Police respond to reports of gunshots in a wealthy Washington neighborhood
On July 10, 2016 at 4:20 AM, Washington police officers responded to reports of gun shots in the affluent Bloomingdale neighborhood. Upon arriving at the 2100 block of Flagler Place, near Howard University on the northwest outskirts of downtown Washington D.C., they find a bleeding 27-year-old Seth Conrad Rich. Seth had been walking home and talking to his girlfriend on the phone when he was shot multiple times. Near death, he was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
The attack occurred less than a block from Seth’s home. His body was covered in bruises indicating he had been beaten. Police say there are no suspects, no motive, and no witnesses to the crime. Robbery was ruled a possibility even though nothing was taken by the assailant(s). Rumors emerged that Seth, a DNC employee, had been on his way to speak to the FBI about an ongoing case, something related to the Clintons. Then the infamous DNC emails leaked to the public just days after his murder. People wondered – was Seth Rich, a data analyst for the DNC, somehow involved with the DNC email leak and if so, was he assassinated for his deed?
Who was Seth Rich?
Seth Rich was said to be a gentle soul, committed to helping others. He wrote on his LinkedIn profile:
“I have an enormous interest in public service and working towards making the world a better place.”
He worked as a voter database employee for the Democrat National Committee (DNC). His job was to analyze data and “campaign to help others secure the right to vote by helping voters identify and locate polling locations.” Skilled with personal data (he previously worked for the US Census Bureau), it is believed he access to many of the DNC’s computer system databases.
The WikiLeaks DNC data dump
On July 22, 2016, WikiLeaks announced the release of thousands of DNC emails, audio files, and other documents. The emails revealed DNC plots to undermine and discredit Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders as he was running against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Included in the smorgasbord of ruses were fake Craigslist ads, manipulation of news outlets, and creation of rumors that Sanders was an atheist. The public was rightfully shocked – how and why would the Democratic National Party go after one of their own and attempt to purposefully manipulate the primary election process?
Was Seth Rich assassinated for feeding WikiLeaks the DNC emails?
In June 2016, word of an attack against DNC servers surfaced in the hacker community. It was suggested that the data was either obtained directly by an insider or indirectly as part of a hacker spearfishing operation. Many believe Seth Rich fed WikiLeaks the 3,000 DNC emails. Although committed to protecting the identity of the source of the damaging leak, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange scoffed at the Clinton campaign’s allegations that Russian hackers were responsible for the data dump. He proposed instead, that someone within the Democratic Party’s organization could easily have gained access to the offending data and documents. Assange told reporters:
“If we’re talking about the DNC, there’s lots of consultants that have access, lots of programmers.”
This was partially confirmed when the Washington Post reported that Hillary Clinton herself believed the spearfishing email was “sent by someone in her inner circle.”
Just days after the data was obtained, and one week before it was leaked, Seth Rich was murdered.
Seth Rich’s murder
Seth had been brutally beaten, his hands, knees, and face were bruised. He had been shot twice in the back. Seth’s girlfriend, who was talking on the phone with him at the time of the attack, recalls hearing an unusual noise. Seth told her not to worry about it. She was the last person to speak to Seth.
Seth’s father told The Washington Post that Seth’s wallet, watch, and credit cards were not taken. The Metropolitan Police Department confirmed saying:
“There is no immediate indication that robbery was a motive in the attack.”
One week after Seth’s death, the DNC emails were released to the public. The Clinton campaign quickly alleged the Russians were responsible for the hack. Assange countered, telling reporters:
“We have not disclosed our source, and of course, this is a diversion that’s being pushed by the Hillary Clinton campaign.”
Although WikiLeaks has yet to confirm or deny that Seth Rich leaked the DNC data to their organization, one month after his death, on August 9, 2016, WikiLeaks tweeted the following:
“ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US $20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.”
Seth Rich’s case remains unsolved with no significant leads.
Seth Rich’s death was not the last mysterious DNC-related death. In fact, four other mysterious deaths occurred within weeks of Seth Rich’s murder.
Just days after Seth’s death, DNC employee and aid to Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine died in his home from a “heart attack”. Everyone passed his death off as coincidence.
Two weeks after Seth’s death, lead attorney in the fraud case against the DNC (filed by Bernie Sanders supporters), Shawn Lucas, was found dead on his bathroom floor. No immediate cause of death was found. Lucas’ family pointed out that he was in good health.
Anti-Clinton author Victor Thorne was about to publish a book which reportedly contained a “treasure trove of Hillary Clinton opposition research.” Just weeks after Seth Rich was gunned down, Thorne was found dead in his home from a “self-inflicted gunshot wound”.
Two weeks before Seth was shot, John Ashe, former President of the UN General Assembly, was awaiting trial for a scheme to funnel foreign money to the DNC. It was also rumored that a deal had been made and that he was scheduled to testify against the Clinton family. He was found dead in his home. Cause of death: he crushed his own windpipe when weights he was lifting fell across his neck.
Was Seth Rich’s murder a decoy story to deflect attention from Trump/Russia news?
Fox News broke the story on May 16, 2016 and covered it extensively afterward. The network suggested that Democrats might have been connected to Rich’s death. The developments took place during a period of growing concern over the federal investigation into Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Russian government.
In one news segment, Sean Hannity said:
“If this is true and Seth Rich gave WikiLeaks the DNC e-mails … this blows the whole Russia collusion narrative completely out of the water.”
The story was quickly denounced by Seth Rich’s family members, D.C. police, and Democratic Party officials. One week later, Fox News retracted the story leading many to believe the news outlet purposely flamed the story to distract viewers from the Trump/Russia collusion headlines.
The network does not apologize or explain what went wrong. “The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting,” the statement reads. “Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed.”
In 2017, a lawsuit was filed by Fox reporter/investigator Rod Wheeler saying he was hired by Dallas investor Ed Butowsky to create the report and suggesting President Trump himself helped fuel the story.