Wikileaks founder Julian Assange announced yesterday that he would give a $20,000 reward to anyone who could provide information leading to the conviction of the murderer of a Jewish DNC staffer. Seth Rich, 27, died of multiple gunshot wounds on July 10, walking around his D.C. neighborhood at around 4:00 AM. He was found with multiple bruises on his hands, knees, and face, with nothing taken from him. There are no suspects.
In an interview with Netherlands TV, Assange implied that Rich was a Wikileaks source within the DNC, though when asked to clarify, he asserted that he and his organization do not comment on possible sources.
Taking Assange’s lead, former Trump operative Roger Stone tweeted that Rich had been on his way to speak with the FBI (though there is no evidence for this) and that Hillary Clinton was behind his murder. Stone also claims to be in contact with Assange about further documents that he says will damage the Clinton campaign come this fall.
The Assange/Stone insinuations that Rich was murdered to stop him from leaking damaging information about Clinton has been thoroughly debunked by Snopes.
That Stone is involved in another conspiracy theory isn’t surprising; Trump’s man in the field has given credence to white supremacists, fellow conspiracy theorists, and Holocaust deniers, as he’s traveled the country levying wild accusations against the Clintons for murder, rape, and fraud, among other salacious claims. But the involvement of Assange is another story.
This election season has seen an odd turn for Assange. His detractors had always been bipartisan, but his supporters were almost exclusively of the left—Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Ai Weiwei, etc. For whatever reason, this year seems to have inspired him to pursue specifically Clinton-targeted leaks, earning the admiration of far-right conservatives like Stone and Alex Jones. In a way, this convergence is emblematic of the small but significant Sanders-Trump voting bloc. These hardcore supporters, they of the “rigged system” persuasion, are more similar than they’d probably like to admit, and Assange is the man that brings them together.