A controversial investigator has reported that former DNC staffer Seth Rich was in contact with WikiLeaks before his murder in July 2016.
Rod Wheeler, the private investigator interviewed on Fox 5 in D.C., now appears to be backing off claims that he had seen evidence proving DNC staffer Seth Rich was WikiLeaks’ source for the DNC Leaks. Wheeler told Fox5 he had sources proving that D.C. police and the FBI were putting the brakes on an investigation into Rich’s death. However, by late Wednesday CNN was reporting that Wheeler had changed his mind. CNN reported:
But Tuesday afternoon, Wheeler told CNN he had no evidence to suggest Rich had contacted Wikileaks before his death.
Wheeler instead said he only learned about the possible existence of such evidence through the reporter he spoke to for the FoxNews.com story. He explained that the comments he made to WTTG-TV were intended to simply preview Fox News’ Tuesday story. The WTTG-TV news director did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
“I only got that [information] from the reporter at Fox News,” Wheeler told CNN.
Asked about a quote attributed to him in the Fox News story in which he said his “investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and Wikileaks,” Wheeler said he was referring to information that had already been reported in the media.”
Dallas businessman and Fox News contributor, Ed Butowsky, apparently offered to pay for Wheeler’s investigation into the murder of Seth Rich, but Butowsky told CNN he had not given any money to Wheeler. “You have a family who can’t afford a PI. Their son was killed. So I offered to help out,” Butowsky told CNN. With Wheeler backing off his former statements, Fox News’ report on Seth Rich’s possible connection to WikiLeaks is now based off the words of an anonymous federal investigator. Should the people trust this anonymous source?
In another unexpected twist on this story, internet entrepreneur, Kim Dotcom, tweeted that he has 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 on Monday.
I’m meeting my legal team on Monday. I will issue a statement about #SethRich on Tuesday. Please be patient. This needs to be done properly.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 20, 2017
Please stay tuned to Activist Post for updates on this developing story.
On Tuesday, Fox5 in Washington D.C. released a new report claiming that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was in contact with WikiLeaks prior to his murder in July 2016. The report claims 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. Curiously, Rich’s wallet, money, and an expensive watch were not taken during this robbery attempt. Only 12 days after Rich’s death, WikiLeaks began releasing thousands of hacked emails from the DNC. The apparent hacker behind the leaks is a character known as Guccifer 2.0 who claimed to have accessed the emails via a vulnerability in DNC servers.
However, after the damaging emails became public, the deadstream media and Democratic power players denounced the leaks, calling them “fake news,” and accusing the Russian government of being involved in the hacks. Meanwhile, opponents of Hillary and supporters of WikiLeaks began speculating on the possibility of Rich’s death being connected to the DNC leaks. Now there is more fuel to that fire as Fox5 D.C. released an interview with private investigator Rod Wheeler, claiming that evidence “on Rich’s laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death.”
Wheeler, a former D.C. police homicide detective, is running a parallel investigation into Rich’s murder. He said he believes there is a cover-up and the police department has been told to back down from the investigation.
“The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming,” said Wheeler. “They haven’t been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both.”
When we asked Wheeler if his sources have told him there is information that links Rich to Wikileaks, he said, “Absolutely. Yeah. That’s confirmed.”
Wheeler told Fox5 that he has “a source inside the police department” who claims officers were told to “stand down” in regards to Seth Rich’s murder. On Tuesday, a spokesman for the Rich family said Wheeler was not authorized to speak for them and said his claims were “unsubstantiated.”
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.
However, spokesman Brad Bauman noted that even if emails do surface it does not necessarily mean Seth Rich worked with WikiLeaks.
“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,” Bauman said. “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.”
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Let’s pause for a moment and look at two important pieces of information. First, the “family spokesman” is actually a professional Democrat crisis PR consultant with the Pastorum Group, a recently formed consulting firm.
Seth Rich’s new “family spokesman” is Brad Bauman a professional Democrat crisis PR consultant with the Pastorum Group.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 11, 2016
To say that Bauman might have a bias when speaking for the Rich family is putting it mildly. Bauman specifically works in crisis management for the Democratic Party and the DNC leaks have by far been the most disastrous scandal to hit the party in the post-9/11 era. Is it that difficult to imagine the Democrats placing one of their crisis management experts in front of the Rich family? If so, Bauman could act as a barrier to prevent the family from looking further into what they have so far called “baseless conspiracy theories.”
