After a dizzying week of unsubstantiated claims and anonymous rumors, it’s time to look at what we actually know about Seth Rich’s murder.
On Tuesday May 16, Fox5 in Washington D.C. released a report claiming that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was in contact with WikiLeaks prior to his murder in July 2016. The report claimed a private investigator hired by Rich’s family has found tangible evidence of a connection to Rich and WikiLeaks. According to D.C. police, Rich was shot twice in the back as part of a botched robbery in D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood. He has been suspected as the possible source for the DNC leaks which began last summer during the presidential campaign.
The news report was quickly debunked or hailed as proof (depending on where or if you fall along the left/right political paradigm) of Rich’s connection to the leaks. Wheeler initially stated he had seen evidence “on Rich’s laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death.” However, within 48 hours Wheeler backed off his claims, at one point telling CNN, “I only got that [information] from the reporter at Fox News.”
Only days after Wheeler backed off his claims, Fox News officially denounced the story promoted by Wheeler and an apparent “anonymous federal investigator.” Fox News writes:
On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich. The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed. We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.
The New York Times and other deadstream outlets were quick to point the finger on various “far right” and “conspiracy theory” websites for reporting on the developments. The Times claimed “Mr. Assange was trying to protect his reputation” and that Alex Jones, the founder of Infowars, is trying to sell more Fluoride Shield supplement.
Meanwhile, Seth Rich’s parents and brother released statements asking researchers to drop the case. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, the Riches accuse media outlets of using their son’s memory for their own political gain. “We ask those purveying falsehoods to give us peace, and to give law enforcement the time and space to do the investigation they need to solve our son’s murder,” they wrote.
Aaron Rich, Seth’s brother, also wrote a letter to Porter Berry, executive producer of “Hannity,” demanding that he force host Sean Hannity to stop promoting theories about his brother’s death. “As the family, we would hope to be the first people to learn about any such evidence and reasons for Seth’s death,” Aaron Rich wrote in the letter which was viewed by CNN. “It is a travesty that you would prompt false conspiracy theories and other people’s agendas rather than work with the family to learn the truth.”
The pleas from the family and the retraction of the Fox story did not slow down the pursuit for more information related to Seth Rich’s murder. The continued interest in the story was due in part to statements made last week and over the weekend by Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom. Dotcom tweeted that he had evidence tying Seth Rich to WikiLeaks. He tweeted, “If Congress includes
#SethRich case into their Russia probe I’ll give written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was @Wikileaks source.” Dotcom then promised to release a full statement on Tuesday after conferring with his legal team.
The statement was released on Tuesday as promised, but it provided no new information and only further fueled the abundant speculation into whether or not Seth Rich was connected to WikiLeaks in any way. “I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK,” read a statement on Kim.com.” I know this because in late 2014 a person contacted me about helping me to start a branch of the Internet Party in the United States. He called himself Panda. I now know that Panda was Seth Rich.”
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Dotcom goes on to claim that “Panda” was working on voter analytics tools and wanted to change the political system from within. He said that he would be willing to provide a full statement in person to the U.S. Congress upon receiving a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller that he would be allowed to travel unmolested from New Zealand to the United States.
Dotcom’s less than revealing statement was met with a mix of hope, disappointment, and attacks from establishment media. The Washington Post published a story accusing him of attempting to hack Seth Rich’s Gmail account to plant false evidence of a WikiLeaks connection.
It sure looks like @KimDotcom tried to hack Seth Rich’s Gmail account to plant evidence for his conspiracy theory. https://t.co/xeH9TYrKyy pic.twitter.com/C4gsJj3cfx
— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) May 24, 2017
The Post stated that Seth Rich’s Gmail account received a new alert in the last week from Mega.com, a website created by Kim Dotcom. “The latest revelation — that a hacker from New Zealand may have been trying as recently as this week to hack into Rich’s email — offered fresh evidence that the conspiracy theory is false,” The Post writes. “Dotcom, it seemed, may have been willing to create a fake archive of emails from Rich to “prove” his role in the DNC hack.”
Dotcom responded with his own open letter warning the Rich family and spokesman not to defame his name in their attempt to silence researchers. “I remain prepared to assist in the investigation, as I have said. While I want to show understanding to the family in this difficult time, I also maintain that what I have said is true and will be substantiated upon investigation.” Dotcom addressed what he called false statements from WaPo and Fox News. Dotcom continues to tweet about Seth Rich and is calling for a crowdfunded investigation into his death.
Make a simple, easy website to educate folks about #SethRich.
Submit to me via DM
Best site wins $1000
I’ll get some celebrities involved.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 26, 2017
Kim Dotcom also encouraged his followers to support Texas Representative Blake Farenthold, “the lawmaker who has called for a real investigation into the murder of #SethRich.” Activist Post will continue to post developments if they come.
At this point it’s important to recognize that the only piece of “evidence” which point towards Seth Rich being involved with the DNC leaks and WikiLeaks rest on a couple of curious comments from Julian Assange and Twitter chat logs that are purported to have taken place between Robbin Young, a former Playboy model and actress, and the apparent hacker behind the leaks, Guccifer 2.0. In these direct messages Young and Gufficer converse about the origin of the DNC leaks. Readers should note that these messages have not been independently verified, but they can be viewed in their entirety on Young’s website.
