UPDATE: Fox News, which published this story, has since retracted it. Anti-Media will leave this report up for accountability purposes.
(ANTIMEDIA) New information has surfaced regarding the murder of Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer who was mysteriously killed last July in what Washington D.C. police claimed was a botched robbery despite no evidence to back the claim. After almost a year of conspiracy theories linking the staffer’s death to the DNC, private investigator Rod Wheeler has come forward with information indicating that those theories may not be too far off.
The former D.C. detective, hired by Rich’s family, indicated to local Fox affiliate Fox 5 that “there is tangible evidence on Rich’s laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death.” Wheeler believes the murder is being covered up and said a source inside the department told him D.C. police have been told not to investigate the case.
According to Wheeler:
“The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming. 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. Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor’s office and the DNC and that is the information that will come out [Tuesday].”
Asked if his sources have told him that information exists linking Rich to Wikileaks, he said, “Absolutely. Yeah. That’s confirmed.”
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange gave no comment on the allegations but has not denied working with Rich and retweeted the breaking story shortly after it broke Monday evening. Wikileaks has offered a reward of $20,000 for information leading to the conviction of the murderer, and Assange previously implied Rich was involved in the leaks.
A spokesman for Rich’s family, Brad Bauman, stated Tuesday that the family had not authorized Wheeler to speak on their behalf and wanted to keep the focus on finding Seth’s murderers.
“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. 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,” said Bauman.
Regardless, Fox News released a separate, full report on Tuesday with new details on the investigation Tuesday morning, dropping the bombshell that a federal investigator has corroborated Wheeler’s claims. The outlet reported that “an FBI forensic report of Rich’s computer — generated within 96 hours after Rich’s murder — showed he made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time, the federal source told Fox News.”
According to the report, “44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between Democratic National Committee leaders, spanning from January 2015 through late May 2016, were transferred from Rich to MacFadyen before May 21.”
D.C. police insisted they’re working with the family to find the killers, offering a reward of $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible, while a separate reward of $130,000 has been offered by Republican lobbyist Jack Burman.
According to the anonymous federal investigator, he has “seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks” and says the FBI is in possession of the damning evidence. It is important to note that the mainstream media, including the Washington Post, has been widely criticized for citing anonymous sources in its reporting on Russian election hacking claims.
Regardless, the FBI has not yet commented on the allegations.
Editor’s Update: Since this story was published, Wheeler has attempted to back peddle is previous statements, saying he relied on claims issued to him by Fox and did not personally have evidence to suggest Rich contacted Wikileaks. Anti-Media will continue to update our site with developments on the story.