Last month in Washington D.C., Seth Rich was shot and killed in what police believe was a failed robbery. Conspiracy theorists have latched onto Rich’s murder because he was a staffer for the DNC who they claim was an FBI informant assassinated by a hit team sent by none other than Hillary Clinton.
Of course, the evidence for this latest example of Internet lunacy is zilch. But that’s not stopping Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from fanning its flames. In an interview on Dutch television this Tuesday, Assange suggested that Rich was murdered in connection to the hacking site’s recent DNC email dump.
“WikiLeaks never sits on material. Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks,” Assange said in an interview with the Dutch television program Nieuwsuur. “There’s a 27-year-old who 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 streets in Washington.”
When Assange was pressed to explain himself, he didn’t temper his allusion one bit.
“I’m suggesting that our sources take risks and they are—they become concerned to see things occurring like that.”
With zero evidence, Assange is suggesting that Rich was a possible source for the DNC hack and was killed in retaliation. Digging himself deeper into the wormhole, when Assange was asked directly if Rich was a Wikileaks source, he replied:
“We don’t comment on who our sources are.”
Soon after the interview, Wikileaks posted a tweet offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Rich’s killer.
ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 9, 2016
If Assange’s goal was to attract the loons, he succeeded:
— Mr Jerry (@fl_jerry) August 9, 2016
let's hope like hell they do. People shouldn't have to die for #CrookedHillary to win a nomination.
— GOPinBlack PODCAST! ✊🏿 (@aBLACK_GOP) August 9, 2016
“We are investigating to understand what happened in that situation with Seth Rich,” Assange told the Dutch network. “I think it is a concerning situation. There’s not a conclusion yet, we wouldn’t be willing to state a conclusion, but we are concerned about it and more importantly a variety of Wikileaks sources are concerned when that kind of thing happens.”
According to Talking Points Memo, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department has found no evidence connecting the murder to Rich’s work with the DNC.
“At this time, there is no indication that Seth Rich’s death is connected to his employment at the DNC,” MPD spokeswoman Rachel Schaerr said in the statement. “However, we welcome information that could potentially lead to the identification of the individual(s) responsible for his death and are pleased when any outside contributors help us generate new leads.”
Assange’s hatred for Clinton is no secret. In a June interview on British TV, Assange promised that more “great” Hillary-related leaks are on the horizon.
“We do see her as a bit of a problem for freedom for freedom of the press more generally,” he said.
Interestingly, and as Slate points out, longtime Trump ally and anti-Clinton conspiracy theorist Roger Stone claims he’s been in contact with Assange.
This all does wonders for Wikileaks’ credibility.