough the kid gets I don't think
he was murdered I think I don't think it was murdered because of what he knew the kids a nice
boy 27 he was not an IT expert but he learned stuff he was a data programmer but he learned
stuff and so he's living on one street some what my eyes I'm gonna when he's living in a very
rough neighborhood it's a neighborhood that changes are you know in transit being gentrified
and in the exact earlier was where he did they've been about ten I'm sure you know that they've
been about eight or nine or ten violence not robberies most of them with somebody brandishing
a gun and in the kids hands I'm telling you what I'm sure you know his answer marked up the
cops concluded he fought off the people tried to run and they shot off of the back with a twenty
two small caliber over and then the the kids who did it ran they got scared didn't take its wallet
okay so what'd the cops do this and here's what nobody knows or I'm telling you now maybe
you know some above it when you have a death like that DC cops if your case you generally
don't just go yes they're kind of what the motiv what's going on you you have to get to the kids
apartment and see what you could find if he's dead you don't need a warrant but most cops get
a warrant because they don't know if the guy has a roommate if you need a warrant so they get
a warrant I'm just telling you there is such a thing they go in the house and they can't do much
with his computer it's password the cops can't do much about it so the DC cops they have a
cyber unit in DC and they're more sophisticated they come and look at it the idea is maybe he's
had a series of exchanges of somebody says I'm going to kill you motherfucker over a girl you
know and they can't get in would be they are the cyber guys do a little better but they can't make
sense of it so they call the they call the FBI cyber unit a DC the DC unit since the Washington
field office is a hot-shit unit the guy running the Washington field office he's like he's like you
know he's like a three star at an army base he's ready looking for four you know what I mean
he's gonna go into a top job right that's a job and they're good do you know [do you know his
name] no [okay] I mean I I can know it [I was just wondering] I just know I don't know who the I
don't know who I don't know look I know who runs a field office he's public but there's a cyber
unit there that's excellent [okay okay okay I got that] what you get in a warrant the public
information you get in the warrant doesn't include it it does not include the affidavit underlying
what why are you going in what the reasons are that's almost never available I I can tell you that
the existence of a warrant it's a public document 99% of the time [okay] okay so they and the
same warrant they call in the said the feds get through and here's what they find this is
according to the FBI report what they find is he makes personal first of all you have to know you
have to you have to know some basic facts with one of the basic facts is no there's no DNC or
Podesta emails that that exists beyond May 22nd May 21st twenty second the last email from
either one of those groups and so this so what the report says at some time in late spring we're
talking about June you know summers in June 21st late spring would be after I presume I don't
know I just say oh it says late spring early summer he makes contact with WikiLeaks that's in
this computer and he makes contact now I have to be careful because I don't I met Julian and
you're Julian 10, 12 years I stay the fuck away from people like that you know I didn't he's
invited me and when I'm in London I always get a message come see me at the Ecuadorian
embassy this oh fuck no way I'm going there I got enough trouble without getting photographed
so every fuckin day he's on the total surveillance by everybody and including cygnets so I don't
know how he got in contact but I'm working on it there's there is a way to talk to to let people
know there's something called signal I'm not sure but anyway they found what he had done he
had submitted a series of documents of emails some juicy emails from the you know by the way
all this shit about the DNC you know was it hacked or wasn't hacked but whatever happened the
Democrats themselves wrote this shit you know what I mean [well yes but also the Republicans
and they hired that group but when you say he submitted] but you know who started that group
with the kids and stuff*** Rubio [yeah exactly but when you say] how do you know that?
[because well people have told me but it was it was Rubio, McCain, and Bush that found this
former MI6 guy] well you know we have to talk more about that because I'll tell you I know
Simpson knew them for years that's Steele but you know the [Simpson who's Simpson?] let me
keep on going all right [let's go back said let's just go back said] let me go back to my narrative
right you can answer [okay] all I know is that he offered a sample an extensive sampling I'm
sure dozens of email and said I want money [okay] that later WikiLeaks did get the password he
had a Dropbox I'll protect the drop box which isn't hard to do I mean you don't have to be a
wizard IT wizard wasn't even he was certainly you know not a dumb kid they got access to the
Dropbox he also this is also in the FBI report he'd also let people know with whom he was
dealing and I don't know how he was dealt I'll tell you about WikiLeaks in a second I don't know
how he dealt with the WikiLeaks and the mechanism but he also the word was passed
according the FBI report he also shared this box with a couple of friends so if anything happens
to me you know it's not going to solve your problem okay I don't know what that means I don't
know what he was anyway but WikiLeaks got access and before he was killed Roger Stone was
talking about this file publicly about five days before the kid was killed so I don't think the kid I
don't think they're killing anything to do with anything although one of the lawyers the family now
has been mouthing off about the Russians killed him I will tell you right now there's not the
Russians may indeed have broken in they may indeed and I'll tell you right now we and the
Russians are like babes compared to the Chinese the Chinese are pinging everything I mean
everybody knows you're always being pinged the Democratic National Committee probably had
a lot of anyway whatever happened I do not I can tell you right now Brennan's an asshole I've
