Wikileaks head Julian Assange’s allegation that a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer was the source of the email leak could be an attempt to obfuscate the Kremlin’s involvement.
Assange told Dutch media on Wednesday that he was offering a $20,000 dollar reward for information on the July 10 murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. Assange made this claim, despite claiming in July not to know who the source of the leak was.
The Washington Metropolitan Police Department has not released any information on the circumstances of Rich’s murder. Nevertheless, the allegations may be an attempt to draw attention away from Russia’s complicity in the DNC hack, and Assange’s own connections to the Kremlin.
DNC officials acknowledged in late June the organization had suffered an email hack, and that two independent cyber security expert firms attributed the hack to Russian intelligence agencies. John Schindler, a former NSA analyst and national security expert, noted in the New York Observer that the hackers left behind a signature in Russian and that both groups responsible for the hack are well known Russian intelligence fronts.
U.S. intelligence officials generally consider Wikileaks, the source of the leak, to be an intelligence arm of the Kremlin.
“Some are attempting to politicize this horrible tragedy, and in their attempts to do so, are actually causing more harm than good and impeding on the ability for law enforcement to properly do their job,” Rich family spokesman Brad Bauman told Business Insider on Wednesday. Bauman urged the media to, “refrain from pushing unproven and harmful theories about Seth’s murder.”
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