The Mueller Team Just Blew Up The Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators just debunked the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. As part of the draft document against conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, Mueller’s team cites an email that purports to show that Corsi knew full well that the DNC emails were stolen by Russian hackers in 2016, even as they advanced the baseless theory that Seth Rich, a DNC staffer, stole the emails as part of an inside job and was murdered in retribution.

 

Earlier this month, Corsi, an Infowars contributor who has also authored books questioning Barack Obama’s birth certificate and citizenship, predicted that he would be indicted by Mueller’s investigation. Corsi recently said that he was offered a plea deal, which he plans to reject. As evidence of his claim, he posted the draft Statement of Offense online.

 

The document alleges that Corsi was approached in the summer of 2016 by “Person 1,” apparently Roger Stone, who asked him to get in touch with “Organization 1,” WikiLeaks, about the release of the stolen emails. Stone was a top Trump advisor until August 2015 and the two men were longtime friends who apparently kept in contact even after Stone left the Trump campaign. Per the draft, Corsi falsely claimed that he rebuffed Stone’s request and never contacted WikiLeaks.

 

Per the DOJ, Corsi contacted Julian Assange, who was in hiding in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. Corsi then related to Stone that WikiLeaks was in possession of documents damaging to Hillary Clinton and that WikiLeaks planned to release the documents as part of an October surprise.

 

As evidence, the draft cites a string of emails in which Stone instructs Corsi to contact Assange in July 2016. The first email, in which Stone asked Corsi to contact WikiLeaks, is dated July 25, three days after the initial WikiLeaks dump of 20,000 stolen emails. Two days later, on July 27, Donald Trump called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s private server. The indictment of Russian intelligence agents last July indicated that the Russian hackers spear-phished the Clinton campaign for the first time the same day that Trump made his request.

 

In the second email, dated July 31, 2016, Stone told Corsi that an unnamed “overseas individual” should “see [the founder of Organization 1],” Assange. The overseas individual was possibly Ted Malloch, an American Trump supporter living and working in England who was reportedly considered for an ambassadorship to the European Union by President Trump.

 

In an email dated August 2, 2016, Corsi responds:

 

“Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.… Time to let more than [the Clinton Campaign chairman] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton]. That appears to be the game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke — neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for Foundation debacle.”

On August 12, the hacker Guccifer 2.0 posted contact information for most congressional Democrats. The information apparently came from the stolen DNC data.

Even though Corsi acknowledged that hackers were responsible in his August 2, 2016 email, he continued to publicly espouse the conspiracy theory that Seth Rich was murdered by the CIA on the orders of John Brennan for the benefit of Hillary Clinton well into 2017 on Twitter, in Infowars articles, and in YouTube videos.

 

On August 21, 2016, Roger Stone, whose account is now suspended, tweeted, “Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary.” Another Stone tweet on Oct. 3 said, “I have total confidence that @wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon #LockHerUp.” The next day, Julian Assange released a video announcing that WikiLeaks would be releasing more DNC emails, these stolen from John Podesta. On Oct. 7, hours after the release of the Access Hollywood tape, the next document dump from WikiLeaks is released.

 

Corsi now says that on August 30, Stone contacted him for help in concocting a cover story to explain the Podesta tweet. Corsi says he wrote a memo about Podesta’s business dealings which Stone claimed was the inspiration for his eerily prescient tweet. Stone denies this version of events, but the Mueller team’s computer analysis may sort out the truth.

 

“What I construct, and what I testified to the grand jury, was I believed I was creating a cover story for Roger because Roger wanted to explain this tweet,” Mr. Corsi said in the Wall Street Journal. “By the way, the special counsel knew this. They can virtually tell my keystrokes on that computer.”

 

Stone has denied any knowledge of coordination between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks. He also denies that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are de facto Russian agents, a fact disputed by US intelligence. Mike Pompeo, a Republican and President Trump’s pick to head the CIA, called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.” The group even had a television show on RT, a Russian propaganda network, in 2012.

 

The document posted by Corsi raise interesting questions about contacts between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, but it offers definitive proof that the Seth Rich conspiracy theory was never seriously believed by either Corsi or Stone. It was merely a smokescreen to conceal the fact that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC and ultimately used their stolen emails to help elect Donald Trump.