known all these people for years Clapper's sort of a better guy but not rocket scientists the NSA
guy's a fuckin moron and they don't you know the trouble with all those guys is the only the only
way they're gonna make it to a board or to two get, you know, and get hired by SAIC to deliver
some fat-cat contracts is if Hillary stayed in, with Trump they're gone you know they done they
can live on their pension they're not gonna make it and I gotta tell you guys in that job they don't
want to live on their pension they want to be on boards like their predecessors [sure] you know
make 600,000 bucks for going to four visits to some dumb company anyway but there you are
[so so let's go back] so yeah that's what I know so I can't even begin to go and so the question
then is is was there any money in the kids finances did suddenly $25,000 K show up? I mean
I've gone to Assange's people I know somebody I don't like Julian but I've gone to somebody
who works for him that was close to him and once everything was okay we were speaking on a
signal as a classified something the government can't break into an encryption stuff it's good
actually Snowden is on it. [I use signal as well] it's the best by the way you know who's the
honcho right now for signal? their main advisor Edward Snowden they pay a lot of money to him
Snowden he doesn't love the Russians either you know because he knows what assholes they
are I don't know anyway he did what he did he's never coming back he fucked up so [I want to
go back to something or we go back to somebody I'm gonna mess up so not Joe Joel's the
father and I've spoken with Joel and my my initial feeling being a Jewish boy and I know you
know I don't think that has a lot to do with it but I think you understand what I mean is here's] my
father's families out of the Ukraine my father's villages like right fair enough*** [well the name
like Sy Hersh I kind of figured you were ***] Oh even more I work guys I do anything I was
always a good athlete but I had a fight for years over my fuckin name. [I would too but putting
but putting that aside I felt bad for this kid I felt bad for the parents because the parents I knew
weren't going to get any information at all from the Washington police or the FBI and they're just
left out completely in the dark they have no they don't know anything and when I heard
something through another channel it made me get really interested in it and more and more
and more but what you're saying is that he uploaded stuff into the WikiLeaks Dropbox and they
pulled it down and that's where the Podesta and DNC emails came from] yes it doesn't preclude
Russians also hacking him I just don't think that you know it's always a occam's razor it was
WikiLeaks got them you know by the way nobody you know Julian's a complete fucking lunatic
you know and you know he's when I first met him was about ten years ago in Italy at a
conference he came up to me he's an albino and he was on the run from Aussie from he's an
Australian but he broken in there and what he did is he wanted to see me and I said why he said
I break in everything he turned out he broken into the fucking FBI the CIA the Pentagon I don't
want to deal with him but he was going to start this service and I said god speed buddy because
he was lethal he was under warrant because he broken into everything in banks and shit like
that and credit cards in Australia was so [yeah I understand but I want to stay focused on one
thing just for a moment] yeah [you saw a report you saw the FBI report?] no I have somebody I
have somebody on the inside you know I've been around a long time I write a lot of stuff I have
some on the inside who will go and read a file for me and I know this person is unbelievably
accurate and careful he's a very high-level guy he'll do a favor [and is there any way we can get
our hands on the report because because that changes everything] You know I'll tell you
something I learned a long time ago I do have some amazing shit but I don't use it ever because
I never know a marking you know I never know if there's a marking or a phrase that would
trigger who where it came from so I am careful about that stuff and you know we're coming into
new age of surveillance now you know I think some of these guys Flynn and all that they're
gonna up the surveillance shit but that's okay *** [this particular] I can't get the report I cannot
get the report but I can probably get the warrant but it won't show anything I mean I'm sure I can
get the warrant I know where it is it'll just show they issued a warrant which is normal doesn't
mean shit except that except that it confirms something my friend told me because he said there
was a warrant and I can tell you right now you don't need a warrant if somebody's dead you only
get it if you think there's a roommate so that's interesting [I'd like I'd like to have anything at all
but most importantly this is one of the most important docu] what do you'd like to have it why?
[well what I'm saying is I would love to see if they had it I mean there's no reason not to see it
but the most important thing is this everyone there's so many people throughout Trump's you
know for years and maybe eight years are always gonna fall back on the idea that he's not
legitimate and the Russians got him elected this changes all of that] well you know it let me tell
you something this is the reason I'm pushing it because at least it's and it doesn't you know I
wish Trump would when one of me and people march woman marching wearing pink and all
that stuff you know they're mad at him for the sexual stuff he said you know I wish he would just
say something more instead of saying the crowds not big you know that kind of shit I wish he
would be a little grownup [well of course] I would tell you Mattis is the best Mattis is a grownup
and as long as Mattis is there he's not you know and long as he listens to Mattis he's gonna be I
mean I do know that I know people were I know people work there are a couple of people I
know work for Trump are first-rate there's a lot of loonies around I don't think Bannon is as mad
as crazy as everybody else does either now [Bannon's a great guy I know him] he's crazy I
know that he's very smart you know he's also he's also literate I'm he's a very literary guy [yeah
no I know a lot of them too but I want to get this] I don't want to get near this I write the I don't
play politics I don't go III Obama was a piece of shit on foreign stuff I thought he was on racial
