The 2016 murder of a DNC staffer has led to numerous theories about his possible ties to WikiLeaks and the impact on the November presidential election.
The Democratic Party pointed to “Russian hacking” during the 2016 presidential election as an alleged distraction to take the attention off the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, which was committed in the wake of WikiLeaks reportedly receiving more than 40,000 revealing DNC emails that could have swayed the election. After the election, the Hillary Clinton campaign accused GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump of "collusion" with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russians.
“It’s the story no one wants to touch because it is so potentially explosive,” WND’s Garth Kant reported. “And it’s the murder mystery that could throw a wrench into the narrative that Russia hacked the Democratic Party’s emails during the 2016 presidential election in order to influence the presidential election.”
A statement from the Rich family – concerned about distractions taking away from the investigation and causing people to jump to conclusions – says they want to rely on facts, "not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void."
Facts stacking up against DNC
When news broke from a local Washington, D.C., television station about the paper trail leading to the Democratic National Committee’s alleged foul play in knocking off an internal threat to the party winning the presidential election, some startling facts were corroborated by a federal investigator.
“A private investigator looking into the July 2016 murder of Democratic National Committee, or DNC, employee Seth Rich claims the staffer was in contact with WikiLeaks,” Fox News reported. “A federal investigator [stated] that Rich had emailed 44,053 DNC emails to WikiLeaks.”
Authorities also indicate that a major cover-up by the Democratic Party is withholding crucial information that could blow the case wide open.
“The investigator, former D.C. police homicide detective Rod Wheeler, claimed the FBI and Washington, D.C., Metro Police are covering up that information, contained on Rich’s laptop, which is in their possession,” the report continued.
And the timing of the WikiLeaks release was more than troubling – especially with the revealed information exposing Clinton’s alleged cheating to beat her Democratic Primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“Twelve days after Rich was killed, WikiLeaks published internal DNC emails that indicated party officials conspired to make sure Hillary Clinton won the party’s presidential nomination over rival Sen. Bernie Sanders,” Fox News disclosed from the federal investigator.
From the mounting evidence, it appears that the Russian hacking story was nothing more than fake news to take the attention off Rich’s suspicious murder.
“WikiLeaks has denied Russia was the source of the DNC emails it published and has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of Rich, while not confirming he was their source,” Fox News divulged.
Not your typical murder …
The motive for killing Rich appears to be clear after he handed over tens of thousands of emails to WikiLeaks exposing Clinton’s unscrupulous manipulation of the system to beat Sanders.
“Rich worked for the Democratic National Committee as a data analyst and reportedly sent more than 44,000 DNC emails to WikiLeaks, including 17,761 attachments, from January 2015 through the end of May 2016,” the conservative news source informed. “[T]he DNC staffer was reported to have been in contact with WikiLeaks Director Gavin MacFadyen, who died just 17 days before the election of lung cancer.”
And the circumstances of Rich’s murder just do not add up – especially with the timing.
“Rich was mysteriously shot and killed July 10, 2016,” the report continued. “Rich was murdered near his affluent neighborhood in Washington, D.C. He was shot in the back with a handgun at 4:18 a.m. while he walked home, and nothing was taken from him. 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. He was transported to a local hospital and was pronounced dead at 5:57 a.m.”
Rich’s father, Joel, questioned the way his son was killed, as well.
“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,” he pointed out not long after the murder, according to WND. “So, it was a wasted effort, except we lost a life.”
The subsequent unveiling of confidential information adds more problems for the DNC.
“On July 22, just 12 days after Rich’s death and days before the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks released 20,000 emails from DNC officials,” WND informed. “Those leaked emails revealed, among other things, that the DNC tried to tip the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and prevent Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders from becoming the party’s nominee. The leaks were cited by some Democrats as one explanation for Clinton’s election loss. Many accused the Russians of ‘hacking’ and turning the tide for then-GOP candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election.”
In a statement that could come back to bite him and the DNC, Clinton Presidential Campaign Chairman John Podesta expressed in one email released by WikiLeaks that the person who leaked the emails would pay.
“I’m definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker. whether or not we have any real basis for it,” Podesta wrote in an email dated Feb. 22, 2015, according to WikiLeaks.
Search for clues continues
Rich’s family reportedly wanted their son’s murder looked into, and agreed to let Ed Butowsky – a conservative Dallas-based financial adviser – pay for a former Washington, D.C., homicide detective, Rod Wheeler, to investigate.
"My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks," Wheeler shared with Fox News. "I do believe that the answers to who murdered Seth Rich sits on his computer on a shelf at the D.C. police or FBI headquarters."
However, the family’s spokesperson, Brad Bauman, said he did not want anyone jumping to conclusions from Wheeler’s account, which he questioned.
"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," a statement from the family read on the matter, according to the Washington Examiner. "The services of the private investigator who spoke to the 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."
Conflicting reports about the circumstances surrounding Rich’s death continue to circulate.
“U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia, not Rich, hacked into the DNC and allowed that information to be sent to WikiLeaks,” the Examiner’s Anna Giaritelli and Kyle Feldscher noted.
However, Wheeler – who many Washington insiders continue to try and discredit – insists that just as Clinton’s email scandal has been successfully covered up, the evidence revealing the circumstances of Rich’s death are being withheld.
“Wheeler added he believes someone in the D.C. government, DNC or in Clinton's camp is blocking the investigation,” Fiaritelli and Feldscher pointed out.