Murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich

Murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich

Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, who was murdered nearly one year ago, was communicating with WikiLeaks before his death, according to the family’s private investigator.

Investigator Rod Wheeler, a former D.C. police homicide detective who was hired by a third party to investigate for the Rich family, told Fox 5 in Washington, D.C., Rich’s laptop had evidence indicating he had been in contact with the organization.

“Now, questions have been raised on why D.C. police, the lead agency on this murder investigation for the past ten months, have insisted this was a robbery gone bad when there appears to be no evidence to suggest that,” the news station reported Monday.

Watch the Fox 5 report:

“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.”

A federal investigator who reviewed an FBI forensic report detailing the contents of Rich’s computer generated within 96 hours after his murder told Fox News that Rich made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time.

MacFadyen, an early mentor and defender of the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, died of lung cancer in October 2016.

The investigator, who requested anonymity, said 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between DNC leaders, spanning from January 2015 through late May 2016, were transferred from Rich to MacFadyen before May 21.

Fox 5 asked Wheeler if his sources have connected Rich to WikiLeaks, and he replied: “Absolutely. Yeah. That’s confirmed.”

Wheeler said he believes there’s a big cover-up that involves the FBI and the police department.

“My investigation shows someone within the D.C. government, Democratic National Committee or Clinton team is blocking the murder investigation from going forward,” Wheeler told Fox News. “That is unfortunate. Seth Rich’s murder is unsolved as a result of that.”

Wheeler also told the station: “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.’ 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].”

WND contacted Metropolitan Police Department and asked: “Can you confirm or deny your department has a laptop owned by murder victim Seth Rich that had evidence of contact with WikiLeaks on it, or that your department was ‘told to stand down on this case.'”

The police department sent WND a statement:

The Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) Homicide Branch is actively investigating Mr. Rich’s murder and we continue to work with the family to bring closure to this case as we do with all homicide investigations. If there are any individuals who feel they have information, we urge them to call us at 202-727-9099 or text us at 50411. The department is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information on this case that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

A spokesman for Rich’s family on Tuesday said Wheeler was not authorized to speak for the family and denied the report that Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks.

“As we’ve seen through the past year of unsubstantiated claims, we see no facts, we have seen no evidence, we have been approached with no emails and only learned about this when contacted by the press,” spokesman Brad Bauman said in an emailed statement. “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.”

Brad Bauman

Brad Bauman

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.”

Bauman said the family condemned what they see as an 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.”

Bauman is a professional Democratic crisis public-relations consultant with the Pastorum Group in Washington, D.C.

“Progressive politics is my passion, it is more than just my life’s work,” said Bauman in a company press release announcing his hiring in 2016.

The slain man’s parents, Mary and Joel Rich of Omaha, Nebraska, said in an August 2016 interview with the Daily Mail that their son had been asked to join Hillary Clinton’s campaign four days before he was murdered.

“He had just found out they wanted him and he was probably going to be moving up to Brooklyn through the election. He was really excited about that,” said Joel Rich.

How many people do YOU know who have died mysteriously? Not as many as the Clintons! Check out WND’s explosive report, “‘Clinton death list’: 33 spine-tingling cases.” 

WND reported Rich was murdered near his affluent neighborhood in Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016. He was shot in the back at 4:18 a.m. while he walked home.

Rich had been at Lou’s City Bar a couple of miles from his house until about 1:15 a.m.

An employee offered Rich a ride home because he appeared intoxicated and unsteady on his feet. Rich refused and said he was planning to walk over to Wonderland Ballroom, a popular late-night bar a few blocks away, reported the London Daily Mail.

However, no one at the Wonderland recalls seeing Rich there, and his whereabouts from the time he left Lou’s until the time he was shot remain a mystery.

Rich, who called several people as he later walked home, was talking on the phone with his girlfriend, Kelsey Murka, when he was accosted a block from his house.

“If it was a robbery it failed because he still has his watch, he still has his money, he still has his credit cards, still had his phone, so it was a wasted effort except we lost a life,” said Joel Rich, shortly after the murder.

Police have declined to say whether he was able to describe his assailants.

The location where Seth Rich was shot at the southwest corner of Flagler Place and W Street Northwest in Washington, D.C.

The location where Seth Rich was shot at the southwest corner of Flagler Place and W Street Northwest in Washington, D.C.

Rich previously worked on the failed U.S. Senate campaign of Nebraska businessman Scott Kleeb, whose clean-energy business had come under investigation after losing $300,000 in 2010 and another $300,000 in 2011 despite having been subsidized by the Clinton Global Initiative.

Rich is on WND’s list of 33 people associated with the Clintons who have died mysterious and often violent deaths.

On July 22, just 12 days after Rich was killed, WikiLeaks published internal DNC emails that appeared to show top party officials conspired to stop Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont from becoming the party’s presidential nominee.

A commentary by Rachel Alexander at Townhall suggested possible corruption between the Clinton Global Initiative and Kleeb “led to Sanders’ cronies pressuring Rich to leak what was going on.”

In an August 2016 interview on the Dutch television program Nieuwsuur, Assange appeared to suggest that Rich, 27, was the source of the WikiLeaks-exposed DNC emails.

“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.”

The interviewer interjected, “That was just a robbery, I believe, wasn’t it?”

Assange replied, “No, there’s no finding.”

The interviewer asked, “What are you suggesting?”

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“I’m suggesting that our sources take risks and they become concerned to see things occurring like that,” Assange said.

“But was he one of your sources then?” asked the interviewer.

“We don’t comment on who our sources are,” Assange said. “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.”

Assange continued: “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.”

Watch the interview:

WikiLeaks offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Rich’s killer.

The group released the following statement in 2016:

As a matter of policy, we do not confirm or deny whether any person has ever been a source for WikiLeaks. After the [late hacktivist] Aaron Swartz case we formalized this policy to also cover alleged sources who were deceased.

We treat threats toward any suspected source of WikiLeaks with extreme gravity. This should not be taken to imply that Seth Rich was a source to WikiLeaks or to imply that his murder is connected to our publications. We hope our efforts will contribute to the family’s calls for information and to the separate reward issued by the police. We have a history of obtaining information that has significantly contributed to many legal proceedings, including successful prosecutions.

In December 2016, Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and an associate of Assange, said he personally flew to Washington, D.C., to meet one of the DNC leakers.

“Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,” Murray told the Daily Mail. “The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.”

How many people do YOU know who have died mysteriously? Not as many as the Clintons! Check out WND’s explosive report, “‘Clinton death list’: 33 spine-tingling cases.” 

 

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