stuff I thought he was fine the Democrats did nothing Trump won because the Democrats didn't
do nothing for anybody but but having said that the last thing I want to do is go go to the White
House and say look what I have so you fuck you I don't do they're [right but you give it to me
and I'll do it] by the way Larry even though Larry Larry like a lot of people I know Johnson
supports Trump because he you know you got to change the system as I said circuit breaker
you gotta break the system because our foreign policy we know we're in fucking Afghanistan for
16 years right and the war on terror how the fuck we doing how's the war going after 16 years
right and Trump you know Trump also you know in in in the the you got the Iike in a way in for in
the foresight stagger those 19 20th century novels about upper-class England there was
something known as a gentleman of means and the gentleman of means were guys who had a
lot of money who did not like trouble they didn't like wars a guy like Trump that has so many
assets all over the world he may actually be somebody who's gonna say when you look at the
scorecard here and Afghanistan [no no I'm in agreement with all that I'm trying to just focus in on
this because later] what do you do you know anything more I mean the family knows nothing
they've told nothing [I know and I just wanted cuz I have to leave in a second to go to I have a
lunch downtown at your one o'clock my 12 o'clock] but tell me what you know what tell me what
you know so my pen it down you're not gonna I'm not quoting about anything I know that what
do I know I [I know the Julian Assange told a friend of mine who met with her that he got the
emails from Seth Rich and he told] whoa [they're very personal friends and] who's personal
friends? [and she told me and that's what has got] the woman who told you is a personal friend
[of Julian's] not Sarah not Sarah Harrison? [no no no it's not her and she told] why would he tell
somebody that? [because he's he has] was he trying to mate her was he trying to fuck her?
What that's all he thinks about [no that's not what this is about at all trust me because she's a
lesbian so my point is is that when that happened I got very emotional about hearing that and
feeling terrible for Seth's parents and I initially just wanted to let the parents know because they
should know what happened to their son] go ahead [that's why I started getting really into this
because then though then the whole thing came up about the hacking with the Russians and I
just happened to have been looking into it when that happened and we solve a lot of problems
especially letting a mother and father know what happened to their son and second we solved
the problem about Russians are the ones that gave the emails because that did not happen I
know that did not happen] bitching I'm gonna tell you something and you're just gonna have to
trust me I have what they call in my business long form journalism I have a narrative of how that
whole fucking thing began it's a Brennan operation it was American disinformation and fucking
the freaking president at one point when they said they even started telling the press they were
back briefing the press they had NSA was going and telling the press fucking cocksucker
Rogers was telling the press that we even know who in the GRU the Russian and the Russian
military intelligence service who leaked it I mean all bullshit they were telling these two I worked
at the New York Times for fucking years and sure was a fuckin New York Times that they have
smart guys but they're totally beholden on sources it's the president or the next the head of the
CIA tells them something to actually believe they I was heard at the Times to write about to go
after the war in Vietnam or in 72 because they were just locked in so that's what the Times is
these guys run the fuckin times and Trump's not wrong but I mean I wish he would calm down
had a better press secretary don't you have to be so Trump's not wrong to think they were all
fucking lied about him and when [okay only be gonna have to go I understand all that I just want
to focus on this] we'll call me later not you know I want to focus on this doctor yeah I've been
doing this for four I don't need to be rude yeah the story I've been doing this story since the late
summer because I smelled it I smelled it in August okay good the fallback was going to be
Russia and it's it's and I'll tell you right now uh Putin maybe a prick but he's he's played of weak
hand if you play poker he's played of weak hand brilliantly he's fuckin smart and he will eat you
know there's a lot of business that could be done together not only internationals I'm not worried
about money business I've talked about political business because Putin hates the fuckin Isis as
much as we do you know the Russia's against religion nuts anyway let's talk later I you know I if
you tell me you know somebody that Julian said it to I mean I'm gonna push you hard I don't
have to I don't you can take my word but I'm not going to expose anybody but I have to hear it
[well yeah but I can tell you that and I will] call me back*** don't don't think don't get late
because of me [right but I'm just trying to get something in my hand that I can get public] about
no hey man listen that that's not what I'm no no no no that's not what you know what I'm talking
to you because my buddy Larry who I think a lot of for a long time you know he said you know
he used to teach graduate courses at American University here in Washington he was you know
he's he's no dummy I mean I don't really got a PhD or not but he used to teach graduate
courses in politics and I remember the first time he nagged me like hell in the 80s that comes to
speak to his class he was still in agency then and when I went there the guy speaking in front of
me was William Coakley the head of the CIA I mean so Larry's got you Larry told me to call you
I call you but I'm not I'm not turning I'm not trying to give you something to go to the White
House but that's not what it's about right okay so what you know because I want on writing
something that's all right I mean maybe that doesn't work it was the work we shouldn't talk are
you kidding me I can tell you right now Mattis knows what I know [Got it] yeah okay [all right] it's
already been done that doesn't make it true I understand doesn't make it true I'll call you okay
let's talk later when you have time

