WASHINGTON – The Washington-based attorney and lobbyist who’s been on the hunt for slain DNC staffer Seth Rich’s killer is filing a federal lawsuit that accuses Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee of rigging the 2016 presidential primary.
The complaint by Jack Burkman also demands the release of the hacked DNC server.
“In spite of the multiple public declarations of neutrality and impartiality with respect to the Democratic primary process, the DNC was not neutral,” the lawsuit states. “To the contrary, the DNC was biased in favor of one candidate – Hillary Clinton.”
Burkman plans a press conference about the federal lawsuit outside DNC headquarters Oct. 24 at 11 a.m.
The plaintiffs are contributors to the DNC.
Burkman said the lawsuit seeks access to the DNC server to determine whether Russia played a role in hacking the DNC or someone colluded with Moscow to rig the election for Donald Trump, as Democratic lawmakers have asserted.
It seeks to “unlock secrets including alleged Russia hacking.”
It also references the “unsolved murder of Seth Rich.”
The complaint poses the “theory that Mr. Rich was seeking to expose DNC’s bias against Bernie Sanders when he was murdered.” It argues “the server would enable forensic experts to investigate whether Mr. Rich surreptitiously downloaded emails.”
The DNC emails were released by WikiLeaks on the eve of the Democratic National Convention last summer.
Rich had accepted a position with Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign just before he was fatally shot in the back in Washington on July 10, 2016, near his apartment.
On July 22, 2016, just 12 days after Rich’s death and days before the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks began publishing 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments from top DNC officials, leading to speculation that Rich might have been the source of party insider emails turned over to WikiLeaks.
The emails revealed the DNC’s rigged primary system, showing then-chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Clinton campaign officials privately strategized to secure Clinton the Democratic nomination over her chief rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In one email released by WikiLeaks, Brad Marshall, the DNC’s chief financial officer, asks other staffers how they could use Sanders’ religion, or lack of it, to hurt him with Southern Baptists.
“It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief,” he wrote. “Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
Wasserman Schultz quit her post in July 2016. The next month, in an interview, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, appeared to suggest that Rich was one of his sources.
The Metropolitan Police Department and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowers insist Rich was a random target of a “botched robbery.” He was found with his wallet, credit cards, watch, phone and other valuables intact.
Burkman claims MPD officials are withholding key evidence from the public and obstructing the Rich investigation for political purposes. He’s separately filed a lawsuit against the MPD, demanding the release of Rich’s medical examiner’s report, autopsy documents and ballistics reports, documents that are typically made public during murder investigations.
He’s also organized the Profiling Project, a team of forensic psychology graduate students and instructors, to hunt for Rich’s killer. The group concluded in June that Rich’s murder was most likely “committed by a hired killer or serial murderer” because “the crime scene was very organized to the point of being sanitized.”
Burkman has also launched a nationwide TV campaign and a website, WhoKilledSeth.com, pleading for the public’s help in cracking the case.
Burkman’s suit will be the second filed against the DNC regarding election fraud.
A pair of Miami lawyers, Jared and Elizabeth Beck, filed in federal court in Fort Lauderdale on June 28, 2016, against both the DNC and Wasserman Schultz on behalf of 151 plaintiffs who contributed to the Sanders campaign and the DNC.
The suit alleges the DNC violated its own rules on neutrality, presenting itself as a neutral political organization while it elevated Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominating elections.
At a hearing before Judge William J. Zloch, DNC lawyer Bruce Spiva argued the DNC is well within its rights to choose a candidate “in back rooms” and is under no obligation to abide by its charter, which says the chair of the DNC and the DNC itself shall exercise “impartiality and evenhandedness” with respect to presidential candidates and campaigns.
“We could have voluntarily decided that, ‘Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way,'” Spiva told the court.
The judge dismissed the fraud allegation, but the plaintiffs are appealing.