Re: Wash Post story — Sorry to write this on a Saturday night | WIKILEAKS PODESTA 36082 | FEB 22, 2015

On Feb 21, 2015, at 10:12 PM, Joel Benenson <> wrote:

But this is by far the most damaging story and most damaging type of story we can have. The press will love writing these. I did when I was a reporter.  I think we need a paradigm shift in how this world operates we have to convince HRC and probably WJC that her meeting with 200 people doesn’t help her. Hiring corporate wizards has never been a successful strategy in campaigns.  And anyone whose name is in the paper 48 hours after they meet with her needs to be cut off completely from her campaign. Almost everyone on this team that has been assembled has been busting their tail to make this work and to work against this kind of stuff and it’s going to get demoralizing in a hurry.

I’m open to all and any alternatives on how to truly solve this but I really feel that when she is back from CA we have to solve this.

Thanks, Joel

From: John Podesta [;>]
Sent: Sunday, February 22, 2015 10:47 AM
To: Joel Benenson
Cc: Robby Mook 2015 (
Subject: Re: Wash Post story — Sorry to write this on a Saturday night


I generally agree with the point, but we need a strategy on this that goes beyond internal discipline. This story could have been written without any of these big mouths blabbing. The mere involvement of Wendy gave them license to write this. The only thing in the story that indicated that someone on the inside was talking was the reference to the H, although one of Peter Sealey’s big clients is Coke so we probably know where that came from. We can and should try to shut this down, but it is going to be tough until we get to a point where someone can actually talk on behalf of the campaign. One particular challenge is Spence. He’s worked with them for 40 years. He’s like Harold Ickes-Reporters will think he’s inside even if he’s not. We need a strategy to enable people who are real and disable those that aren’t.

–Sent from my iPad–
For scheduling:

On Feb 22, 2015, at 5:56 PM, Joel Benenson <> wrote:

We are in massive agreement that we need a strategy and process now to enable and disable as you say and I think this is worth spending some time making it practicable. I would strongly recommend either one of you or both talking with Plouffe about he and Axe created that culture from the start in 07. Here are some thoughts but I realize this topic will take a dedicated conversation to figure out what will work.

I do believe that this starts with alignment on our campaign culture and a paradigm shift in the old Clinton M.O. I know HRC believes the more people you talk to the better but it simply isn’t. Especially for her. We really need to tighten who she talks to and make sure that Huma/schedulers route most people through high level folks on the campaign so that they are being listened to.

I think Robby rightly says that a lot of our leaks are coming through job searches we’re doing. I think every conversation has to either begin or end by telling people if you’re name appears in print as a result of the conversations the job is off the table.

I think we have to make examples now of people who have violated the trust of HRC and the rest of the team. People going forward need to know there are stiff consequences for leaking, self-promotion, unauthorized talking with the press. No one – literally no one talked to the press in either Obama campaign without clearing it with campaign brass.


Date: 2015-02-22 21:20
Subject: Re: Wash Post story — Sorry to write this on a Saturday night

I agree–when we have press staff, this will be MUCH easier. And I would love an example being made.


On Sun, Feb 22, 2015 at 6:12 PM, John Podesta <> wrote:

Agree. Happy to talk to the David’s. Call me crazy, but I think if we can survive the next month, it will be possible, maybe even straightforward to get our arms around this once there is an actual campaign. I’m definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it.

–Sent from my iPad–
For scheduling:

This is the article they were referring to:

The making of Hillary 5.0: Marketing wizards help re-imagine Clinton brand | WASHINGTON POST | FEB 21, 2015

Murder of Seth Rich | WIKIPEDIA | FEB 4, 2017

Seth Conrad Rich (January 3, 1989 – July 10, 2016) was fatally shot in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C. He was a 27-year-old employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).[1][2][3]

Rich grew up in Omaha, Nebraska in a Jewish family.[4] In 2011 he graduated from Creighton University where he majored in history and political science.[5][1][6]

At the time of his death, Rich was the Voter Expansion Data Director at the DNC, where he had been employed for two years and had worked on a computer application to help voters locate polling stations.[7][8][2][5]

Promising Jewish Democratic National Committee Staffer Shot Dead on Own Washington D.C. Block | FORWARD | JUL 12, 2016

Seth Rich, a promising employee of the Democratic National Committee from a prominent Jewish family in Omaha, Nebraska, was shot and killed as he walked home on his Washington D.C. block early Sunday.

