The saga of a murdered staffer of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) grew even more mysterious because of conflicting statements from his family concerning their son’s supposed contacts with the transparency group, WikiLeaks. According to a statement released by a representative of the family of Seth Rich, they dismissed a report by Fox News that cited a federal investigator who said Rich sent thousands of emails to WikiLeaks.
In a statement distributed by spokesman Brad Bauman, the Rich family declared, “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.” The statement went on to say, “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.”
On Tuesday, Fox News reported that a federal investigator, who had reviewed a forensic report on the laptop computer of the deceased DNC staffer, said that Rich sent thousands of DNC emails to WikiLeaks between January 2015 and May 2016. The investigator told Fox, “I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks.” 
Many of those emails revealed close ties between members of the media and officials of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and caused significant embarrassment to the candidate during the presidential campaign. 
Rich was shot to death on July 10 while walking home from a local bar in Washington DC. His death has not yet been solved, even though it was initially described as a robbery. However, he was not robbed during the shooting. Since his death, conspiracy theories have abounded about the motives and circumstances surrounding it. Piquing interest in the murder, his death coincided with WikiLeaks’ release of a huge tranche of DNC emails that upset the Clinton campaign, leading to the departure of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as party chair.
Adding further fodder for conspiracy theorists, private investigator Rod Wheeler -- who works for the Rich family -- claims to know of new evidence on Rich’s laptop, according to Fox 5. “The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming,” Wheeler said. “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.”
“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.”
The leak site’s controversial founder, Julian Assange, has also previously hinted that Rich was one of his sources.
“Whistle-blowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks,” Assange told Dutch news in 2016. “As a 27-year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.” Assange dismissed the notion that Rich was the victim of a frustrated robbery attempt. WikiLeaks is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Rich’s killer. For its part, Washington DC police are offering a $25,000 reward. 



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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