Ellen Ratner (Fox News) tells of her meeting with Julian Assange on Nov. 5 2016
YouTube - EmbryRiddleUniv

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M3Z4eE6cJA
Category: Politics
Published: July 21, 2019

Description: Ellen Ratner can confirm that the Saturday before the Election 2016, she met with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for 3 hours. He told her that Russia did not "hack" the DNC, it was from an internal source. This interview was conducted on November 9, 2016, the day after elections. It was uploaded to YouTube from EmbryRiddleUniv channel on November 14, 2016. Full video in the link. Clip discovered by the great folks at Conservative Treehouse.


Speaker Series: John LeBoutillier and Ellen Ratner

Wednesday, November 9: Left to Right After Election Day with John LeBoutillier and Ellen Ratner

Fox News analyst Ellen Ratner, representing the left, and former Congressman now Fox political analyst John Leboutillier, from the right, discuss the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election.


Julian Assange on Seth Rich
YouTube - Nieuwsuur

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp7FkLBRpKg
Category: Politics
Published: August 9, 2016

Description: Julian Assange seems to suggest on Dutch television program Nieuwsuur that Seth Rich was the source for the Wikileaks-exposed DNC emails and was murdered.

Questions over Juilian Assange's claims
YouTube - Fox News

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofHywM0xdsE
Category: Politics
Published: January 3, 2017

Description: Bias Bash: Ellen Ratner on why the media should be taking claims by Julian Assange that Russia did not leak DNC documents more seriously

Hannity Interview: WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Fox News FULL INTERVIEW
YouTube - WesternTruthTV

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6bTUrQgYDM
Category: Politics
Published: January 4, 2017

Description: WikiLeaks Julian Assange Interview Sean Hannity in London 1/3/2017 - fox news Interview

George Webb - Exclusive: Crowdsource the Truth Interviews Rod Wheeler
YouTube - Character Driven

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuq6ylMKS3U
Category: Politics
Published: June 6, 2017

Description: An amazing interview with Seth Rich investigator Rod Wheeler who has been virtually shut down by those that should be the most interested in getting to the truth.

CN Live! Episode 3 With Nancy Hollander, Margaret Kimberley, Ed Botowsky and Ray McGovern
YouTube - Consortium News

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jTWusYYnUs
Category: Politics
Published: July 26, 2019

Description: Chelsea Manning’s lawyer gave an update on the imprisoned whistleblower; Margaret Kimberly spoke on the dangerous mix of nationalism and racism and the Seth Rich controversy was dissected on the 3rd episode of CN Live!

* 1:01:16 to 1:03:15: Lauria alludes to Isikoff’s imaginative reporting, and then introduces Ed Butowsky
* 1:03:15 to 1:41:52: Lauria Interviews Butowski
* 1:51:30 to 2:17:15: Ray’s commentary and Lauria’s preview of next week’s CN Live!

Ray McGovern: Did Murdered DNC Staffer Seth Rich Leak the Hillary-Damaging Emails?
This issues surrounding the July 10, 2016 murder of DNC employee Seth Rich remain forbidden fruit for corporate media, with the pitiable exception of poor Michael Isikoff (of “Russian Roulette” fame), who keeps heaping discredit upon himself by stitching together out of whole cloth stories his paymasters at Yahoo News seem to like. In contrast, in a reprise of The White Rose Nazi resisters Sophie and Hans Scholl, whose by-word was “We Will Not Be Silent,” Consortium News Editor in Chief Joe Lauria and co-host of CN Live!, investigative reporter Elizabeth Vos, have undertaken to confront the neuralgic issue of Seth Rich head on. In a word, they are outright guilty of practicing real journalism — and remain unrepentant..Homing in on what Seth and Aaron Rich seem to have been involved in, Lauria and Vos unabashedly harken back to now-arcane investigative techniques like, for example, interviewing people who may be in a position to know something relevant. Moreover, mirable dictu, a Court proceeding now under way is likely to move the truth closer to front and center, just as other Court trials have debunked the evidence-less charge that the Internet Research Agency is controlled by the Russian government, and — hold onto your hat — the until-now unquestioned assumption that there is credible proof that the Russians “hacked” into the DNC in the first place.

Ed Butowsky on the ongoing Seth Rich controversy
YouTube - Consortium News

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrtSGGklGmM
Category: Politics
Published: July 28, 2019

Description: Ed Butowsky responds to claims made in Michael Isikoff's podcast series 'Conspiracyland' about the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich in 2016. Butowsky refers us to statements made by veteran journalist Sy Hersh and Ellen Ratner, sister of the former WikiLeaks lawyer Michael Ratner.

CN Live! Episode 4 With Kim Dotcom, Bill Binney, Mike Gravel and George Szamuely
YouTube - Consortium News

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI7xdFqAN_o
Category: Politics
Published: August 2, 2019

Description: Mike Gravel discusses this week’s Democratic debates he was shut out of; plus CN Live!‘s interview with Kim Dotcom on the DNC and Podesta leaks, and who leaked them, is dissected by Bill Binney, former NSA technical director. The fourth episode of CN Live!, featured former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel, discussing this week’s Democratic Party debates that he was prevented from joining despite meeting the DNC requirements; and internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom on the DNC and Podesta emails and how they got to WikiLeaks. Kim’s interview, taped earlier in New Zealand, was aired here for the first time, and was analyzed by Bill Binney, the former National Security Agency technical director. All on CN Live! with hosts Elizabeth Vos and Joe Lauria, with post-game analysis by George Szamuely.