We are left with the statement from Dotcom, comments from Assange, a discredited report, and unconfirmed chat logs. It is possible Rod Wheeler and Fox were threatened and told to stop reporting on Rich’s murder. Possible, yet lacking in evidence. There are still loose threads to be explored by researchers with the skill, time, and resources. For the rest of us, it may be important to focus on the fact that the U.S. government still has not conclusively proven that the 2016 Presidential Election was “hacked” by the Russian government.
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1 and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2
Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact Derrick@activistpost.com
This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.
Image Credit: The Free Thought Project
I don’t think it matters what the parents want. There was a murder that is legally required to be investigated. Plus I have read (forget where) that those statements were actually coming from the DNC operative posing as their lawyer, and that the parents are glad that the issue is being pushed.
You forgot to mention that Assange repeatedly stated that the leaks did NOT come from Russia AND not only was he visibly upset at news of Seth Rich’s death but immediately offered a $10,000. reward for info leading to the killers. If Rich was the source Assange should say so as it is no longer necessary to protect him.
Rich’s family threatened?
Many sources would fear for their families after death.
Great points! And what about the cop’s body cams? Local surveillance cameras? Did you catch the message exchange on 4-Chan (I think) that was supposed to be a Dr. who worked on the guy?
Question: I it was something other than a robbery gone wrong (takes 10 seconds to grab a wallet) and it was a “hit” why would they not want it to look like a robbery?
The PI retracted his claim that he had solid proof, but I did not catch his backing off his claims that the cop’s were told to back off the investigation, did he? Why did that claim not get run to ground?
The police reports state that Seth was conscious and breathing, what did he say? How long after arriving at the hospital was he pronounced dead? Was there an autopsy?
The whole thing stinks, any petty thief/mugger would give up his buddy for a whole lot less than the $$ being offered so why has nobody come forward? If it was a mugger he would probably have been bragging about killing someone.
Too much is wrong with this story, and a known mouthpiece for the DNC is now speaking for the family? Stinks BAD!
…I disagree with revealing the source. Mr. Assange’s credibility and that of Wikileaks is too important at this time to create the optics of potential betrayal. Mr Assange must maintain the image of a wall of anonymous invincibility, or he may never get another piece of information. The tools of Wikileaks are too important to our battle. Let the amateurs keep working on it. We know the truth. Eventually we will know all, even if it’s not prosecuted. Shame on The Rich family for being so easily intimidated. If it were my son…no threat would deter me.
Totally agree.Assange should put this matter to rest or at least to follow the truth of the matter.
Pursue the case!
Did you realize that the District of Columbia police didn’t even bother to interview the people who were at the bar that Rich went to a few hours before he died? Jack Posobiec of Rebel Media actually talked to these people. I thought they were investigating a murder? Why was Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former head of the DNC, so desperate to get Rich’s laptop back? You can see video of her threatening the head of the DC police. What about the unexplained deaths of 2 OTHER DNC staffers who also worked in Information Technology with Rich? What about the death of the person who was the Wikileaks’ staffer who actually got the leaks? What about the John Podesta email talking about making an example of leakers whether they were guilty or not?
Let’s ignore all of the above. Let’s blame the Russians even though a former British Ambassador to the US said he met with the leaker and he wasn’t Russian. We need to impeach Trump regardless of the truth just like Maxine Waters wants.
Disconnect between guilty DNC and impeach Trump?
Why was Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the former head of the DNC, so desperate to get Rich’s laptop back?<===
No that was the IT guy's who fled to Pakistan.
More GREAT points. I did not hear about 2 other IT people killed, where did you get that info?
…don’t forget they young guy who went to school with Rich, and was working as The Process Server for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against The DNC, Schultz, etc. Recall that his girl-friend found him dead on the floor of their bathroom just two weeks after serving the papers on The DNC. They claimed he died of “natural causes”. What a tangled web…eh?
Pray for the immediate elimination of the killer(s).
When will Americans remove the cancer that was implanted in 1963? These are the same people who have been killing us for 54 years. Do you expect them to investigate themselves? Good article
What WaPo are trying to pass as evidence for KimDotCom attempting to hack Seth’s email makes no sense whatsoever and makes me wonder if not someone are quite desperate and in full panic mode, completely unable to come up with any good ideas.
But just how quick it get labeled “dangerous conspiracy theory” or “irresponsible” or “disrespectful to the familiy” from the same media organizations that have had no problems with wild speculations about Russia and collusion even without concrete evidence something criminal actually has happened. Never mind the consequences, like the risk of turning a cold war between 2 nuclear powers into a hot one or just the creation of pure hatred against Russia and/or Russians among large parts of the populations. But no room or speculation about what happened to Seth Rich?
The sheer lack of both logic and proportional scrutiny, is evidence enough to confirm that atleast one of 2 things must be true.
a) There is a major cover-up of epic proportions going on….
b) MSM know the Russia narrative is bullshit, but doesn’t care, because they have their own agenda, and facts and truth has nothing to do with it.
There are to many fires going on all over the place, I can’t see how they are going to stop this short off shutting down the internet or launch a couple of nukes.
Trump only need to blow this case open to take out his two most vocal enemies, MSM and the Democrats.
Then it’s just the GOP (I suspect they hate him even more than the Dems) The secret services at home and abroad, the banks and corporations and….. Oh my, does he know what he has gotten himself into?