Police were investigating the crime and said there were no suspects and no motive known for the slaying, which took place at 4:20 am. as he apparently walked home.

Rich, 27, suffered “multiple gun shot wounds” and there were signs of a struggle said a police spokesman, who would not say if the crime could be related to a string of robberies in the gentrifying Bloomingdale neighborhood near Howard University.

Rich, who worked as the voter expansion data director for the Democratic National Committee, belonged to a family that is a pillar of the Jewish community in Omaha.

His grandfather was a founding member of Beth El Synagogue and his father was president of the congregation until stepping down this summer.“The kid was a mensch,” said Rabbi Steven Abraham. “This is a family that is entrenched in our Jewish community.” Seth Rich loved politics and surprised nobody by seeking a job in the nation’s capital. “I think it’s a very Jewish thing to do,” the rabbi said. “He wanted to make a difference,” Joel I. Rich, 68, Seth’s father, told the Washington Post. “Politics was in his blood.”

On his LinkedIn page, Seth Rich wrote, “I have an enormous interest in public service and working towards making the world a better place.” He also worked in local politics in Nebraska, including a stint on a campaign of former U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson. “He was truly out, I think, to try to save the world,” his brother, Aaron Rich, 33, told The World-Herald of Omaha “He was committed to whatever cause he thought was right.” Retired teacher Rita Ryan told the paper that Rich never missed a meeting of Central High Schools’s Student Democrats club. “They’d sit there and argue politics for two hours and I’d say I have to go home and feed my cats,” she recalled. “They’d say ‘not yet, not yet.’” Rich also attended the popular Camp Ramah in Wisconsin as a camper; he also worked there during college as the director of boating education.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the DNC, paid tribute to the slain young staffer in a statement that noted his work involved expanding the number of Americans who get to vote.“Seth Rich was a dedicated, selfless public servant who worked tirelessly to protect the most sacred right we share as Americans,” said Wasserman Schultz. “He was a joy to have as a member of our team, and his talents, intelligence and enthusiasm will be deeply missed by many friends, colleagues and co-workers who worked by his side in service to the highest ideals of our democracy.”

Voter Expansion Project | DEMOCRATS 

DNC staffs up for voter expansion project | THE HILL | APR 9, 2014

The Democratic National Committee is staffing up in Ohio and Texas as part of its Voter Expansion Project aimed at pushing back on laws the party sees as restricting voting access.

On Wednesday, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) announced four new hires, including state directors for the project in Texas and Ohio.

“With our state party partners, we have a national infrastructure and team of experts that no other organization can bring to bear,” she said in a statement. “Voting laws are rapidly changing, and our Voter Expansion Project will make sure that Democrats and all voters  across the country are able to exercise their right to vote and make their voices heard.”

Lindsay Langholz was named director of the voter expansion project in the swing state of Ohio, which has become a central focus in recent presidential elections. President Obama captured the state’s 18 electoral votes in the last two presidential elections, but it has moved between the two parties in recent history.

Sondra Haltom was named the director of the project in Texas. She is a former director of the Democratic state party who founded a non-profit for voting rights in the state. Democrats want to put an increased focus on the red state as they hope to make it competitive in future elections with the rising share of the Hispanic electorate.

Bobby Hoffman, who worked on both presidential campaigns for Obama, was named deputy director of voter expansion. Zara Haq, who also worked on the Obama campaign, will become the director of knowledge management.

Democrats rolled out the expansion project in February with a video featuring former President Bill Clinton, who said there is “no greater assault on our values than the rampant efforts to restrict the right to vote.”

The DNC effort looks to register more people, simplify the process and make sure all voters are counted.

