Donna Brazile Says She "Feared For Her Life" After Seth Rich Was Killed
Perhaps the most shocking revelation contained in the excerpts from former DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile’s book was, unsurprisingly, buried in a Washington Post overview of the various allegations (and frankly, we’re surprised the Post, given its status as a protector of the Washington establishment, deigned to publish it).
In the aftermath of Wikileaks’ decision to publish a cache of emails stolen from the DNC’s servers, Donna Brazile says she became increasingly paranoid about both possible Russian efforts to sway the election. Surprisingly, she says top Democrats initially instructed her not to discuss her concerns with others.
But even more than the Russians, Brazile says she feared possible retribution from shadowy elements within the campaign and the Democratic Party who might blame her for the leak. Her fears only intensified, she says, after the mysterious shooting of former campaign staffer Seth Rich, who the authorities said was killed during a robbery, though many so-called conspiracy theorists have speculated about a possible Democratic plot to kill Rich for his role in leaking the stash of DNC emails to Wikileaks. Brazile's anxiety eventually spiraled out of control, to the point where she feared for her own life while serving as interim chairwoman of the DNC.
Brazile describes her mounting anxiety about Russia’s theft of emails and other data from DNC servers, the slow process of discovering the full extent of the cyberattacks and the personal fallout. She likens the feeling to having rats in your basement: “You take measures to get rid of them, but knowing they are there, or have been there, means you never feel truly at peace.”
Brazile writes that she was haunted by the still-unsolved murder of DNC data staffer Seth Rich and feared for her own life, shutting the blinds to her office window so snipers could not see her and installing surveillance cameras at her home. She wonders whether Russians had placed a listening device in plants in the DNC executive suite.
At first, Brazile writes of the hacking, top Democratic officials were “encouraging us not to talk about it.” But she says a wake-up moment came when she visited the White House in August 2016, for President Obama’s 55th birthday party. National security adviser Susan E. Rice and former attorney general Eric Holder separately pulled her aside quietly to urge her to take the Russian hacking seriously, which she did, she writes.