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Gunfire erupts: Bizarre twist in Seth Rich murder probe

Murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich

D.C. lobbyist and attorney Jack Burkman

He’s the Washington-based attorney and lobbyist who’s been on the hunt for slain DNC staffer Seth Rich’s killer – and now he’s been shot at and run over by the former U.S. Marine he hired to help him get to the bottom of the case.

As WND has reported, Jack Burkman, a lobbyist who has been investigating the Rich murder, has also filed a federal lawsuit that accuses Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee of rigging the 2016 presidential primary. The complaint by Burkman also demanded the release of the hacked DNC server.

More recently, Burkman had offered a $25,000 reward to FBI whistleblowers willing to provide information about the agency’s treatment of the Clinton email investigation and the Russia probe.

Kevin Doherty (Courtesy: Arlington Co. Police Department)

When Burkman hired former Marine Kevin Doherty, 46, to help him look into the mysterious Rich murder, he never expected his lead investigator would try to kill him.

Doherty – who claims he worked as a special agent and criminal investigator in the intelligence community – was arrested Saturday by Arlington County police on charges of malicious wounding and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. Burkman alleges that Doherty shot him and ran over him with an SUV at a Rosslyn Marriott hotel parking garage on March 13.

Burkman had arrived in that parking garage to collect documents he believed were from a FBI whistleblower.

WND launched a GoFundMe campaign to get to the bottom of the Seth Rich murder. Help us find out what really happened to the DNC staffer

Doherty, who was charged Monday, had worked as the lead investigator for the Profiling Project, a team of private, nonpartisan investigators hired by Burkman to probe the Rich murder. As WND reported, the group released an 80-page report in June containing preliminary findings, primarily concluding that Rich’s killing was not random, as police have long claimed, but “more likely (was) committed by a hired killer or serial killer.”

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:

  1. Seth’s death does not appear to be a random homicide.
  2. Seth’s death does not appear to be a robbery gone bad.
  3. Seth[‘s] death was more likely committed by a hired killer or serial murderer.
  4. There may be additional video surveillance of the crime and crime scene.
  5. The resolution of prosecuting the individual(s) responsible appears to be hindered both actively and passively.
  6. Seth’s killer(s) most likely remains free with the community.

As WND reported, Rich, 27, was a DNC voter expansion data director for two years and had accepted a position with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He was murdered in Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016, 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 it as a “botched robbery.”

Private investigators have claimed there is evidence Rich was the source WikiLeaks used to obtain thousands of Democratic National Committee 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 DNC chairwoman 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 emails from DNC officials.

Burkman has offered a $105,000 reward of his personal money for information leading to the arrest of Rich’s killer. Also, WikiLeaks is offering $20,000, One America News Network $100,000, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department $25,000 and Businessman and investor Martin Shkreli $100,000.

Establishment media have ignored revelations concerning Rich’s case. The little coverage of the investigation has been devoted to dismissing speculation surrounding Rich’s murder as “conspiracy.”

Murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich

Curiously, at a June press conference, it was Doherty himself who explained the Profiling Project findings, telling reporters, “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 – there is certainly some level of proficiency in the killing.”

WND launched a GoFundMe campaign to get to the bottom of the Seth Rich murder. Help us find out what really happened to the DNC staffer

Asked if there were any specific clues that led to the Profiling Project’s conclusion, Doherty said “it is the lack of clues” that concerned investigators most.

“The crime scene was sanitized. There is no direct linking to really anything. The police have no suspects,” he told WND at the time. “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.”

Burkman was also reportedly attacked in January at his home. In that incident, an unidentified assailant reportedly sprayed him with pepper spray.

When Burkman hired Doherty to lead the Profiling Project, the organization released a bio describing the former Marine’s work. It stated:

Kevin Doherty is a former U.S. Marine and Special Agent/Criminal Investigator in the intelligence community. In 2008, he created the first maritime security firm to provide armed security teams on U.S. merchant ships in the wake of the Maersk Alabama hijacking.

As a Special Agent, he conducted investigations into crimes committed against U.S. citizens throughout the world including: murder, missing persons and various sex crimes. Mr. Doherty’s career has taken him to global high-threat areas and has focused on maritime security, anti-terrorism operations, criminal and civil investigations, intelligence assessments, and nuclear non-proliferation. …

Mr. Doherty has held the highest clearances in the US government and is one of only a handful of Special Agents that has been assigned to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Special Operations (OSO). As the Agent-In-Charge of personal security details to many US officials and high-profile politicians, Mr. Doherty has personally protected two U.S. Secretary’s [sic] of Energy, a U.S. Ambassador to Iraq in Baghdad and Governor Mitt Romney to name just a few.

On Monday, Burkman told the Washington Post that Doherty had an impressive resume, but as his time at the Profiling Project progressed, he tried to take control of the Rich investigation.

“He became somewhat angry because he thought the Profiling Project belonged to him,” Burkman said.

Jack Burkman at a March 23, 2017, news conference announcing the creation of the Profiling Project, a private effort to find the killer of DNC staffer Seth Rich

So Burkman fired Doherty in July, just one month after the investigator had spoken to WND. He also sent him a cease-and-desist letter.

“I just figured the matter was closed,” Burkman told the Post. “But what happened is, I guess, he was simmering and simmering and simmering.”

Just last month, a man contacted Burkman saying he was a top FBI official who had information on former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and his handling of investigations involving Clinton.

So Burkman went to the parking garage to collect two packets of emails about the cases.

“I thought I had the story of the decade,” Burkman told the Post, noting that the emails “looked super real” and had information about the super-secret spy court given sweeping power under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.

But when Burkman bent down and attempted to retrieve the packets from underneath a cone in the garage, bullets struck him in his buttocks and thigh.

As he tried to escape, running through the parking garage, an SUV hit him.

Then it backed up and tried to run him over again, Burkman said.

“It looked like he was coming to kill me,” he said.

WND launched a GoFundMe campaign to get to the bottom of the Seth Rich murder. Help us find out what really happened to the DNC staffer

That’s when a woman observing the whole situation from a hotel window began screaming and a security guard came running to him.

The Post noted that police wouldn’t provide comment about Burkman’s claims.

Burkman said authorities caught up with Doherty and brought the man’s photo to the hospital while the lobbyist was being treated there. Burkman said he was shocked when he heard the suspect was Doherty.

“Burkman said he is now traveling with security,” the Post reported. “But the experience has not soured him on conspiracy theories. His profiling project concluded that Rich was shot by a hired killer, and he wonders if Doherty was working for someone else.”

Burkman told the paper: “This, in my mind, makes the whole Seth story stranger and stranger.”