Seth Rich may have been the source of the DNC email leak, the founder of WikiLeaks suggested this week about the murdered Democratic National Committee staffer.
Rich, who was murdered in Washington, D.C., back in July, has been the subject of a number of conspiracy theories. There were reports that he was planning to speak to the FBI about potential election fraud being committed in the Democratic primary, a report that turned out to have no basis, and now there are reports that he was the one who supplied the organization WikiLeaks with access to tens of thousands of emails from the DNC.
Speculation had started to build that Seth Rich could have some connection to WikiLeaks when the organization’s founder, Julian Assange, announced this week that he was offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in his death.
ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 9, 2016
Assange took the speculation a step further, insinuating in an appearance on a Dutch television show that Seth Rich was a “source” to the organization. The Gateway Pundit had a transcript of Assange’s appearance and his reference to Rich.
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.
The statements from Julian Assange kick-started a new round of speculation that Seth Rich may have been murdered for his role in uncovering fraud on the part of the DNC. While the allegations about election fraud during the Democratic Primary have been debunked as a misunderstanding about the nature of exit polling, the possibility that Rich was an informant opened up a new avenue for conspiracy theories.
Assange doesn't reveal the source behind the DNC emails, but does bring up the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. pic.twitter.com/hgZFySug8k
— Nieuwsuur (@Nieuwsuur) August 9, 2016
Despite the speculation, those close to the murder of Seth Rich believe the story from police that he was killed in a robbery gone wrong. They point out that the neighborhood where he was killed has seen a number of violent robberies in the past few weeks, and Rich’s own family members seem to believe this is how he was killed.
“There had been a struggle. His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything,” his mother, Mary Rich, told NBC News.
“They took his life for literally no reason. They didn’t finish robbing him, they just took his life,” she added. “They hurt the community, and they hurt the long-term possibility of what he could have done.”
— Joanne Colombo (@JoanneColombo) July 31, 2016
And police have also shot down the conspiracy theories linking Rich’s death to his work at the Democratic National Committee. Business Insider reached out to the Metropolitan Police Department, where a spokesperson said there was “no indication” that Rich’s death was the result of his work at the DNC or his role as an apparent whistleblower.
“However, we welcome information that could potentially lead to the identification of the individual(s) responsible for his death and are pleased when any outside contributors help us generate new leads,” a spokesperson told the news outlet.
While the conspiracy theories are flying regarding the murder of Seth Rich, the circumstances of the case itself remains a mystery to police. They have not announced any suspects in the case, and there is a separate $25,000 reward being offered by police for anyone with information that leads to an arrest in his murder.
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