“Hey Don, we have an unusual idea. Leak us one or more of your father’s tax returns.”
WikiLeaks slid that message into Donald Trump Jr’s Twitter DMs—an unusual request for the son of a then-presidential candidate. Since its founding, WikiLeaks had portrayed itself as the ultimate fourth estate—a digital drop-box where secrets could be deposited and released as public information.
But in the run-up to the presidential election, WikiLeaks’ dispatches began to show a partisan slant. There was an email trove from a hack of the DNC; a searchable database of Hillary Clinton’s emails. A release from Trump “will dramatically improve the perception of our impartiality,” the message continued. “This is the real kicker.”
The exchange happened last year, but it came to light in 2017: a moment when all of our secrets began bursting into the open.