Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, who was murdered nearly one year ago, was communicating with WikiLeaks before his death, according to the family’s private investigator.
Investigator Rod Wheeler, a former D.C. police homicide detective who was hired by a third party to investigate for the Rich family, told Fox 5 in Washington, D.C., Rich’s laptop had evidence indicating he had been in contact with the organization.
“Now, questions have been raised on why D.C. police, the lead agency on this murder investigation for the past ten months, have insisted this was a robbery gone bad when there appears to be no evidence to suggest that,” the news station reported Monday.
“The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming,” said Wheeler. “They haven’t been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both.”
A federal investigator who reviewed an FBI forensic report detailing the contents of Rich’s computer generated within 96 hours after his murder told Fox News that Rich made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time.
MacFadyen, an early mentor and defender of the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, died of lung cancer in October 2016.
The investigator, who requested anonymity, said 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between DNC leaders, spanning from January 2015 through late May 2016, were transferred from Rich to MacFadyen before May 21.
Fox 5 asked Wheeler if his sources have connected Rich to WikiLeaks, and he replied: “Absolutely. Yeah. That’s confirmed.”
Wheeler said he believes there’s a big cover-up that involves the FBI and the police department.
“My investigation shows someone within the D.C. government, Democratic National Committee or Clinton team is blocking the murder investigation from going forward,” Wheeler told Fox News. “That is unfortunate. Seth Rich’s murder is unsolved as a result of that.”
Wheeler also told the station: “I have a source inside the police department that has looked at me straight in the eye and said, ‘Rod, we were told to stand down on this case and I can’t share any information with you.’ Now, that is highly unusual for a murder investigation, especially from a police department. Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor’s office and the DNC and that is the information that will come out [Tuesday].”
WND contacted Metropolitan Police Department and asked: “Can you confirm or deny your department has a laptop owned by murder victim Seth Rich that had evidence of contact with WikiLeaks on it, or that your department was ‘told to stand down on this case.'”
The police department sent WND a statement:
The Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPD) Homicide Branch is actively investigating Mr. Rich’s murder and we continue to work with the family to bring closure to this case as we do with all homicide investigations. If there are any individuals who feel they have information, we urge them to call us at 202-727-9099 or text us at 50411. The department is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information on this case that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.
A spokesman for Rich’s family on Tuesday said Wheeler was not authorized to speak for the family and denied the report that Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks.
“As we’ve seen through the past year of unsubstantiated claims, we see no facts, we have seen no evidence, we have been approached with no emails and only learned about this when contacted by the press,” spokesman Brad Bauman said in an emailed statement. “Even if tomorrow, an email was found, it is not a high enough bar of evidence to prove any interactions as emails can be altered and we’ve seen that those interested in pushing conspiracies will stop at nothing to do so.”
The family’s statement continued:
“We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth’s murderers. The services of the private investigator who spoke to press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family.”
Bauman said the family condemned what they see as an attempt to politicize Rich’s death.
“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 told Business Insider. “I think there is a special place in hell for people like that.”
Bauman is a professional Democratic crisis public-relations consultant with the Pastorum Group in Washington, D.C.
“Progressive politics is my passion, it is more than just my life’s work,” said Bauman in a company press release announcing his hiring in 2016.
The slain man’s parents, Mary and Joel Rich of Omaha, Nebraska, said in an August 2016 interview with the Daily Mail that their son had been asked to join Hillary Clinton’s campaign four days before he was murdered.
“He had just found http://www.wnd.com/2017/05/dead-dnc-staffer-had