In a direct message conversation on Twitter published by Donald Trump Jr. between himself and WikiLeaks — the publisher linked him to a website with a header that now states, “My Name Was Seth Rich.”
“Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us,” WikiLeaks said in the conversation, directing to the president’s son to the link “wlsearch.tk.”
Here is the entire chain of messages with @wikileaks (with my whopping 3 responses) which one of the congressional committees has chosen to selectively leak. How ironic! 1/3 pic.twitter.com/SiwTqWtykA
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 14, 2017
At the time of the messages, the site served as a search tool to dig through the WikiLeaks archives. Now, when you click on the side menu, the only option is a category titled “Seth Rich.” The link takes users to a page that reads, “You finally found me! I’m the source of the John Podesta/DNC Email hacks. I’ve been waiting so long for you to join me.”
The message makes it clear that the site has been edited since the conversation by referring to the exchange with Trump Jr. It is unclear if the site was hacked, re-registered or if it was deliberately edited by someone associated with WikiLeaks.
“Thanks to Wikileaks and Trump Jr you’ll all soon know why Hillary Clinton and John Podesta had me killed,” the website reads. “As you can see I’m no Russian agent. I was just a proud DNC staffer who believed in the system until I found out Hillary Clinton and the DNC rigged the primaries against my candidate Bernie Sanders. That’s when I decided to take action and release these emails to Wikileaks.”
The home page continues on to assert that “John Podesta was determined to make an example out of me and had me taken care of. Why did you think they didn’t let the FBI examine the DNC servers? Yep, those servers would have lead them straight to me. John couldn’t let that happen.”
The website continues on to claim that Podesta is a pedophile.
“Thanks again Wikileaks for upping my reward to solve my murder. I wonder why you’d do that for me? Oh, you are trying to tell the world I was your source. Whoops cat’s outta the bag now,” the page concludes.
A WHOIS search shows that the website is currently registered to a domain mill called the Freedom Company. When contacted by Big League Politics and asked if they post content on the websites they have registered to them, they explained that they only provide free domains.
The .tk country code stands for Tokelau — a tiny island of about 1,300 people in the Pacific Ocean. People in the nation were unaware of the internet and their right to a country code until Joost Zuurbier of Amsterdam found them and explained so that he could eventually launch the Freedom Registry. Tokelau receives a cut of the Freedom Registry’s earnings which now makes up one-sixth of their economy.
“Freedom Registry makes money through ads on expired domains. Zuurbier says registration and renewal are free for users, but when they abandon the site or don’t meet the minimum requirements of 25 unique visitors every 90 days, the domain gets ‘parked.’ That means the URL still exists, but the content is replaced with ads tailored to the original site,” CNN reported of the service.
The first mention of the website that is still currently available on Twitter was from October 12, 2016 — by WikiLeaks. The tweet came nine days after the link was sent to Trump Jr. The website is also currently copyrighted 2016.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 12, 2016
WikiLeaks made headlines in 2016 when they offered a $20,000 reward for information on the murderer of the slain DNC staffer. The website’s founder Julian Assange also mentioned Rich during an appearance on Dutch television.
“Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often significant risks. There was a 27-year old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back… murdered.. for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington,” Assange said during an interview with Dutch TV last year. When asked by the host if he would suggest that Rich was involved, he stated that “we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States and that our sources face serious risks… that’s why they come to us so we can protect their anonymity.”
Additionally, as Kim Dotcom began to assert that he knows for a fact that Rich was the leaker, Assange sent out an ominous tweet using the hashtag #SethRich. He asserted that while he would never name a leaker, sometimes others may.
WikiLeaks has never disclosed a source. Sources sometimes talk to other parties but identities never emerge from WikiLeaks. #SethRich
— Julian Assange ???? (@JulianAssange) May 22, 2017
Rich was shot in the back in the early morning hours of July 10, 2016, near his home while he was on the phone with his girlfriend — 12 days before the publication of the DNC emails by the controversial publisher. The police initially ruled that it was a botched robbery — but his wallet, watch, and necklace were still on his person when he was discovered by police.
Big League Politics has reached out to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for comment and will update this story if more information becomes available.