Vice President Biden was featured in a video this week showing exasperation at having to make a pitch for voting rights today.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas has some of the strictest voter-identification laws in the country, which require people without identification to fill out a provisional ballot and present identification less than a week later in order to get a vote counted. Attorney General Eric Holder filed a lawsuit against the state last year challenging the new voter laws.

A similar voter identification law is set up in Ohio.


DNC Voter Expansion Project Announces First Staff Hire: Texas State Director | TEXAS DEMOCRATS | APR 9, 2014

Austin, TX — As part of the Democratic National Committee’s Voter Expansion Project, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz today announced the hiring of Sondra Haltom as Texas State Director to be based in Austin.  These hires come just days after the New York Times report detailing the Republican Party’s attempts to limit voting rights in Texas, and where the Justice Department has had to intervene.

“For years Republicans have sought to limit the strength of minorities, women, young people and all Texans at the ballot box,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa. “We want to thank the DNC for providing resources to help Texas Democrats protect the vote and expand democracy.”

As the DNC and Democrats around the country – including Vice President Joe Biden – seek to expand access to voting through the new Voter Expansion Project, Republicans continue their cynical attempt to make it more difficult for people to vote. Since the Supreme Court struck the heart out of the Voting Rights Act, Texas has raced to implement a strict voter ID law, which affects women in particular.

“As Republicans continue to attack our right to vote, limit our access to the polls, making it more difficult to cast our ballot, Democrats are fighting to expand the vote and increase access,” said Pratt Wiley, National Director of Voter Protection at the DNC. “Our team is building a professional and permanent, in-house operation that will remain in place from cycle to cycle for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.”

A native Houstonian, Haltom has 15 years of experience working on election issues like ballot access, voter suppression prevention, redistricting and more. In December 2012, she founded Empower The Vote Texas (ETVT), a non-profit organization dedicated to voting rights and election reform issues. ETVT tracked election legislation proposed in both the Texas Legislature and U.S. Congress, monitored litigation on voting rights, served as a resource on Texas election law, and educated Texans about the voting process.

“Protecting and expanding the right to vote has long been a struggle in Texas but the challenges have been magnified in recent years,” said Haltom. “In order to fight back against the barriers being erected to voter participation, it is vital that this work happen year-round. That’s why I am so excited to be a part of the DNC’s effort to ensure that all eligible Texans are able to fully participate in their democracy.”

Prior to starting ETVT, Haltom served for seven years as the Political Director for the Texas Democratic Party where she built and lead the TDP’s Voter Protection Program and their efforts to fight illegal redistricting maps, voter suppression efforts and voter ID legislation. She is a graduate of Texas Christian University.

The Voter Expansion Project was announced in a video by former President Bill Clinton to DNC supporters. This project helps ensure the Democratic Party not only protects the right to vote, but also works proactively with states across the country to expand access to the ballot box.


REPORT: DNC voter data director murdered in DC | THE AMERICAN MIRROR | JUL 11, 2016

The Democratic National Committee’s Voter Expansion Data director was murdered early Sunday morning, according to multiple news reports.

The DNC’s Voter Expansion Data Director was found murdered on the street near where he lived early Sunday. More at 5

— Paul Wagner (@Fox5Wagner) July 11, 2016

Wagner reports 27-year-old Seth Rich “was found shot multiple times near Flagler and W NW just after 4 am Sunday.”

According to ABC 7:

D.C. Police say they heard gunshots while patrolling in the area Monday around 4:19 a.m. Police say they found Seth Rich, 27, of Northwest D.C. in the 2100 block of Flagler Place NW suffering from multiple gunshot wounds but conscious and breathing.

Rich was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

He lived in the neighborhood, police say.

The area has reportedly seen an increase in crime and police “could not comment on whether the killing was related to recent robberies in the area.”

“I have an enormous interest in public service and working towards making the world a better place,” Rich wrote on his LinkedIn, according to NBC 4. 

27-Year-Old DNC Staffer Seth Rich Shot, Killed in Northwest DC | NBC | JUL 11, 2016

A 27-year-old man who worked for the Democratic National Committee was shot and killed as he walked home early Sunday in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C., police and his family said. Seth Conrad Rich died after he was shot multiple times on the 2100 block of Flagler Place NW, three blocks east of Howard University Hospital, police said.

