In July 2016, a staffer for the Democrat National Committee in the nation’s capitol named Seth Rich was murdered a mere block from his home, shot twice in the back in what was quickly ruled a robbery gone wrong, despite reports that nothing of value was stolen from Rich, prompting a variety of conspiracy theories to explain his death.
Those theories just received a massive renewal of interest following a bombshell report from WTTG in D.C. that a private detective has found evidence suggesting Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks via email shortly before his murder, fueling speculation that he was the source of the voluminous leak of embarrassing DNC documents and emails published online just a couple of weeks after the murder.
Retired D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler, reportedly hired by a third party to conduct a parallel investigation of Rich’s murder, also stated that he believed law enforcement agencies, specifically the D.C. Metro police and FBI, have engaged in a cover-up and were deliberately slow-walking their investigation.
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“The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming. They haven’t been cooperating at all,” Wheeler said. “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.”
Asked whether his sources inside law enforcement have told him there were connections between Rich and WikiLeaks, Wheeler replied: “Absolutely. Yeah. That’s confirmed.”
“I have a source inside the police department that has looked at me straight in the eye and said, ‘Rod, we were told to stand down on this case and I can’t share any information with you,’” Wheeler added. “Now, that is highly unusual for a murder investigation, especially from a police department. Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor’s office and the DNC and that is the information that will come out (Tuesday).”
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Supporting Wheeler’s assertion was a report from Fox News citing an anonymous federal investigator who revealed that an initial FBI report on the murder had found that Rich had been in contact with the now-deceased Gavin MacFayden, a close associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
“I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” the unnamed investigator revealed, adding that the emails were in the possession of the FBI and that the D.C. Metro police have indeed stalled their own case.
The investigator further stated that Rich had transferred some 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments — all dated between January 2015 and May 2016 — to MacFayden prior to May 21, just weeks before he was murdered.
To be sure, D.C. police have declared false Wheeler’s assertion that they were told to stand down, and the FBI has declined to comment on the ongoing investigation. Furthermore, the Rich’s family has sought to distance itself from Wheeler and criticized his findings, calling them false and unhelpful.
The U.K. Daily Mail reported on a statement released by a representative for the Rich family that declared “we see no facts, have seen no evidence, we have been approached with no evidence and only learned about (Wheeler’s claims) when approached 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 conspiracy theories will stop at nothing to do so,” the 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 the press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family,” the family statement added.
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It is worth pointing out that WikiLeaks has shown great interest in the murder of Seth Rich, even offering a reward of $20,000 to anyone who can help lead to an arrest and conviction in the case. It has also adamantly disputed the unverified claim put forward by Democrats and the media that Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC documents.
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