by Sharon Rondeau

(May 22, 2017) — In the wake of Fox News host Sean Hannity’s Sunday Twitter declaration that an “announcement” is forthcoming involving Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom concerning the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich, Dotcom has defended his credibility to those doubting his offer to provide to the U.S. Congress “written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was @Wikileaks source.”

Dotcom is referring to thousands of emails provided to WikiLeaks from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the publication of which showed clear favoritism for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders and ultimately led to then-chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation just before the nominating convention last July.

Beginning on Friday, Dotcom claimed to have been directly involved in the alleged transfer of documents from Rich to Wikileaks.  “I knew Seth Rich,” he tweeted on Saturday.  “I know he was the @Wikileaks source.  I was involved.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tweeted early on Monday morning that his organization never discloses its sources.  “Sources sometimes talk to other parties but identities never emerge from WikiLeaks,” Assange wrote, followed by the hashtag “#SethRich”.

Hannity began reporting on the Rich murder last week after a Washington, DC Fox affiliate aired a segment in which former DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Detective Rod Wheeler claimed to have seen evidence that Rich was in direct communication with a WikiLeaks-linked journalist.

A media frenzy arose after Wheeler changed his account with Hannity and other media to say that he had not personally viewed the evidence but had received a report from a credible investigative source that Rich had communicated with WikiLeaks thousands of times.

A Fox News article published last Tuesday cited a “federal investigator” who reportedly told the writer, Malia Zimmerman, that he had found that “44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between Democratic National Committee leaders, spanning from January 2015 through late May 2016, were transferred from Rich to MacFadyen before May 21.”

The reference is to Gavin MacFadyen, now deceased, a London-based WikiLeaks and whistleblower defender who passed away last October from lung cancer.

WikiLeaks’ release of the DNC emails reads:

Starting on Friday 22 July 2016 at 10:30am EDT, WikiLeaks released over 2 publications 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments from the top of the US Democratic National Committee — part one of our new Hillary Leaks series.

WikiLeaks prides itself on nearly 11 years in operation without having had any of its released documents proved nauthentic.

A significant number of media outlets have aggressively attempted to discredit not only Wheeler, but Hannity and other organizations showing new or renewed interest in the case.  Newsweek, CNN, The Daily Caller, NBC News, Media Matters, The Washington Post and many others have criticized the renewed reportage of the “conspiracy theory,” calling it “debunked” and disrespectful to Rich’s surviving family members.

The Washington Examiner claimed that when former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich spoke about the case on Fox News on Sunday, he was “fueling a conspiracy theory.”

On Saturday, his interest obviously piqued by Dotcom’s claim, Hannity asked Dotcom for more information.  Later, he announced that he will host Dotcom on his radio and television programs, although he did not confirm when.

In his message on Sunday, Hannity urged his followers to “please follow @KimDotcom for further details” as to the expected “announcement.”

Like Assange, Dotcom is being sought by the U.S. Department of Justice on criminal charges, although not on the same allegations.  While Assange has been staying in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for nearly five years to avoid extradition to the U.S. for releasing classified documents, Dotcom is a resident of New Zealand who made his fortune on the Internet beginning as a pioneer in the mid–1990s. He and three business associates are accused of copyright infringement, wire fraud and other violations as a result of one of the businesses he launched, Megaupload, a file-sharing service.

Dotcom claims he is innocent of the charges and should not be extradited to the U.S., but a New Zealand court in February ruled against him in his appeal of the extradition request. At that tine, Dotcom said he would appeal the ruling.

He has admitted to hacking various computer systems, including those of the Pentagon, in the past and served two suspended sentences in Germany years ago.

In the ongoing case against him heretofore played out in New Zealand, Dotcom successfully proved that he was illegally surveilled by New Zealand’s intelligence service, with the information having been given to the FBI. In an interview with RT, Dotcom said that he believes Barack Hussein Obama, Hollywood, former Sen. Chris Dodd and former Vice President Joseph Biden are responsible for the current accusations against him.

In 2012, Dotcom’s mansion was reportedly stormed by “72 cops, heavily-armed with assault rifles,” raided, and Dotcom allegedly “beaten” while unarmed.

On Sunday Dotcom tweeted, “How will Democrats and their partners brush away the fact that I had insider knowledge about upcoming leaks? ” with a graphic from an article published in Bloomberg Politics on May 14, 2015 titled, “Kim Dotcom: Julian Assange Will Be Hillary Clinton’s Worst Nightmare in 2016” (see featured graphic)

The article and Dotcom’s interview with Bloomberg can be viewed here.  “I’m going to fight back,” Dotcom said, confirming that he is facing “88 years” in prison if convicted on all charges.

While Assange has not confirmed that Rich was a source of documentation, he arguably has strongly implied it in statements made since the 27-year-old was shot in the back steps away from his Washington, DC home in the early hours of July 10, 2016.

In August, Assange announced a $20,000 reward to be paid by WikiLeaks for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of Rich’s killer. In a September interview with a Dutch television station, Assange said that “there was no finding” of an attempted robbery despite the public narrative of a “botched robbery.

It has been widely reported, however, that the victim’s phone, a necklace, and other items of value were left on his person after the shooting.

On Saturday, Dotcom tweeted that he would be meeting with his attorneys on Monday and would make an announcement about Seth Rich on Tuesday. On Monday, thousands of tweets were posted on Hannity’s Twitter account, although it appears that Hannity himself has not tweeted since his “announcement” tweet on Sunday night.

A professional spokesman representing the Rich family, Brad Bauman, told WND that he wishes to find the truth about the young man’s death but became angry during a 12-minute interview published on Thursday. Similarly, if comments appearing under his name on Reddit are authentic, Bauman accused Dotcom of “having an agenda” or being “a sociopath.”

Should Rich prove to have been Wikileaks’ source of the DNC emails, the “Russian hacking” narrative put forth by the media, citing anonymous “intelligence officials, as to who breached the DNC’s servers would undoubtedly be called into question.

Update, 4:52 p.m.:  Approximately six minutes ago, Dotcom tweeted:

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  1. Nice Report
    #SEANHANNITY Hitting the #DNC Leak Conspiracy Theory of Russia hard for an Inside #DNC Leak #SethRich @seanhannity

    As A Democratic Party Presidential Candidate I concur with many #Dems the Primary was not even close to as “Fair & Equal” as #Republicans.

    Just based on the Second Tier Debate Stage Republicans offered and the 3 Candidates welcomed who had never been Elected to Public Office before, Fiorina, Carson, and now President Trump.

    I received nothing but a “Cold Shoulder” from the #DNC and can understand the heartbreaking state of Sanders supporters witnessing the coordination of Hillary Clinton in a a weakened Primary, with fewer debates( many of which were scheduled on weekends), that funneled the Democratic Party Primary and the Primary Vote into a Losing General Election.