BREAKING: Infowars Gets Scoop on Trump Speech to Congress

The normalization of “fake news” sites by President Trump continues as Infowars is granted an exclusive look at tomorrow night’s speech by the president. The conspiracy site founded by Alex Jones interrupted its exposés of false flag operations to publish a bulleted list of talking points from President Trump’s upcoming address to Congress. The article notes that “It should be noted this was not a leak, but was given directly to Infowars.”

According to the article, “In Tuesday night’s speech, he [Trump] will lay out an optimistic vision for the country that crosses the traditional lines of party, race and socioeconomic status. It will invite Americans of all backgrounds to come together in the service of a stronger, brighter future for our nation.”

“The President will lay out the concrete steps he has already taken to make the American Dream possible for all of our people,” the unattributed article says. “He will talk about how he wants to work with Congress to pass a bold agenda” including “tax and regulatory reform, making the workplace better for working parents, saving American families from the disaster of Obamacare, making sure every child in America has access to a good education, a great rebuilding of the American military and fulfilling our commitments to our veterans and making sure they have access to the care they need.”

Infowars, whose slogan is “there’s a war for your mind,” is best known for its hard-hitting reporting on issues such as the implementation of martial law in Texas under the guise of the Jade Helm military exercise and the claim that members of the Hillary Clinton campaign were involved in a pedophile ring allegedly run out of a District of Columbia pizzeria. These and many other Infowars stories were completely false.

The preferential treatment of Infowars by the Trump Administration comes as the president is increasingly hostile to the mainstream media. Last week, the Trump Administration blocked a number of outlets that had been critical of Trump from attending a press briefing.  Two days later, the president tweeted that he would not attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, a function not missed by any president of either party since 1981 when President Reagan was forced to phone in remarks after he had been shot. At one point, Trump even said of the media, “They are the enemy of the people.”

Trump has also elevated Steve Bannon, the publisher of Breitbart News, to the National Security Council, and granted White House access to the Gateway Pundit, a partisan blog. Both Breitbart and Gateway Pundit are well known for their reporting of hoax stories.

Mr. Trump’s association with hoaxes and conspiracies goes back long before his successful presidential campaign. Trump promoted birther conspiracies about both Barack Obama and Ted Cruz. In 2014, Trump suggested that vaccines cause autism and, in 2016, suggested that the truth is not known about the September 11 attacks. Trump also suggested that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the Kennedy assassination.

For years, the conspiracy blogs have tainted the reputation of the conservative movement and even served to divide the Republican Party between those who disagree with the left on policy grounds and those who believe that the left is controlled a secret cabal of murdering elites who, by the way, also control the Republican leadership. Now it seems that these purveyors of radical conspiracy theories are more acceptable to the new administration than real news organizations who are critical of the president.

The move to normalize the conspiracy sites is a transparent attempt by President Trump to bypass the mainstream media and take his message directly to his base. As Trump’s war with the press continues, it is likely that favored treatment of sketchy sites will continue as well.

Such actions will limit the ability of Republicans to appeal to moderate and independent voters and have policy proposals treated seriously. President Trump’s normalization and affirmation of these alternative media outlets does not bode well for the mainstream conservatives of the Republican Party.

 

NOTE: After this article was published, we learned that the information published by Infowars was not exclusive and had been sent to many media outlets.

Fake News Isn’t New: The Great Moon Hoax of 1835

Fake news has taken center stage since the election, but it is not a new phenomenon. The National Enquirer and Weekly World News have peddled fake news in supermarket checkout lines for decades. Even mainstream media sources have fallen prey to fake news as far back as the days of Andrew Jackson.

In 1835, a series of articles about breakthroughs in astronomy appeared in the New York Sun. The Sun was a major newspaper for over a hundred years before being acquired by the now-defunct New York World Journal Tribune in 1966. The Sun is best remembered for its publication of an editorial answer to a letter about Santa Claus from eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon in 1897.