KIM: "I formed a political party in NZ called the Internet Party and... announced that we will have an Internet Party in the USA... I was approached by a young gentleman over Twitter with the Twitter handle Panda-something and he told me that he's working with the Democrat Party and he was fed up with what was happening in the US and he would be interested to talk with me. And then I took that straight into an encrypted channel where we chatted about what's going on and we had a few back and forth and he told me that he had information that would be quite shocking if it was made public. He believed that there was massive corruption going on within the DNC. He was very concerned about voter fraud... So I said look, this was all very interesting, but I was in the middle of my case and I was involved in this massive fight against the US so I did not want to be the recipient of any of that information. So I put him in touch with someone that I know in the data security space that is very knowledgeable and has worked with WikiLeaks in the past and I simply established the contact between that person and this person. And everything that happened after that is what we know know as the DNC leaks / hack."

Ed Butowsky | ACWT Interview 7.30.19
YouTube - Debbie Georgatos

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6jsgpl6ssg
Category: Politics
Published: July 30, 2019

Description: Seth Rich, Ed Butowsky & Wikileaks

Ray McGovern Drops BOMBSHELL on Free Assange Vigil
YouTube - Action 4 Assange

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQVgId2Fh1U
Category: Politics
Published: December 5, 2019

Description: Former CIA intel analyst Ray McGovern joins the crew.

Attorney: FBI had been lying about the murder of Seth Rich
YouTube - One America News Network

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZFEa1K1l8Y
Category: Politics
Published: February 6, 2020

Description: An attorney has uncovered heavily redacted emails from the FBI, which indicated the agency has been providing false testimony on former DNC staffer Seth Rich who was murdered in 2016. One America's Caitlin Sinclair has more from New York.

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Judge green-lights libel suit against NPR over Seth Rich reports

Postby smix » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:23 am

Judge green-lights libel suit against NPR over Seth Rich reports

URL: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/ ... ch-1452707
Category: Legal
Published: August 7, 2019

Description: A federal judge has rejected National Public Radio’s bid to dismiss a Texas investment adviser’s libel suit over news reports about conspiracy theories surrounding the death of a Democratic National Committee staffer during the 2016 campaign. Judge Amos Mazzant of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled Wednesday that the $57 million suit brought by Ed Butowsky makes plausible claims that the network may be liable for defamation for a series of online stories about Butowsky’s role in publicizing assertions that the staffer, Seth Rich, was murdered as part of a broader political plot. NPR’s attorneys argued that the reports by NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik accurately described a separate, prior lawsuit filed by Ed Wheeler, a private investigator and former Washington, D.C., homicide detective whom Butowsky hired to explore the Rich case and who wound up suing Fox News and Butowsky for defamation after accusing Fox of fabricating quotations in a story about Rich’s murder. Fox eventually retracted the online story it published, although Fox News primetime host Sean Hannity publicly declared that he was not retracting his statements about Rich’s murder, including unproven claims that Rich may have been killed because of some role in leaking Democratic National Committee emails that U.S. officials say Russia hacked into and handed off to WikiLeaks. In his 37-page ruling Wednesday, Mazzant said Butowsky’s suit against NPR, Folkenflik and top NPR editors met the legal standard to proceed. “Plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts which plausibly show the Reports were not fair, true, and impartial accounts of the Wheeler complaint,” Mazzant wrote. “Additionally, even if the statements are considered a true report of the Wheeler complaint, as Defendants argue, the organization of the comments combined with the speculative commentary imply wrongdoing.” Most worrisome for NPR may be the judge’s conclusion that Butowsky did not appear to qualify as a public figure as a result of his financial support for Wheeler’s probe and various actions taken to publicize it. If the judge persists in that view, the network could lose the protections that normally shield news outlets from liability when reporting on matters of public concern. “At this stage of the proceedings, the facts do not show Plaintiff had anything more than a tangential role in the controversy surrounding the Seth Rich investigation,” the judge wrote. The ruling means the lawsuit will proceed to the discovery process, including demands for documents and depositions from the journalists involved, Butowsky and others. Both sides in the case filed a motion Wednesday to facilitate that fact-gathering. NPR spokeswoman Isabel Lara downplayed the significance of the judge’s decision and said the network remained confident in the stories. “This is an early ruling,” Lara said in a statement. “NPR stands behind its reporting and will continue to defend the lawsuit vigorously. NPR is a public service news organization. We are a trusted source of information for millions of Americans and we take this responsibility very seriously, as we did in this coverage.” An attorney for Butowsky, Ty Clevenger, said he hoped the decision would prompt NPR to resolve the case. “If NPR and Folkenflik are smart, they will try to settle quickly,” the attorney said. NPR argued that many of the claims in its reports, like assertions that Fox’s reporting on the Rich murder was “baseless” and “fake news,” amounted to opinion and not the kind of factual claims that can be the basis for a libel suit. But Mazzant disagreed. “The statements made by Folkenflik were made as verifiable statements of fact,” the judge wrote. “The statements at issue were not merely expressing a subjective view. Looking at the context of the verifiable facts, nothing shows the statements expressed Folkenflik’s opinion or merely offer Folkenflik’s personal perspective on disputed facts.” Clevenger said he thinks the ruling “bodes well” for several other libel suits Butowsky is pursuing, including against CNN, Fox News and The New York Times, as well as Wheeler and his attorneys. The cases are all pending before Mazzant, who is an appointee of President Barack Obama. The judge was nominated in 2014 as part of a compromise with Texas’ Republican senators. Mazzant has repeatedly been sought out by conservative litigants seeking to challenge Obama policies.