“Worst nightmare,” Rich’s mother, Mary Rich, said by phone. Mary Rich said police told her family her son may have been the victim of an attempted robbery. He was talking on the phone with his girlfriend when she heard noise on Rich’s end of the line, Mary Rich said. Her son told his girlfriend not to worry about it. “There had been a struggle. His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything,” she said. “They took his life for literally no reason. They didn’t finish robbing him, they just took his life,” Mary Rich continued. “They hurt the community, and they hurt the long-term possibility of what he could have done.”

Rich lived in the neighborhood, Acting Capt. Anthony Haythe of the Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide branch said at a news conference Monday morning. Fifth District police officers were patrolling the area about 4:20 a.m. when they heard gunshots, police said. Neighbor Mike Mueller said he also heard the shots. “I heard two sharp gunshots, very quickly. I looked at the clock and it was 4:19,” he said. When police arrived on Flagler Place, they found Rich suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The Omaha, Nebraska, native was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Police have no witnesses and are searching the area for surveillance video footage, Haythe said. The acting captain said he could not comment on whether the killing was related to recent robberies in the area.

Rich worked for the Democratic National Committee, his father said. He graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and previously worked on Democrats’ campaigns, for the U.S. Census Bureau and as a boating instructor at a summer camp, according to his LinkedIn page. “I have an enormous interest in public service and working towards making the world a better place,” Rich wrote on the page.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement on Monday mourning the death of Rich, who worked as voter expansion data director. “Our hearts are broken with the loss of one of our DNC family members over the weekend. Seth Rich was a dedicated, selfless public servant who worked tirelessly to protect the most sacred right we share as Americans – the right to vote,” she said. “He saw the great potential of our nation and believed that, together, we can make the world a better place.”

Hillary Clinton spoke about Rich on Tuesday morning, amid remarks in New Hamphire on gun violence. “Just this past Sunday, a young man, Seth Rich — who worked for the Democratic National Committee, to expand voting rights — was shot and killed in his neighborhood in Washington. He was just 27 years old,” she said. “Surely we can agree that weapons of war have no place on the streets of America.”

Police did not release any information on the type of weapon the shooter may have used.

DNC mourns ‘dedicated, selfless’ staffer killed in D.C. | POLITICO | JUL 11, 2016

The Democratic National Committee’s voter expansion data director was fatally shot on Sunday morning in Washington, D.C.

Seth Rich was shot several times near his home in the Bloomingdale neighborhood, according to local reports, which stated that there were no witnesses to the shooting.

“Our hearts are broken with the loss of one of our DNC family members over the weekend. Seth Rich was a dedicated, selfless public servant who worked tirelessly to protect the most sacred right we share as Americans – the right to vote,” DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement mourning the loss of 27-year-old staffer.

“He saw the great potential of our nation and believed that, together, we can make the world a better place. He was a joy to have as a member of our team, and his talents, intelligence and enthusiasm will be deeply missed by the many friends, colleagues and coworkers who worked by his side in service to the highest ideals of our democracy,” Wasserman Schultz said. “We send our deepest heartfelt sympathies to Seth’s family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers as we try to pick up the pieces and carry on the work that was so important to Seth and to us.”

Rich had worked in his current capacity with the DNC since June 2014, according to his LinkedIn page, which states that he graduated from Creighton University in 2011, working various political jobs before and after graduation, including a time on the re-election campaign of former Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).

“I have an enormous interest in public service and working towards making the world a better place,” he wrote on the site.


 Seth Rich, Murdered DNC Director Of Voter Expansion, Bernie Sander’s Supporter, And American Hero – NEW INFORMATION ON SETH RICH. | INVESTMENT WATCH BLOG | DEC 20, 2016

As Claire Bernish recently highlighted for Underground Reporter, the so-called “Clinton body count” has spiked in recent weeks. Since the end of June, four Clinton-connected people have died under questionable circumstances — one of whom, John Ashe, was a former president of the U.N. General Assembly.