The second point of note is that Rod Wheeler, the private investigator interviewed by Fox5, has a history of appearing on Fox News as an expert in a variety of fields. One interview he conducted with Bill O’Reilly centered around an alleged rise in “lesbian gangs” attacking people. As the Southern Poverty Law Center writes (note: I can’t stand the SLPC for their propaganda mongering as much as the next free thinker, but facts are facts):
Confronted by the Intelligence Report, Wheeler was unable, in several phone and E-mail exchanges over a two-day period, to specify a single law enforcement agency or officer, police report, media account or any other source he relied upon for his D.C. area lesbian gangs claim. But he insisted that his report was accurate and that any law enforcement officer who disagrees is “out of touch.”
“For some reason or other, these organizations don’t lay it on the line because they don’t know what is going on on the streets,” said Wheeler. “This is a serious crisis and the so-called experts are missing it.”’
I mention this fact because it relates to Wheeler’s credibility. It’s up to each individual to decide whether they will accept the claims made by him. Thankfully, researchers of Seth Rich’s murder do not have to rely on Wheeler’s words alone. Fox News also reports that “a federal source” has confirmed that Seth Rich did indeed make contact with WikiLeaks through now-deceased director Gavin MacFadyen. The federal source claims to have seen a copy of a forensic report of Rich’s computer which was issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) within 96 hours of his death.
“I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” the federal investigator told Fox News. The source claims the FBI has the emails. According to this source, 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between Democratic National Committee leaders, dated between January 2015 to May 2016, were sent from Rich to MacFadyen before May 21.
Fox News has not been the only source of speculation as to whether or not Seth Rich was involved in the DNC Leaks. WikiLeaks has issued a reward of $20,000 USD for “information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.” Even Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, seemed to hint at Rich’s connection to the leaks. During an August 2016 interview with Dutch TV program Nieuwsuur, Assange made an unusual comment that led some to ask what he knows.
“Our whistleblowers go to significant efforts to give us material, at often very significant risks,” Assange said. “There was a 27 year old, works for the DNC, who was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons other than that he was walking down the street in Washington.”
“That was just a robbery, I believe, wasn’t it?” the interviewer responds. Assange tells him there has been “no finding” before he asks, “what are you suggesting?” Assange does not elaborate other than to say that WikiLeaks sources put themselves at grave risk to share documents with them.
We don’t comment on who our sources are. We have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States. Our sources are, you know, our sources face serious risks. That’s why they come to us, so we can protect their anonymity. Others have suggested that [Rich was murdered]. We are investigating. If you understand what happened in that situation with Seth Rich, I think it is a concerning situation. There’s not a conclusion yet. We wouldn’t be willing to state a conclusion, but we are concerned about it. More importantly, a variety of WikiLeaks sources are concerned when that kind of thing happens.
The final piece of this elaborate puzzle relates to Twitter chat logs that are purported to have taken place between the infamous Guccifer 2.0 and Robbin Young, a former Playboy model and actress. 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. As ZeroHedge notes,
“When Young suggested trusting Julian Assange, Guccifer 2.0 called him “unsafe” and that he “may be connected with Russians” despite being his hero.
“I’d like to find a journalist who can do an investigation and teel [sic] the real story of his life and death,” he said, and revealed that the whistleblower he was referring to was none other than a person named “Seth.”’
It is important to recognize that Fox’s report stems from anonymous federal sources and that Wheeler’s credibility may be in question. However, we should also reflect on the connection between the Democratic Party and the Rich family’s spokesman. Also, when doing a search of “Seth Rich WikiLeaks” one finds an abundance of left-wing media outlets brushing the story off as a distraction from the latest reports that Trump has shared classified information with Russian officials. On the other end of the spectrum, you find right-wing outlets defending Trump and claiming the real story is Seth Rich. Both stories involve the use of anonymous sources and that is a huge problem in the American media landscape.
Is the timing of the release of these two stories related? Is one meant to distract from the other or are these two independently important stories that deserve your attention? I will leave that to the reader to decide. For now, I believe there is a fair amount of (anonymous) reports indicating Seth Rich’s involvement with WikiLeaks. If any hackers out there, or WikiLeaks themselves, are in possession of evidence that could implicate the Democratic Party (or individuals connected to the party) in the murder of Seth Rich, now is the time to release it to the public.
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 [email protected]
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