Court reinstates suit against Fox News over Seth Rich murder saga

URL: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/ ... ch-1494617
Category: Legal
Published: September 13, 2019

Description: National Committee staffer Seth Rich against Fox News over its role in an alleged scheme to falsely link Rich to the disclosure of DNC emails to WikiLeaks. A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously Friday that a lower-court judge was wrong to dismiss the suit in which Joel and Mary Rich alleged they were targeted by Fox, its reporter Malia Zimmerman and a wealthy Texas money manager, Ed Butowsky, in a bizarre scheme to drag the Riches’ murdered son into an international controversy over hacked Democratic emails. The appeals court panel said the Riches’ suit had enough merit — at least on its surface — to allow the case to proceed. “We have no trouble concluding that — taking their allegations as true — the Riches plausibly alleged what amounted to a campaign of emotional torture,” Judge Guido Calabresi wrote, joined by Judges Christopher Droney and Stefan Underhill. The Riches’ suit, which named Zimmerman and Butowsky as defendants along with the cable news channel, was not framed as a defamation case, but instead as a complaint for intentional infliction of emotional distress and for interference with a contract the family had with a private investigator who also worked for Fox, Rod Wheeler. The suit alleges that Butowsky paid for the Riches to retain Wheeler, fed him unsubstantiated information that a federal official said Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks prior to his death, then arranged for Fox to publish stories on that alleged link. The Riches’ attorneys claim Wheeler wasn’t allowed to comment to the media without permission from the family but Fox made his comments public anyway, taking advantage of his previous allegiance to the network. U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels said those alleged steps, taken individually, were not so outrageous to sustain a suit for inflicting emotional distress, but the appeals court said when all the claims were considered they did meet the standard. “These allegations, taken together, plausibly rise to the level of extreme and outrageous conduct,” Calabresi said. The 2nd Circuit panel also noted that the defendants knew that the Riches were in extreme distress because of their son’s death and allegedly pressed forward with the scheme despite that. Calabresi’s opinion seeks to sidestep First Amendment concerns by noting that the plaintiffs will still be required to prove “actual malice” to prevail with the suit, essentially that the defendants knew the WikiLeaks link was false or acted with reckless disregard for whether it was true or not. The appeals court ruling also says the case doesn’t tee up the issue of whether ordinary newsgathering could trigger liability for interfering in a source’s contract pledging confidentiality to someone else. “The allegations — which we have to take as true — are that Zimmerman and Butowsky (i) intentionally planted a biased investigator to gain the trust of a grieving family; (ii) fed false information to the investigator with the sole purpose of exploiting that investigator’s relationship with the family to give credence to a politically motivated story; and (iii) knew, from the very start, that this story was nothing more than a false conspiracy theory,” Calabresi wrote. “All that is more than enough to counter any possible justification.” The judges also seemed troubled that while Fox retracted Zimmerman’s reports and deleted them from the network’s website, related segments from Fox host Sean Hannity’s program remain online. “To this day, Fox News makes available online at least two videos repeating, almost verbatim, the content of the Zimmerman story,” Calabresi wrote, adding that the court found the videos up as recently as Thursday. “We would not wish what we have experienced upon any other parent – anywhere,” the Riches said in a statement. “We appreciate the appellate court’s ruling and look forward to continuing to pursue justice.” A statement from Fox and a separate comment from an attorney for Butowsky expressed disappointment in the appeals court’s ruling, but said the suit will eventually run aground because the key claims in it are simply not true. “The court’s ruling today permits Mr. and Mrs. Rich to proceed with discovery to determine whether there is a factual basis for their claims against Fox News,” the Fox statement said. “And while we extend the Rich family our deepest condolences for their loss, we believe that discovery will demonstrate that Fox News did not engage in conduct that will support the Riches’ claims. We will be evaluating our next legal steps.” Butowsky’s lawyer, Ty Clevenger, noted that the appeals court was required at the early stage of the suit to assume that all the claims in the Riches’ complaint were accurate. “It’s a setback for us, but only a temporary one,” Clevenger told POLITICO. “The Second Circuit had to accept the Rich’s allegations as true for purposes of a motion to dismiss. We’re confident we can prove that those allegations are not true, so we still expect to prevail in the end.” Calabresi, Underhill and Daniels were appointed by President Bill Clinton. Droney is an appointee of President Barack Obama.
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My Turn: Democrats and the Russia chimera

