No he didn’t. The email exchanges between Donald Trump Jr and the WikiLeaks Twitter account reveal nothing other than two parties trying to extract favors from each other, unsuccessfully. Here’s what the WikiLeaks account sent:
- Information about a pro-Iraq war PAC which it said was now running an anti-Trump site, with the password to a press review site so he could see it and comment on its content.
- A request for help circulating a story about Hillary Clinton’s alleged suggestion to “just drone” Julian Assange.
- A link and a suggestion that Trump get his followers digging through the Podesta emails for incriminating information.
- A solicitation for Trump’s tax return which was hot news at the time. The WikiLeaks account reasoned with Don Jnr that they could get the jump on any leaks to the establishment media by leaking it to WikiLeaks first.
- A suggestion that Trump not concede the election he was expected to lose so as to draw attention to the massive problems in America’s electoral system, specifically “media corruption, primary corruption, PAC corruption etc.”
- A suggestion that Trump ask Australia to make Assange ambassador to DC, knowing they “won’t do it”, but in order to “send the right signals” to the US allies who’d been collaborating with US power to keep him a de facto political prisoner.
- A couple more links it wanted more attention on.
- A suggestion that Don Jr. publish the information on his Trump Tower meeting with them.
The password to the website is getting a lot of attention as of this writing since the release of the Mueller report, with Slate going so far as to argue that Don Jr may be guilty of violating “the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which makes it illegal to access a computer using a stolen password without authorization” since he did use the password. This is nonsense. WikiLeaks didn’t send Trump a password which enabled him to “access a computer”, or do anything other than preview a website that was actively being publicized and viewed by many people using the same password.
The password WikiLeaks gave him was a press pass to preview a Russiagate website which was about to launch. Here’s a hyperlink to an archive of a (now missing) article which discussed the website’s launch at the time. The article shares an email that was being passed around clearly showing that many people were being invited to look at the site in the hopes that they’d write articles promoting it. The picture that’s being painted of WikiLeaks hacking into the back end of a website is completely inaccurate; there was a password to preview a website whose owners wanted people to look at it, lots of people had that password, and one of them reportedly gave it to WikiLeaks.
Beyond that, what is there? WikiLeaks trying unsuccessfully to get Don Jr to advance its agendas like giving them Trump’s tax return (i.e. soliciting a potential source for leaks), challenging America’s broken electoral system, trying to get more eyes on their material, and a Hail Mary suggestion that the Trump administration shake things up by making Assange the Australian ambassador with a full acknowledgement that this will never happen. None of these things occurred, and WikiLeaks never responded to Don Jr’s request for information about an upcoming leak drop.
Assange has agendas. Whoop dee doo. I have agendas too, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this. All journalists have agendas, it just happens that most of them have the agenda to become rich and famous by any means necessary, which generally means cozying up to the rulers of the establishment and manufacturing consent for the status quo. Assange’s agenda is infinitely more noble and infinitely more reviled by the servants of power: to upset the status quo that demands war, corruption and oppression in order to exist. His communications with Don Jr are geared toward this end, as is the rest of his life’s work.
This is an excerpt from the mega-article “Debunking All The Assange Smears”.