By Liz Crokin
The head of a private investigative team in Washington, D.C., trying to solve the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich insists that officials with the Metropolitan Police Department – in collusion with the mayor – are withholding key evidence from the public and obstructing the investigation for political purposes.
Jack Burkman, the head of the Profiling Project investigative team, said police are no longer cooperating with anyone, and he believes they’ve completely stopped the investigation into Rich’s murder.
“The police have shut down all full operations,” Burkman told WND. “The police are not cooperating with us or anyone, which is sad. This has become a very systematic and deliberate effort by the D.C. police and the mayor to end the Seth Rich investigation.”
But in a statement to WND, the Metropolitan Police Department disputed Burkman’s allegations.
“MPD does not entertain conspiracy theories and does not engage with conspiracy theorists,” the statement from MPD’s Karimah Bilal said. “If you are in possession of information that you believe to be relevant to this or any case, please let us know the details of such information such that it can help, rather than hinder, our investigation.”
As WND reported, a manager at Lou’s City Bar, the last known location where Rich was seen before his murder, claims police never interviewed the bar’s staff or requested evidence, such as footage from security cameras.
Burkman – who is also a Republican lobbyist and has offered a $105,000 reward of his personal money for information leading to the arrest of Rich’s killers – said police initially cooperated with his team. But now he claims they’re not cooperating with any parties involved.
Furthermore, Burkman insists the police are withholding important evidence crucial to finding Rich’s murderer.
“We believe there is additional security footage that we need to see,” Burkman said. “There is other video that the police have that we need to see. We need ballistics from them – we need a lot from them. We think the police are now deliberately concealing an awful lot of stuff in an effort to shut this investigation down. I have been very patient and favorable to the D.C. police, but it’s time to shine the light on what they’re doing.”
Burkman said he believes there is a political motive behind the suspension of the investigation, and he claims law-enforcement authorities are colluding with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.
“I very strongly believe that the D.C. police and the D.C. mayor, for her own political reasons, want this ended,” he said. “This is going to become an issue in the mayor’s race, and this is really going to hurt her politics. This is a real black eye. This is becoming a real big thing – it’s on its way to becoming an O.J., and it could derail the mayor’s re-election.”
WND requested a comment from the mayor’s office, but at publication no one had responded.
After Burkman and his team conducted thorough research and reviewed the only video police released of the shooting, he said, it became clear to him that the shooting wasn’t motivated by a robbery.
“We’ve done investigations that really prove this was not a robbery,” Burkman said. “I took one look at that video, and I knew that the police story that this was a robbery gone awry was nonsense. I mean, my God, he was shot twice in the back and nothing was taken. The police hypothesis is just ridiculous! It’s beyond silly.”
As WND has reported, government watchdog Judicial Watch has filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the police department and the mayor’s office, as well as a request with the FBI.
Following is a video by Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton posted to Twitter Tuesday:
Burkman said the Democratic National Committee has also stopped cooperating with his team, and he believes the DNC wants to shut down all investigations.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the DNC wants this thing shut down,” Burkman charged. “They’re not comfortable with it at all. They’re probably in debt to the D.C. police on this. They want this whole thing suffocated.”
Before Donna Brazile left her position as interim DNC chairwoman, the DNC cooperated with the investigation, according to Burkman. But now he says the Democrats’ governing body has become hostile.
“Initially, with Donna Brazile, the DNC cooperated. When she left, it completely ended,” he said. “I think without question, the behavior of the DNC is very, very suspicious. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.”
As WND reported, a private eye who investigated Rich’s death claims Brazile contacted police and demanded to know why he was “snooping” into the case.
Burkman also claims he’s been the target of personal attacks from the Rich family spokesman, Brad Bauman, who is also a professional Democratic crisis public-relations consultant. Bauman denies that the DNC hired him to represent the Rich family.
“Bauman is attacking me, attacking me, attacking me,” Burkman said. “If he doesn’t stop, we’re going to serve him with a cease-and-desist letter or consider a suit for slander and defamation because he just won’t stop. There’s no reason for him to be calling me names. That’s not his job. He’s a spokesman for the family – we’re just trying to investigate. He wants to make this partisan.”
Burkman has repeatedly made allegations that the Russians are tied to Rich’s murder. He has claimed a former U.S. intel officer told him the Russians killed the DNC staffer after he learned the Russians had hacked the DNC. Burkman has asked Congress to investigate.
Burkman has posted billboards and ads around D.C. asking, “Do you know who murdered Seth Rich?” The signs offer a $130,000 reward, which includes the $105,000 offered by Burkman.
The lobbyist also made a public call for others to offer reward money for information leading to the arrest of Rich’s killers. He’s urged the DNC, RNC and Fox News’ Sean Hannity to contribute.
“We’re calling on today the RNC, the DNC and Sean Hannity – three entities that are far richer than I could be in a hundred lifetimes – to put money in there,” Burkman said. “I say to Sean Hannity, quit talking and start spending.
“And the DNC, my goodness, it’s one of yours! It’s one of your own. I have no idea why they haven’t offered a reward, and I think it’s suspicious. But hey, I also call upon the RNC. This is a bipartisan thing.”