Ashe, incidentally — whose throat was crushed in an alleged workout accident — was set to testify against Hillary Clinton in a corruption case just days later.

Coincidentally — or, perhaps not — Seth Rich was also slated to testify in a Clinton investigation. According to the Washington Post, prior to his death Rich was looking into several instances of DNC electoral fraud and voter suppression, and was to give testimony in the case regarding Clinton’s email server — the very scandal kicked off by the Wikileaks data dump.

Family, police deny reports linking slain DNC staffer to WikiLeaks | WASHINGTON TIMES | MAY 16, 2017

The family of a Democratic National Committee staffer who was slain in Northwest last year has denied reports that he had been in contact with the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, and the Metropolitan Police Department has rejected accusations that detectives had been ordered to stand down in the unsolved homicide.

Fox affiliate WTTG-TV reported Monday night that a private investigator hired by the family of Seth Rich believes there is “tangible evidence on Rich’s laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death.”

The investigator, former D.C. Metropolitan Police Detective Rod Wheeler, also said he had spoken with a source in the police department who had been told to stand down on the investigation.

Fox News reported Tuesday morning that a federal investigator who had reviewed an FBI forensic report on Rich’s computer said there was evidence that Rich sent thousands of DNC emails to WikiLeaks from January 2015 to May 2016.

Rich was fatally shot July 10 while walking home from a bar. Shortly after his death, WikiLeaks published a trove of hacked DNC emails — jump-starting conspiracy theories that Rich had somehow been involved.


Family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich criticizes right-wing media’s role in igniting new conspiracy in murder case | BUSINESS INSIDER | MAY 16, 2017

The family of Seth Rich, a slain Democratic National Committee staffer, criticized media outlets and people who they suggested used a new report about Rich’s contacts before his death as validation of their political ideology.

Late Monday, a private investigator affiliated with the Rich family told Fox 5, a Washington, DC, outlet, that before being fatally shot in July, Rich had contacts with WikiLeaks, which released internal DNC emails last year.

Rod Wheeler, the investigator, who the Rich family said is paid by a third party, suggested the Metropolitan Police Department attempted to cover up the nature of Rich’s death on behalf of the DNC, which the police department denied on Tuesday.

The Fox 5 report was featured prominently by top right-leaning outlets, including Breitbart News, the Drudge Report, Fox News, and the “Fox & Friends” morning show.

Asked about the attention the new report received from right-leaning outlets, Brad Bauman, a representative for the Rich family, said the family condemned the attempt to politicize Rich’s death.

“It’s sad but unsurprising that a group of media outlets who have repeatedly lied to the American people would try and manipulate the legacy of a murder victim in order to forward their own political agenda,” Bauman told Business Insider. “I think there is a special place in hell for people like that.”

Many top right-leaning outlets have dismissed intelligence and law-enforcement findings that Russia hacked and leaked private DNC emails in which top staffers were hostile to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic primary.

The insinuation that Rich leaked the emails has reignited the claim online that Rich’s dissatisfaction with the DNC, not Russian interference, influenced the election. On Monday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange retweeted the Fox 5 story.

Rich’s family said Wheeler’s assertions were “unsubstantiated claims” and that they saw “no facts, we have seen no evidence, we have been approached with no emails and only learned about this when contacted by the press.”

“Even if tomorrow an email was found, it is not a high enough bar of evidence to prove any interactions as emails can be altered, and we’ve seen that those interested in pushing conspiracies will stop at nothing to do so,” the family said in a statement.

The family’s statement continued:

“We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth’s murderers. The services of the private investigator who spoke to press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family.”

Rich’s family has repeatedly attempted to quash online theories that there was a conspiratorial motive behind Rich’s death. Police said Rich was shot during an attempted robbery while he was walking home from a bar in Washington, DC.

In August, WikiLeaks promised a $20,000 reward to whoever identified Rich’s killer.

In a statement to Business Insider after WikiLeaks announced the reward, the family thanked investigators but said attempts to politicize Rich’s death by floating unfounded theories about the shooting were “actually causing more harm than good and impeding on the ability for law enforcement to properly do their job.”