It was revealed today by The Atlantic that Donald Trump, Jr. had ongoing communication with WikiLeaks, from September 2016 until at least July of this year. The Atlantic obtained copies of the messages that were also turned over to congressional investigators by Trump Jr.’s lawyers as part of the investigation into the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 Presidential election.
WikiLeaks is a radical transparency organization that U.S. intelligence interests believe was used by Russia to funnel information, including emails such as those Russian hackers are suspected of stealing from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, and hacked emails from Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers.
WikiLeaks’ support for Trump has been abundantly clear. Less than an hour after the release of the Access Hollywood audio tape that showed Donald Trump bragging to Billy Bush about sexually assaulting women, WikiLeaks released a batch of hacked emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman as a distraction.
On the first day of the Democratic National Convention in July, 2016, WikiLeaks also released emails stolen from the DNC that showed DNC officials disparaging candidate Bernie Sanders, revealing what they called a plot to turn the DNC in Hillary Clinton’s direction; this occurred on the eve of Clinton’s acceptance of the nomination.
WikiLeaks’ had ongoing private twitter messaging with Donald Trump, Jr., who sometimes responded. On September 20 of last year, WikiLeaks tweeted Trump, Jr., alerting him to the launch of an anti-Trump PAC website and providing the password to access the site, which WikiLeaks indicated it had “guessed”, according to The Atlantic. Trump Jr. responded that he would ask around about the person he then found to be behind the site once he accessed it and thanked WikiLeaks.
On October 12 of last year according to Verified Politics WikiLeaks sent this message to Trump Jr.: “Hi Don if your father ‘loses’ we think it is much more interesting if he DOES NOT conceed [sic] and spends time CHALLENGING the media and other types of rigging that occurred—as he has implied that he might do.” Within 15 minutes of this message Donald Trump himself tweeted “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!” So the chain of incriminating evidence stepped from son to father.
Since the messages were turned over to Congress, it is an admission on Trump Jr.’s part that this communication occurred. Trump Jr.’s lawyers have expressed a dislike that some of the messages have been leaked to the press, but they have not said that the leaked messages are untrue.
This brings us to Vice President Mike Pence. Two days after the Wikileaks October exchange with Trump, Jr. that appeared to make its way also to Trump, after Trump had praised WikiLeaks for providing “incredible information”, Pence was asked by Fox News’ Steve Doocy if the Trump campaign was in league with WikiLeaks. Pence, according to Verified Politics, responded “Nothing could be further from the truth. I think all of us have, you know, have had concerns about WikiLeaks over the years and it’s just a reality of American life today, and of life in the wider world”.
Robert Mueller’s investigation is heating up. Already campaign manager Paul Manafort and two others have been indicted. Now there is tangible evidence that Trump Jr. and Trump himself knew they were benefiting from information stolen by WikiLeaks (or funneled through WikiLeaks by Russian hackers). Either Mike Pence was a clueless outsider in his own campaign, which seems unlikely, or he knew and is lying about it. Let the dominoes fall.