WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reportedly told a member of Congress this week that he can provide proof that his organization didn’t receive Democratic National Committee documents published amid the 2016 election from Russian sources.
Via The Hill:
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who is friendly to Russia and chairs an important House subcommittee on Eurasia policy, became the first American congressman to meet with Assange during a three-hour private gathering at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been holed up for years.
Rohrabacher recounted his conversation with Assange to The Hill.
“Our three-hour meeting covered a wide array of issues, including the WikiLeaks exposure of the DNC [Democratic National Committee] emails during last year’s presidential election,” Rohrabacher said, “Julian emphatically stated that the Russians were not involved in the hacking or disclosure of those emails.”
Pressed for more detail on the source of the documents, Rohrabacher said he had information to share privately with President Trump.
“Julian also indicated that he is open to further discussions regarding specific information about the DNC email incident that is currently unknown to the public,” he said.
More information from Assange could completely undermine the government’s official story about Russian hacking.
Meanwhile, Foreign Policy published a piece attempting to make it look as though WikiLeaks was assailing Clinton while refusing to publish comprimising information on Russia.
From a report out Thursday:
In the summer of 2016, as WikiLeaks was publishing documents from Democratic operatives allegedly obtained by Kremlin-directed hackers, Julian Assange turned down a large cache of documents related to the Russian government, according to chat messages and a source who provided the records.
WikiLeaks declined to publish a wide-ranging trove of documents — at least 68 gigabytes of data — that came from inside the Russian Interior Ministry, according to partial chat logs reviewed by Foreign Policy.
The story’s timing and lack of a named source is a little suspicious, especially considering Assange’s perfectly reasonable explanation for not having published the Russia-related content.
Again from FP:
The logs, which were provided to FP, only included WikiLeaks’s side of the conversation.
“As far as we recall these are already public,” WikiLeaks wrote at the time.
“WikiLeaks rejects all submissions that it cannot verify. WikiLeaks rejects submissions that have already been published elsewhere or which are likely to be considered insignificant. WikiLeaks has never rejected a submission due to its country of origin,” the organization wrote in a Twitter direct message when contacted by FP about the Russian cache.
And in Washington, the special investigation against President Donald Trump over the Russia hacking scandal just lost a key player.
ABC News reported:
One of the FBI’s top investigators, tapped by special counsel Robert Mueller just weeks ago to help lead the probe of Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election, has left Mueller’s team, sources tell ABC News.
The recent departure of the FBI veteran, Peter Strzok, is the first known hitch in a secretive probe that, by all public accounts, is charging full steam ahead. Just last week, news surfaced that Mueller’s team had executed a search warrant at the Virginia home of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort. And the week before that, ABC News confirmed that Mueller is now using a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., to collect documents and other evidence.
It’s unclear why Strzok stepped away from Mueller’s team of nearly two dozen lawyers, investigators and administrative staffers. Strzok, who has spent much of his law enforcement career working counterintelligence cases and has been unanimously praised by government officials who spoke with ABC News, is now working for the FBI’s human resources division.
Strzok previously worked on the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server.
Assange threatens proof that Russia was not involved. Foreign Policy works to discredit him. Things are heating up and a key player in the investigation abruptly jumps ship.
Are the three stories connected? Probably.
It looks like the wheels are falling off.