The chief of the government-accountability group Judicial Watch contends there’s “credible evidence” that needs to be addressed in the murder investigation of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.
In recent weeks, private investigators who believe Rich may have been the source of the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks have claimed the investigation has been corrupted by political influence.
Now, in Judicial Watch’s weekly video update, President Tom Fitton discusses the case, for which his organization has filed several Freedom of Information Act requests.
See the video (The Rich case is discussed from about the 10 minute to the 13 minute mark):
Fitton notes the claims that Rich was involved in the leak of the DNC emails and that the probe has been compromised.
More on the Seth Rich case:
“I don’t know whether any of that’s true,” Fitton says. “WikiLeaks strongly suggests it’s true.”
But he says there’s “enough credible information out in the media … to suggest there was some hanky panky.”
“We ask the questions,” says Fitton.
Judicial Watch has filed a FOIA with the D.C. police department and the mayor’s office.
“We’re not going to be cowed … we’re going to ask the questions.”
As WND reported, Rich was murdered July 10, 2016, in his affluent neighborhood in Washington, D.C. He was shot in the back with a handgun at 4:18 a.m. a block from his home, and although the police reported it as a robbery, nothing was taken from him. He was transported to a local hospital and was pronounced dead at 5:57 a.m. On July 22, just 12 days after Rich’s death and days before the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks released 20,000 emails from DNC officials.
WND reported Friday that the office of Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser issued a statement asserting Rich was killed in an attempted robbery.
The statement came amid a claim by private investigators that the Metropolitan Police Department had been directed by Bowers to tone down its investigation.
“This is a robbery that ended tragically. Any homicide in the District of Columbia gets the full attention of the Metropolitan Police Department,” Bowser’s deputy press secretary, Susana Castillo, told WND. “In fact, MPD has a cold case unit that focuses on solving homicides in D.C. no matter how old they are.”
Private investigators have told WND they are certain Bowser has ordered a halt to the investigation. Jack Burkman, the head of the Washington, D.C.-based Profiling Project investigative team, told WND on Wednesday he believes D.C. police officials have colluded with the mayor to suspended the investigation.
He said police are refusing to cooperate with anyone involved and are withholding key evidence from the public and obstructing the investigation for political purposes.
“I very strongly believe that the D.C. police and the D.C. mayor, for her own political reasons, want this ended,” he said. “This is going to become an issue in the mayor’s race, and this is really going to hurt her politics. This is a real black eye. This is becoming a real big thing – it’s on its way to becoming an O.J., and it could derail the mayor’s re-election.”
Burkman said the evidence indicates it was not a robbery, and he said the Rich family is also doubtful that Rich, whose body was found with his valuables, was murdered during a robbery.
“If it was a robbery – it failed because he still has his watch, he still has his money, he still has his credit cards, still had his phone – so it was a wasted effort except we lost a life,” Joel Rich, Seth’s father, acknowledged days after his son was killed.
Private investigator Rod Wheeler, who was hired by Rich’s parents in March to find their son’s killer, suspects Rich’s death is linked to his work at the DNC and explained why there is no evidence to support the police’s assertion he was murdered during a “botched” robbery.
“I’ve been hitting the ground out there talking with people – typical things we do in a homicide investigation. I haven’t found anything to support the theory that this was a street robbery,” he told WND.
After months of investigating Rich’s murder, the Rich family revealed to the veteran homicide detective on May 15 that former DNC Chair and CNN contributor Donna Brazille contacted the police department after he inquired with homicide detectives for information on Rich’s case.
Wheeler has been incessantly repudiated by Brad Bauman – the Rich family’s spokesman, who has been allegedly “assigned” by the Democratic National Committee to represent the family – for not ruling out the possibility that Rich’s death may be related to the DNC emails turned over to WikiLeaks.
“It’s sad but unsurprising that a group of media outlets who have repeatedly lied to the American people would try and manipulate the legacy of a murder victim in order to forward their own political agenda,” Bauman, a professional Democratic crisis public-relations consultant told WND. “I think there is a special place in hell for people like that.”
Police spokesman Karimah Bilal said: “MPD does not entertain conspiracy theories and does not engage with conspiracy theorists. If you are in possession of information that you believe to be relevant to this or any case, please let us know the details of such information such that it can help, rather than hinder, our investigation.”
WND reported also Thursday CNN attacked a Republican lawmaker who called for a federal investigation of the Rich murder and any possible role he may have had in the leaking of the emails.
Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, told CNN Wednesday: “My fear is our constant focusing on the Russians is deflecting away from some other things that we need to be investigating. There’s still some question as to whether the intrusion of the DNC server was an insider job or whether or not it was the Russians.”