A private investigator hired by the family of Seth Rich, the young Democratic National Committee data analyst whose murder remains unsolved, claims there is evidence Rich was communicating with WikiLeaks before his death.
Private investigator Rod Wheeler has not produced any of that evidence, however, and Rich’s family previously indicated that the murder may have stemmed from a robbery.
Shortly after the report about Wheeler’s claims, a Twitter account in the name of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange retweeted the Fox 5 story on Wheeler without comment. The unverified account has 174,000 followers. The conservative site Breitbart has reported that the site is Assange’s, and that Twitter refuses to verify it.
The new report was published on May 15 by Fox 5, a television station in Washington D.C. The report says that Wheeler “suggests there is tangible evidence on Rich’s laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death.” Wheeler is a former homicide detective in D.C., according to Fox 5, and he’s a Fox News contributor. One Fox story said of Wheeler: “Former D.C. homicide detective points finger at Obama administration, explains why things will be better with Trump.”
Wheeler also alleged there was a cover up of what really happened to Rich. Fox 5 reported, “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 alleged that the mayor’s office and DNC were involved in not investigating the murder as thoroughly as he wants.
Rich, 27, who worked for the DNC on voting issues and whose murder was highlighted by Hillary Clinton in a speech, was shot and killed in Washington D.C., and his murder remains mysterious. “Police have found little information to explain his death,” said The New York Daily News.
Conspiracy theories rage about Rich’s death because of his DNC employment and also the lack of an obvious motive, eyewitnesses, or suspect in the case. Rich, 27, was shot on July 10, 2016 at 4:15 in the morning near a Washington D.C. neighborhood where he lived, said CBS News.
Numerous news sites, such as NBC, have reported that government officials and security firms believe that Russian intelligence was behind the DNC leak; WikiLeaks denies being tied to Russian intelligence but won’t reveal its sources for the emails, which, among other things, appeared to show DNC officials favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the primary. The FBI is now investigating whether Trump campaign officials colluded with alleged Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.
The Washington D.C. Medical Examiner’s office told Heavy that Rich died from gunshot wound to the torso, and his manner of death was homicide. The office did not say how many times Rich was shot and said that autopsy reports are not publicly released to the news media in D.C
People Magazine says he worked on voter expansion efforts for the DNC and The Washington Post says that, as a DNC staffer, he worked on a project to “help voters easily find their polling places.”
Rich graduated from Creighton University with a B.A. in Political Science: Public Policy and History, said his LinkedIn page.
According to Town Hall, Rich had previously worked on the U.S. Senate campaign for Nebraska businessman Scott Kleeb. “The Clinton Global Initiative provided funds for a clean energy business started by Kleeb, which had come under investigation after losing $300,000 in 2010 and another $300,000 in 2011 despite the subsidies,” asserted Town Hall, adding that “Rich was also previously employed at a data firm that had worked with the Clintons.
According to CBS, former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said that Rich was a “dedicated, selfless public servant who worked tirelessly to protect the most sacred right we share as Americans.”
To People Magazine, friends described Rich as self-deprecating, non apathetic, a bit of a goofball, and someone who “would stand up for anybody.”
On his LinkedIn page, Rich described himself as “Experienced and impassioned data analyst. I have an enormous interest in public service and working towards making the world a better place.” The page says that Rich had worked as the DNC’s Voter Expansion Data Director since 2014.
Before that, he was a Research Data Associate for Greenberg Quinlan Rosner; a Boating Education Director and Staff Programming Director at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin; a research intern for Senator Ben Nelson; a member of the campaign staff for the Nebraska Democratic Party, an enumerator for the Census Bureau, a field organizer for Senate campaigns, and other jobs.
Various conspiracy theories have sprouted up about Rich’s death, without concrete evidence to back them up, but fueled in part by the WikiLeaks dump of almost 20,000 DNC emails, which led to the resignation of Wasserman Schultz.
On Reddit, people have theorized – again without any evidence to back it up – that Rich was the person who gave WikiLeaks the DNC emails.
In the interview with Dutch television station NOS, a public broadcasting company, on August. 8, WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange and the news anchor discussed Rich. You can see part of the interview in this story.
Here is what they said in the videotaped interview conducted in English:
Assange: “Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material, often very significant risks. There’s a 27-year-old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back, murdered, just two weeks ago, for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington. So…”
Anchor: “That was just a robbery, I believe, wasn’t it?”
Assange: “No, there’s no finding. So, ah – “
Anchor: “What are you suggesting? What are you suggesting?”
Assange: “I am suggesting that our sources, ah, take risks and they, they become concerned to see things occurring like that.”
Anchor: “But was he one of your sources then, I mean?”
Assange: “We don’t comment on who our sources are.”
Anchor: “But why make the suggestion about a young guy being shot in the streets of Washington?”
Assange: “Because we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States. Our sources, ah, our sources face serious risks, that’s why they come to us so we can protect, ah, their anonymity.”
Anchor: “But it’s quite something to suggest a murder. That’s basically what you are doing.”
Assange: “Well, others have suggested that. We investigated to understand what happened in that situation, with Seth Rich. I think it is a concerning situation. There is not a conclusion yet. We wouldn’t be willing to say a conclusion yet, but we are concerned about it. More importantly, a variety of WikiLeaks sources are concerned when that kind of thing happens.”
WikiLeaks later put a statement out on Seth Rich:
Rich wasn’t the only young man linked to the DNC to die suddenly. Conspiracy theories also surrounded the sudden August death of Shawn Lucas, who helped serve the Democratic National Committee with a lawsuit alleging fraud in the presidential race.
Lucas, 38, died on August 2, confirmed the Washington D.C. medical examiner, but the circumstances of his death remained foggy for months. However, Lucas’ death was eventually labeled an accident as a result of a combination of drugs, including kratom.SlainRe