Murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich
WASHINGTON – A team of private investigators demanded the Democratic National Committee turn over “any and all” information that could help determine whether there is a link between the Democratic National Committee email hacking during the 2016 presidential race and the mysterious murder of DNC employee Seth Rich.
But the DNC wouldn’t provide any information Thursday, claiming it’s “not interested in propagating conspiracy theories about a beloved colleague.”
DNC Chairman Thomas Perez
While the DNC insists that its email was hacked by Russia in a grand conspiracy to assist Donald Trump in “rigging” the election, the Profiling Project pointed out in a letter to DNC Chairman Tom Perez that Guccifer 2.0 categorically denied links between the Russian government and the hacked documents.
“There have been all sorts of reporting in the media on the DNC computer hacking on June 14, 2016, one month before Mr. Rich’s murder,” the letter states. “At the time, the DNC blamed the hacking on two groups associated with Russian intelligence. However, a blogger named Guccifer 2.0 subsequently claimed that he hacked your computer system, and passed along thousands of pages of files to WikiLeaks.
“Subsequent unsubstantiated reports have linked Mr. Rich’s murder with either Russia or WikiLeaks or both, suggesting that Mr. Rich was the source of the emails or he was connected in some other way.”
Jack Burkman, a lawyer and GOP lobbyist who is funding the Profiling Project, wrote the letter on behalf of the group. He called on the DNC to turn over any evidence that would substantiate Rich’s ties to WikiLeaks.
D.C. lobbyist and attorney Jack Burkman
“By way of this letter, I am formally asking that the DNC release any, and all, information to our independent investigators – including emails, internal memos and other correlating information regarding discussions of this matter – that may help them determine the connection, if any between the DNC hacking and the murder of Seth Rich,” the letter states. “I look forward to your cooperation in our efforts to find those responsible for killing a young man with a bright future and one of your employees.”
In its response to the Profiling Project’s letter, the DNC stated:
“The DNC supports law enforcement in their work to get to the bottom of this terrible tragedy and hold the perpetrators accountable. The DNC is not interested in propagating conspiracy theories about a beloved colleague.
“We ask news organizations to respect Seth’s memory and stop highlighting publicity stunts and spreading false or debunked information.”
As WND has reported, Rich, 27, had accepted a position with Hillary Clinton’s campaign just before his death. He was murdered in Washington, D.C., near his apartment in an affluent neighborhood. Rich was shot twice in the back with a handgun, and his wallet, credit cards, watch and phone were left in his possession. The Metropolitan Police Department has described the murder as a “botched robbery.”
Murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich
Private investigators have claimed there is evidence Rich was the source WikiLeaks used to obtain thousands of DNC emails released on the eve of the party’s presidential nominating convention last July. The emails, indicating the party was manipulating the primary race in favor of Hillary Clinton, led to the resignation of former DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. On July 22, just 12 days after Rich’s death and days before the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks released 20,000 DNC emails.
Also as WND has reported, former detective Rod Wheeler was initially hired by Rich’s parents through a third party to find their son’s killer. Wheeler alleges former interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazille contacted the Metropolitan Police Department demanding to know why he was “snooping” after Wheeler began investigating Rich’s murder. As a result, he said, law-enforcement authorities are now refusing to provide him with more details about the case.
Wheeler and another source also told WND that the family’s spokesman, Brad Bauman – a Democratic political crisis consultant – was “assigned” to the family by the DNC. Bauman denies the DNC hired him to represent the Rich family, calling the claim “patently 100 percent false.”
As WND reported, the total reward for solving Rich’s murder currently stands at approximately a half-million dollars. However, the DNC has offered no reward for information leading to the arrest of the murderer of its own young staffer. Instead, the DNC honored its murdered employee by dedicating a bike rack outside its headquarters to Rich’s memory.
The DNC honored its murdered employee, Seth Rich, by dedicating a bike rack with this plaque outside its headquarters to Rich’s memory (Photo: screenshot)
Several online accounts belonging to Rich have been deleted in recent weeks, according to the Profiling Project. As WND reported, Burkman filed an emergency motion on June 21 to require police to “preserve, protect and properly organize the all-important online information of Seth Rich.”
“Seth Rich’s Twitter account has recently been deleted … Seth Rich’s Facebook page has recently been deleted … and … Seth Rich’s Reddit account (MeGRIMLOCK) has recently been edited and some of its postings deleted,” the motion states. “Little is more critical to the investigation of this murder than this online information that could lead to the determination of a motive for the murder. Most of the current working theories of the case may be disproven or enhanced by examining Seth Rich’s online information. Regrettably, some of this information is now lost due to the apparent spoliation of MPD. MPD must now be forced by this Court to act swiftly and decisively to preserve evidence.”
Also in June, the Profiling Project released a preliminary 80-page report on Rich that details why it’s highly improbable that the DNC staffer was the victim of a random homicide.
The project, an “all-volunteer group of current and former George Washington University forensic psychology graduate students and instructors,” said it came together for the investigation to “aid the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police utilizing forensic psychology skills and tools in hopes of providing at least one actionable item.”
The findings included:
- Seth’s death does not appear to be a random homicide.
- Seth’s death does not appear to be a robbery gone bad.
- Seth[‘s] death was more likely committed by a hired killer or serial murderer.
- There may be additional video surveillance of the crime and crime scene.
- The resolution of prosecuting the individual(s) responsible appears to be hindered both actively and passively.
- Seth’s killer(s) most likely remains free with the community.
The group found in its investigation “the crime scene was very organized to the point of being sanitized.”
“This would indicate careful planning on the part of the offender, control of the entry to and exit from the crime scene as well as in-depth understanding of law-enforcement investigative processes,” Doherty explained during a press conference. “A proficient killer is what we think – the fact that the killer has gotten away with it for this period of time and it appears it was a very sanitized crime scene, so there is certainly some level of proficiency in the killing.”
The lack of clues from Rich’s murderer scene and the fact that no suspects have surfaced to claim the large reward offering is highly suspect, Doherty said.
“The crime scene was sanitized; there is no direct linking to really anything. The police have no suspects,” he said. “The individuals have gotten away with it at this point in time. There were no behavioral indications at the crime scene. It didn’t look like rage or revenge or hate were the motivation behind it. It’s really a lack of behavioral indicators, motion and evidence that leads us to believe that whoever did this is proficient at killing.”
Intersection where DNC staffer Seth Rich was found ‘conscious and breathing with apparent gunshot wound(s) to the back,’ according to a July 10, 2016, police report (WND photo: Alicia Powe)
The Profiling Project revealed in May that weapons were stolen from a nearby FBI vehicle hours before Rich was shot, including a .40 caliber Glock-22 handgun and a Rock River Arms Rifle. The burglary took place just two miles south of Rich’s murder scene.
The group is currently awaiting a court hearing before the Washington, D.C., Superior Court to force the police department and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser to publicly release critical evidence in the Seth Rich investigation, including the medical examiner’s report, autopsy documents and ballistics reports, which would determine they type of gun used to shoot Rich.