Thanks to the brilliant investigative work of TV’s top journalist, Rachel Maddow, we may now know the reason that Donald Trump is so fastidiously avoiding answering any questions about the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and it centers around the connection between Assange and Trump’s eldest son, Don Jr.
The Department of Justice is already in possession of the indictment against Assange, which details the myriad ways in which WikiLeaks assisted the Russian government and its intelligence arm, the GRU, with their interference in the 2016 US presidential election. After the Russians hacked information from the DNC and from the Clinton campaign, they made moves to transfer that data to “Organization 1,” now known to be WikiLeaks.
Conversations between WikiLeaks and the GRU officers who used the online persona “Guccifer 2.0” to hide their identity are included in the indictment — and in them, the two entities discussed not just the release of that information to the public, but the timing and content so as to inflict maximum damage on the Clinton campaign.
In fact, after Assange, who is assumed to be essentially the sole operator of the WikiLeaks platform at the time, offered in June to vet information and release it on behalf of “Guccifer 2.0,” telling them that it would have more impact that way, he again reached out to them at the beginning of July specifically to ask for any information they may have had on Hillary herself just a few days before the Democratic National Convention.
After that, WikiLeaks felt, Hillary would “solidify Bernie supporters behind her,” thereby minimizing the conflict they could instill between the two factions of the Democrats in the primary.
Less than two weeks later, WikiLeaks released a trove of 20,000 “emails and other documents” stolen by the Russians — just three days, in fact, before the Convention.
Then, almost immediately following the release of the now-infamous Access Hollywood recording of the President admitting he sexually assaults women, WikiLeaks released the first set of emails stolen from John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager.
Between that time and the date of the election, WikiLeaks and the Russian agents planned and released over 50,000 more stolen documents in more than 30 carefully timed bursts.
But the most damning part of the entire affair is that during the same time that WikiLeaks was conspiring with Russia, Assange was also in direct contact with Donald Trump, Jr. Using Twitter’s direct message feature, Assange reached out to Don, Jr. and gave him a link to post online that his followers could click to read a searchable database of the stolen documents — which Junior immediately turned around and tweeted to his 3 million+ followers.
Then, on Election Day, WikiLeaks sent Don, Jr. another message:
If your father loses, we think it is much more interesting if he does not concede, and spends time challenging the media and other types of rigging that occurred, as he has implied that he might do.”
So now that Assange is in custody outside the embassy where he had been hiding out, and he is already under an extradition warrant from the United States, how will Trump tackle the problem of a sudden reappearance of a figure from the past that there is already a direct line through from Russia to his campaign?
We can’t wait to find out.
Watch Maddow’s report here:
Featured image is a screen capture.