Seth Rich
© unknownSeth Rich
The Central Intelligence Agency will neither confirm nor deny that it fabricated the Russian "fingerprints" in Democratic National Committee emails published in 2016 by "Guccifer 2.0," and the FBI implicitly acknowledged today that it never reviewed the contents of DNC employee Seth Rich's laptop despite gaining custody of the laptop after his murder.

The revelations came in two separate Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed by my clients in the Eastern District of Texas. For those of you who live under a rock, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange strongly implied in a 2016 interview that the leaked DNC emails came from Mr. Rich, while the political / bureaucratic / media establishment has steadfastly maintained that the emails were hacked by agents of Russia.

The latest admissions blow a hole in the government / media narrative, suggesting that federal officials not only ignored Seth Rich's role in the leaks, but fraudulently shifted the blame to Russia.

In The Transparency Project v. Department of Justice, et al., my client asked to see records indicating whether the CIA or its Directorate of Digital Innovation, its contractors, etc. inserted Russian "fingerprints" into the metadata of the emails that were released publicly. (You can review the entire request by clicking here and reading Paragraph 11).

In a joint report filed today, the CIA informed the court that it intends to assert a Glomar response to the request, i.e., that it "cannot confirm or deny" the existence of such records. To make sure I was not reading too much into that non-response, I contacted one of my investigators, Larry C. Johnson, who retired from the CIA.

Larry reached out to two former colleagues, both of whom held senior positions at CIA, and all three had the same response: the CIA has been caught with its pants down, because otherwise the agency would have denied outright that the records exist.

Allow me to illustrate the point. If I asked the CIA for intercepted emails from the president of another country, the CIA would rightly issue a Glomar response, because it would not want to confirm or deny that it has been spying on the foreign president. That's what Glomar is for, because the CIA is in the business of secretly spying on foreign presidents, officials, agents, etc.

My client's request, on the other hand, is more akin to asking the CIA for records showing whether it helped Lee Harvey Oswald assassinate President John F. Kennedy. We would expect the CIA to declare that it has no such records because it would never do such a thing.

You'll note that my client's requests to the CIA went well beyond the DNC email leaks, e.g., requesting records about CIA surveillance of Ed Butowsky and Matt Couch, two U.S. citizens who have played an outsized role in debunking the "Russian collusion" narrative. We would expect the CIA to deny that it has any such records, because it is illegal for the CIA to surveil U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. Instead, the CIA is refusing to confirm or deny that it broke the law.

You'll also see in Paragraph 11 of the complaint that we asked for records about CIA surveillance of journalists and CIA infiltration of social media, Big Tech, and Big Media. I fully expected the CIA to argue that these requests were too broad, but I did not expect a Glomar response to nearly every item. To be clear, my client asked for records about whether the CIA engaged in widespread violations of the law, and the CIA is saying that it cannot confirm or deny that such records exist.

Fortunately, I have ways of making the CIA talk. Section 1.7 of Executive Order 13526 prohibits the use of national-security classification for purposes of concealing illegal activity or government wrongdoing. You can bet we'll be litigating the fire out of Executive Order 13526 in the coming months.


In an effort to buy more time in Brian Huddleston v. FBI, et al., the FBI disclosed in an email and court filing today that it does not have any reports about the Seth Rich laptop or its contents, only a "302 form" produced at the time the laptop was received.

A 302 form is created whenever an FBI agent interviews a witness, so the form probably just reports the identity of the person who surrendered the laptop (likely Seth's brother and executor, Aaron) and why he said he was producing it.

I went back and reviewed the motion that the FBI filed on December 16, 2020, and I noticed the following excerpt:
FBI is also currently working on getting the files from Seth Rich's personal laptop into a format to be reviewed. There are thousands of files of many types. The goal right now is to describe, generally, the types of files/personal information contained in this computer. Furthermore, the FBI will continue to evaluate the responsiveness of these files under the FOIA.
I don't know why I didn't realize it at the time, but the FBI was telling me that it had no idea what was on Seth Rich's computer, and that's because the FBI had never looked at his computer.

If, as we are told, Mr. Rich was killed in a "botched robbery" that was only investigated by local police, then why would the FBI take custody of his laptop? And why would the FBI take custody of evidence and then never review it? (Maybe we should ask Hunter Biden, as I suspect his laptop was kept on the same shelf as Seth's.)

You may recall from my December 9, 2020 post that former Attorney General Bill Barr and Special Counsel John Durham steadfastly refused to consider any information about Seth Rich. The whole subject was arbitrarily off limits, and I'm increasingly convinced that's because Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham were double agents. They convinced President Trump that they were aggressively pursuing the "Russian collusion" hoax, but in reality they were just running out the clock.

Maybe Congress will hold hearings? Fat chance. There was a time when Democrats and the media would have pursued CIA/FBI abuses like a duck on a June bug, e.g., Senator Frank Church and the Church Committee in the 70s. This time, however, Richard Nixon wasn't responsible for weaponizing the CIA, FBI, etc. against his political enemies. No, Barack Obama and his CIA director, John Brennan, did that, and that makes it all OK.