Have you seen that FBI file, purporting to be about the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich? Kim Dotcom, who thrust himself into the story recently by telling Sean Hannity that he had evidence Rich had sent documents to Wikileaks, published the document on Twitter, helping to spread it online. Dotcom now acknowledges that the document is fake. But he told Gizmodo that he’s not going to delete it.
The fake FBI document was first published on a website called Borderland Alternative Media and it wasn’t long before it started to spread on social media, including by Kim Dotcom. Alex Jones’ Prison Planet picked it up, but has since deleted its own version of the story.
The internet’s interest in the July 2016 murder of Seth Rich revolves around claims that he leaked Democratic Party documents to Wikileaks, an idea that Julian Assange has hinted at repeatedly. The police say that Seth Rich’s murder was a robbery gone bad. But internet conspiracy theorists believe that Rich was killed as retribution for leaking emails about the DNC. Whatever the case, the FBI file is complete bullshit.
“I was skeptical. I tweeted that the document could be a fake and that the FBI has to weigh in about it,” Dotcom told me over direct message on Twitter.
The document is obviously fake to anyone who’s looked at real FBI files. For one thing, the FBI doesn’t use black to redact information, it uses white boxes. And much more damningly, the redactions include partial words and partial dates, as well as the partial redaction of its classification stamp, things that would never be done.
You can see the comparison between the fake FBI file on Seth Rich (above left) with a recently obtained FBI file on military historian Robert Dorr (above right). It’s a sloppy fake.
“After doing some forensic analysis of the document I came to believe it is not authentic. And I have retweeted Wikileaks which came to the same conclusion,” Dotcom told me.
But as any Twitter user knows, tweets with incorrect information spread much faster than corrections. So I asked Dotcom why he didn’t delete the tweets with the fake FBI file.
“There is no need to delete those tweets because I have been very cautious and warned within an hour of the release of that document that it could be a fake,” Dotcom told me.
That all seemed reasonable, if misguided, to me. But then I asked Dotcom for evidence of his claims that he knows Rich was involved in the DNC leak. During our back and forth on Twitter DM, Dotcom sent me a message saying that he knew I wasn’t going to write a balanced piece, and insinuated that he simply knows because of his close ties to Wikileaks.
I just had a look at your twitter feed and it looks like your are very much anti-trump. And that’s ok. I already know that your story wont be balanced. But this is not a Trump issue. Seth was a Sanders supporter. The progressives should ask what really happened to Seth. He’s one of yours. And they should be interested that the matters I have raised are properly investigated.
Please have a look at my Bloomberg interview in which I announced long before the election that Julian is going to be a problem for Clinton. My relations to Wikileaks are well known. I have said many times in the past that I have been a major donor and Julian has been a guest at my moment of Truth event.
How do you think I knew?
The Bloomberg interview Dotcom is referring to is from May 13, 2015, wherein he said that Assange would be “Clinton’s worst nightmare.” At this point, Clinton had just announced her candidacy a month earlier and Donald Trump hadn’t even entered the race yet.
Interviewer: You’re saying Julian Assange is going to be Hillary’s worst nightmare?
Dotcom: I think so, yeah.
Interviewer: How so?
Dotcom: Well, he has access to information.
Interviewer: What information?
Dotcom: I don’t know the specifics.
Interviewer: Why Hillary in particular?
Dotcom: Hillary hates Julian. She’s just an adversary, I think, of internet freedom.
Interviewer: And she signed your extradition request.
Interviewer: So, you have a bone to pick with her.
Dotcom: You know what the craziest thing is? I actually like Hillary. I like Obama. So it’s so crazy that all of this happened.
During the course of our conversation over Twitter DM, Dotcom pointed me to numerous links online, but none of them answered my basic question: How do you know that Seth Rich was involved in the DNC leak?
One of the links Dotcom sent me contained his open letter to the family of Seth Rich, who have asked Dotcom to stop spreading conspiracy theories about the murder of their son.
In that letter, Dotcom says “I simply wish to make sure that the investigators have the benefit of my evidence.” Again, I asked Dotcom for that evidence and he said that he would only show such things to the Rich family, at the advice of his lawyers and “out of respect for the Rich family.”
But Dotcom’s most recent public comment on the matter, a letter posted today directed to the FBI Special Counsel who are investigating the Trump regime’s ties to Russia, makes it look like Dotcom’s interest in the Seth Rich case may not be altogether altruistic.
Dotcom is originally from Germany but moved to New Zealand from Hong Kong in 2009, and is currently wanted in the United States for running the file hosting and sharing site Megaupload, which was accused of systematically violating copyright. His extradition to the US has been blocked repeatedly and he’s been in a state of legal limbo for years.
But Dotcom’s new letter to the FBI Special Counsel says that he’d be willing to share his evidence that Seth Rich was involved in leaking information to Wikileaks provided he’s given safe passage to the US:
Mr Dotcom is also committed to achieving an outcome where his evidence can be properly received and reviewed by you as part of the Investigation. You will, however, appreciate that, given his current status, he is not in a position to voluntarily leave New Zealand’s jurisdiction. Further, he is concerned that, should he travel to the United States voluntarily, he would be arrested and detained in custody on the current counts on which he has been indicted.
The letter goes on to say that after “special arrangements” have been made, he’ll be glad to travel to the US to give his evidence. One imagines that those special arrangements would involve dropping the case against him.
Accordingly, for Mr Dotcom to attend in person in the United States to make a statement, and/or give oral evidence at any subsequent hearing, special arrangements would need to be discussed and agreed between all relevant parties. Such arrangements would need to include arrangements for his safe passage from New Zealand and return. This is because Mr Dotcom is determined to clear his name in New Zealand.
So make of that what you will. Kim Dotcom clearly has reason to be angry at the US Justice Department, but if he really had evidence proving that a man was murdered for political reasons, it seems a bit shady to use it as a bargaining chip for your own freedom. It seems unlikely that the FBI would grant Dotcom’s request, so if he really does have any information on the Seth Rich case, we may never get to see it.
But given the fact that there’s virtually no evidence outside of the wildest conspiracy theory boards that Seth Rich was killed by anyone connected to the Clinton campaign, I wouldn’t hold my breath anyway.
Kim Dotcom ended our Twitter DM chat by saying that he had to go and I thanked him for his time. His last message to me: “Patience.”
Update, June 1, 2017: Kim Dotcom sent me a message after this post was published that expressed his displeasure with my article. Specifically, he said, “To suggest that I’m somehow trying to take advantage of a tragic murder is probably as low as one can get. Blocked.”
Dotcom didn’t tell me that he believed I mischaracterized his words, but has apparently done so on Twitter after blocking me. He has posted screenshots of our conversation and his followers have said that they prove “this whole article is made up!”
Since Dotcom posted a portion of our conversation I’ve decided to publish the entire exchange here so that anyone who believes I mischaracterized Dotcom’s words can see his responses for themselves.