Kim Dotcom is throwing fuel on the Seth Rich conspiracy theories, claiming he has proof that the slain DNC staffer was the one who leaked the Democratic National Committee’s emails to WikiLeaks last year.
Those emails are the center of the Russian interference in the 2016 election, with U.S. intelligence agencies saying that Russian hackers actually stole the emails — as well as emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta — and leaked them in an effort to hurt Clinton’s chances.
At the same time, an alternative theory has arisen that Rich was actually the one who leaked the emails and was then killed for it.
Rich was shot in the back last summer in his Washington, D.C., neighborhood in a case that remains unsolved. Police said his killing appeared to be a robbery gone wrong — as there had been a spate of other armed robberies in the neighborhood, and Rich’s watch was torn in a struggle — but some conspiracy theorists pushed the idea that his killing was a hit job in retribution for Rich leaking the DNC’s emails to WikiLeaks.
The theory spread last summer and was recently revived through a now debunked story from the Fox 5 affiliate in Washington, D.C. A private investigator named Rod Wheeler claimed that he found evidence police were covering up the investigation and that there was evidence on Rich’s laptop that he had been in contact with WikiLeaks.
Within hours, that story had fallen apart. Wheeler clarified that he had no knowledge of the laptop and was only repeating reports he had read elsewhere, and he also called the story misleading.
Rich’s family has also come out against the conspiracy theories, calling out the right-wing sites pushing the stories online.
“Anyone who continues to push this fake news story after it was so thoroughly debunked is proving to the world they have a transparent political agenda or are a sociopath,” family spokesman Brad Bauman told CNN. “It either case, they should be taken off the air because they are either blind to the damage they are doing to a murder victims family or don’t care, showing a profound lack of judgment and common decency.”
— Steve Hirsch (@Stevenwhirsch99) May 21, 2017
— ???????? KGB Chris ???????? (@Cali_Deplorable) May 21, 2017
But by that point, the Seth Rich conspiracy theory had taken on a new life. Kim Dotcom, the founder of the site Megaupload, claimed that he knew Seth Rich was the leaker and would provide evidence on Tuesday.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 20, 2017
I'm meeting my legal team on Monday. I will issue a statement about #SethRich on Tuesday. Please be patient. This needs to be done properly.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 20, 2017
But Kim Dotcom has gained a reputation for making provocative claims and failing to back them up. In the final days of the 2016 election, he claimed to have access to Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails and would release them, but nothing came of it.
Kim Dotcom is not the only one pushing the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has also hinted about Rich leaking the DNC emails, including re-tweeting the Fox 5 story that kicked off the conspiracy theory again. previously hinted that Rich could have been a source, including an interview on a Dutch talk show (via a transcript published in The Gateway Pundit).
Julian Assange: “Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. 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.”
Reporter: “That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn’t it?”
Julian Assange: “No. There’s no finding. So… I’m suggesting that our sources take risks.”
Kim Dotcom has not said exactly when he would be offering proof that Seth Rich was the source of the DNC leak.
[Featured Image Simon Watts/Getty Images]