The articles in 1835 detailed major discoveries by Sir John Herschel, a noted astronomer. In the series, Herschel claimed to have used a new telescope to discover new planets and solar systems and that he had “solved or corrected nearly every leading problem of mathematical astronomy.” Herschel also claimed that through his telescope, he had discovered life on the moon. The series ran in six parts and was approximately 17,000 words, most of which described the astronomer’s observations of moon life.

The series was a sensation, but it was also totally false. The full story is recorded in the Museum of Hoaxes. The series was not authored by Herschel, who had no idea of the sensational claims made in his name.

Nevertheless, many people believed the stories. Edgar Allan Poe wrote that nine out of ten people believed the story. William Griggs wrote that there were skeptics, such as the competing New York Herald, but that many people came forward on their own to corroborate totally false details in the articles. The hoax eventually spread around the country and was even picked up by some papers in Europe.

The story was debunked by the New York Herald which accused Sun publisher, Benjamin Day, of masterminding the hoax. Richard Adam Locke, a British writer employed by the Sun, was accused of being the hoax’s author. Years later, Locke confessed to writing the articles as satire. Claims of satire are also used to excuse the publication of fake news today.

The Great Moon Hoax wasn’t the only time that the New York Sun was involved in a hoax. In 1844, the paper published a story about an English balloonist who drifted across the Atlantic and landed in South Carolina. The Great Balloon Hoax was quickly revealed to be the work of Edgar Allan Poe.

Fake news isn’t new. It also isn’t going anywhere in spite of the best efforts of Google, Facebook and others.

The best antidote to fake news is to be skeptical about what you read and check out suspicious claims. As the Russian proverb favored by President Reagan goes, “Trust, but verify.

Not a Conspiracy: How NY Can Ban You From Buying a Gun If You Live in Georgia

For all the Oscar-winning acting President Obama and his troupe of anti-gunners have displayed —it makes for compelling TV—there’s a real danger beyond his shouts of “conspiracy!”

Obama said conspiracy is “in our DNA,” here, and here; note the shock on Anderson Cooper’s face, “conspiracy?” But the president is openly transparent about his goals: to make America like Europe or Australia, e.g. having a gun-free citizenry.  That pesky Second Amendment keeps getting in his way, so he’s finding back doors.

And this one is more of a threat than we think—if not immediately, it will be in the next year, and will be a conundrum for the next president.

Legal expert Josh Blackman laid it out in National Review. To pass an instant NICS background check, you have to comply with Federal and state laws about criminal eligibility, and also mental capacity. The criminal part is fairly simple: the states report arrests, charges and convictions to the database.

But it’s a different story with mental issues:

Presently, the “mental defective file” is fairly small — almost exclusively financially unstable vets — because only the federal government could add names to the list. Before Tuesday, states were prohibited from reporting individuals because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). A 2012 Government Accountability Office report found that “the absence of explicit State-level statutory authority to share mental health records was an impediment to making such records available to NICS.” However, with President Obama’s new executive action, these “unnecessary legal barriers” have been removed.

Brian Sikma noted that removing this “barrier” throws your health privacy rights in the trash. But it’s a bigger problem than that. Blackman continued:

Along with the president’s press conference Tuesday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch sent letters to 50 governors “permitting” them to report the names and information of such individuals from their states to the federal government. The NICS database can be expanded by leaps and bounds, through the actions of cooperative states, without the need for any congressional action.

This means if you’ve ever had mental treatment in New York, even if you live in Georgia or Texas, the Empire state can pass a law compelling your doctor in New York to report you to the state, which will in turn add you to the NICS hit list. All without your knowledge, or your consent.

Getting yourself removed from what amounts to a lifetime ban on gun purchases will be akin to having your criminal record expunged or your identity-theft-marred credit report repaired. It will be a long, painful, and likely expensive endeavor with no legal due process.

This will be a sticky wicket for a future president, be it Trump, Cruz, or any Republican. Yes, the executive action can be rescinded, and the privacy rights restored. But removing the faux mental records from the NICS while preserving the real ones will be a headache, and in the meantime, liberal states like California, New York and Massachusetts can make hay, banning thousands who don’t even live there from gun purchases.

That’s their goal: to ban you, any way they can.