Postby smix » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:25 pm

My Turn: Democrats and the Russia chimera
Concord Monitor

URL: https://www.concordmonitor.com/Russiagate-27722664
Category: Politics
Published: August 22, 2019

Description: The American public has been bombarded by claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election on a near-daily basis ever since the 2016 election. For many Democrats, this claim has been used to explain the otherwise unaccountable (to them) election of Donald Trump. This bombardment includes a Jonathan Baird column in the Monitor based on the Mueller report headlined “Russians aren’t done meddling in elections” (Monitor Forum, July 13). But the Mueller Report’s findings of Russian interference rest on a shaky factual foundation, just as shaky as Robert Mueller’s own recent performance before a congressional committee. To be clear, I hold no brief for Trump. I believe he is uniquely unsuited for the office of president, and that most of his policies are harmful. But Donald Trump won the 2016 election fairly and without Russian help. His election has much more to do with the failings of the Democrats – especially Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I recommend Thomas Frank’s Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? for an incisive and scathing look at how the modern Democratic Party has morphed into a party of corporate and cultural elitism.
A close examination of the findings in the Mueller Report, combined with previously known facts (underreported in mainstream media), reveals how little substance there is to claims of Russian interference. While the Mueller Report found no evidence of a conspiracy between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, the report went on to cite “evidence” to support the widespread view that Russian meddling helped Trump and hurt Clinton. The report claims that the interference operation occurred on two fronts: Russian military intelligence officers hacked and leaked embarrassing Democratic Party documents, and that a government-linked troll farm, the Internet Research Agency, orchestrated a far-reaching social media campaign that denigrated Hillary Clinton and promoted Trump. But after two years and $35 million, Mueller failed to find any direct evidence linking the IRA’s activities to the Kremlin. Further, in a July 1 ruling, a federal judge rebuked Mueller and the Justice Department for having “improperly suggested a link” between the IRA and the Russian government. The Mueller report says the IRA spent $100,000 on Facebook ads between 2015 and 2017. Of that amount, only $46,000 was spent by the IRA on Facebook ads before the 2016 election. By way of comparison, the two campaigns spent a total of $81 million on Facebook ads during the election. IRA spending amounted to a miniscule 0.05% of this figure. This figure, in turn, is a tiny fraction of the estimated $2 billion spent overall by the candidates and their supporting PACs for the 2016 election. More important still, very little of this supposed election interference campaign content actually concerned the election. The Mueller Report cited a review by Twitter of tweets from “accounts associated with the IRA” in the 10 weeks before the 2016 election, which found that “approximately 8.4% . . . were election-related.” This tracks with a report commissioned by the U.S. Senate that found that “explicitly political content was a small percentage” of the content attributed to the IRA. The IRA’s posts “were minimally about the candidates,” since “roughly 6% of tweets, 18% of Instagram posts and 7% of Facebook posts” mentioned Clinton or Trump by name. One final point on the IRA: Mueller’s claim that Russian posts reached “as many as 126 million” Facebook users is a gross exaggeration, based upon a guess from Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch in congressional testimony in October 2017. “Our best estimate,” Stretch told lawmakers, “is that approximately 126 million people may have been served content from a page associated with the IRA at some point during the two-year period.” This “two-year period” extends far past the 2016 election – to August 2017. Overall, according to Stretch, posts from suspected Russian accounts that showed up in Facebook’s news feed amounted to “approximately 1 out of (every) 23,000 pieces of content.”
The DNC ‘hack’
The other claim, that Russian intelligence operatives hacked the DNC, and then gave the hacked information to Wikileaks, which then published the information detailing how the DNC skewed the primary campaign to favor Hillary Clinton, is also likely false. The FBI investigation of the DNC “hack” was cursory and inadequate, and took the DNC at its word. The FBI never examined the DNC computers for itself but instead relied on “Crowdstrike,” a private internet security firm working for the DNC, for its information on the supposed hack. The FBI also never interviewed William Binney, former technical director of the NSA, whose nonpartisan organization, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), found that the documents were most likely obtained via a direct connection to DNC computers from inside the DNC, because the speed of the download was too fast for existing internet connections. In other words, Wikileaks most likely obtained the documents directly from someone inside the DNC, most likely using a memory stick. Before his arrest and imprisonment in England, Julian Assange offered hints that Seth Rich, whose murder in a D.C. suburb remains unsolved, was the person who gave the documents to Wikileaks. He emphatically stated the Russians were not involved. But the FBI never interviewed Assange either. Thus, there is strong evidence not only disproving the claim that Russian interference tilted the election to Trump but disproving the claim made by Mueller and others that Russian “interference” exists on a scale to threaten U.S. election outcomes.
So where did the “Russiagate” claim originate? Writing in Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes report that the claim of Russian hacking was “set within twenty-four hours of (Clinton’s) concession speech. . . . (Robbie Mook and John Podesta) went over the script they would pitch to the press and public. . . . Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.” From this point, John Brennan, head of the CIA, took the story and ran with it. A March 2018 report from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee says that Brennan personally oversaw the entire CIA investigation of Russiagate claims from start to finish. In December 2016, the GOP report states, President Obama “directed … Brennan to conduct a review of all intelligence relating to Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.” The resulting report “was drafted by CIA analysts” and merely “coordinated with the NSA and the FBI.” The GOP report observes that Brennan’s CIA analysts were “subjected to an unusually constrained review and coordination process, which deviated from established CIA practice.” A Democratic response to the GOP report does not refute any of this. Once out of office, Brennan spent the next two years as a talking head on MSNBC accusing Trump of treason. What are we then to make of all this? First, the mainstream media’s acquiescence in, and acceptance of, the false claims of substantial Russian interference in the 2016 election, and of collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign, should give every citizen, of whatever political stripe, pause. The absence of skepticism about the claims by the DNC and by the CIA under John Brennan, and the nearly complete absence of fact-checking or investigative journalism on the topic by the mainstream press, should be a scandal in itself. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and most of the corporate-controlled media asked for none. This includes the New York Times and the Washington Post, whose stance from day one was casual acceptance that “Russian interference” in the election was both a fait accompli and that it explained the “shocking” (to them) election of Donald Trump. Nearly all the major news outlets accepted these claims as fact. Russiagate was a nightly theme for Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, for example. There were good and sound reasons for skepticism of these claims all along, but they escaped the notice of nearly every talking head in the mainstream media. Most disturbing of all, those who made (and still make) these claims, and those who repeated them, preferred risking the start of a new Cold War with Russia, using McCarthyite smear tactics, rather than accept the election of Donald Trump as president. Before the 2016 election, Trump went “off the reservation” by defying the foreign policy establishment on two core issues: he questioned whether NATO might have outlived its usefulness and he labeled the Iraq War a failure and a waste. For these transgressions (actually rare moments of truth-telling by a politician) of the “Washington consensus,” elements of the foreign policy establishment went all in on the Russiagate narrative. The entire episode repeats the behavior of most of the media with regard to government claims of WMDs in the run-up to the Iraq War. One could even go so far as to say that “Russiagate” was an effort to undo the 2016 election – in effect an attempt at a soft coup against Trump by the foreign policy and political establishment. Those of us hoping for a true progressive candidate to win in 2020 should treat Russiagate as a cautionary tale about the challenges faced in opposing the Washington “consensus” of money and power that dominates both parties.
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Parents of murdered Democratic staffer Seth Rich can sue Fox News-U.S. court

Postby smix » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:53 am

Parents of murdered Democratic staffer Seth Rich can sue Fox News-U.S. court

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-fox- ... SKCN1VY1YD
Category: Legal
Published: September 13, 2019

Description: NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Friday revived a lawsuit against Fox News Network over its reporting on Seth Rich, a former Democratic National Committee employee whose unsolved murder sparked uncorroborated right-wing conspiracy theories. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said Rich’s parents, Joel and Mary Rich, could sue Fox News for causing emotional distress by publishing a May 16, 2017, article claiming their son had leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks, implying that the leaks were related to his death. Fox News, a unit of Fox Corp, retracted the article a week later, saying it fell short of its standards, but some leading conservatives and on-air guests discussed it for months. The leaked emails suggested that DNC officials favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential nominating campaign. Circuit Judge Guido Calabresi wrote that the Riches “sufficiently pleaded extreme and outrageous conduct” by the defendants, including reporter Malia Zimmerman, who wrote the retracted article, and Fox News guest Ed Butowsky. The 3-0 decision overturned an August 2018 dismissal by U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan, and returned the case to him. Seth Rich, 27, was shot and killed in July 2016 near his Washington home, in what police there consider a botched robbery. Fox News said in a statement on Friday that it offered the Rich family its “deepest condolences for their loss,” but believed legal proceedings would show it did not engage in conduct that supported the Riches’ claims. Asked about the decision, Butowsky, who is representing himself, said by phone: “That’s the craziest thing in the world. It has already been proven that the things they accused in the lawsuit never occurred.” The Riches said in a statement that they looked forward to seeking justice, including at a possible trial. “We would not wish what we have experienced upon any other parent,” they added. The couple, from Omaha, Nebraska, had said the campaign against them included their hiring, at Butowsky’s suggestion, a private detective to investigate their son’s death. Zimmerman later cited the detective’s findings in a discussion of Seth Rich’s alleged contacts with WikiLeaks. Calabresi said the reporter then lent credibility to those findings by emphasizing the detective’s connection to the Riches. “We have no trouble concluding that - taking their allegations as true - the Riches plausibly alleged what amounted to a campaign of emotional torture,” Calabresi wrote. The Riches claimed to suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder, and Mary Rich said she no longer feels comfortable in public. Friday’s decision also lets the Riches sue for alleged interference with their contract with the detective, and try to revive a negligent supervision claim against Fox News. The case is Rich et al v Fox News Network LLC et al, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 18-2321.
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