Seth Rich
© LinkedIn
Slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.
Special counsel Robert Mueller focused a portion of his final report on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange making false statements about slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich and the theft of emails from Democratic officials.

Rich was killed in Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016, in what police have described as a botched robbery. But Rich's death quickly became the subject of conspiracy theories claiming he was killed in a politically motivated hit job for leaking stolen emails to WikiLeaks.

The redacted Mueller report, released Thursday, said WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, "made several public statements apparently designed to obscure the source of the materials that WikiLeaks was releasing."

Starting in the summer of 2016, "Assange and WikiLeaks made a number of statements about Seth Rich, a former DNC staff member who was killed in July 2016," Mueller's report said. "The statements about Rich implied falsely that he had been the source of the stolen DNC emails."

Mueller described specific instances, including an Aug. 25 tweet from WikiLeaks that said, "ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich."

An Aug. 25, 2016, interview with Assange was also cited.

"Assange was asked in an interview, 'Why are you so interested in Seth Rich's killer?' and responded, 'We're very interested in anything that might be a threat to alleged Wikileaks sources,'" the Mueller report said.

"The interviewer responded to Assange's statement by commenting, 'I know you don't want to reveal your source, but it certainly sounds like you're suggesting a man who leaked information to WikiLeaks was then murdered,'" the Mueller report continued. "Assange replied, 'If there's someone who's potentially connected to our publication, and that person has been murdered in suspicious circumstances, it doesn't necessarily mean that the two are connected. But it is a very serious matter ... that type of allegation is very serious, as it's taken very seriously by us.'"

Mueller's report claimed the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, the GRU, stole Democratic emails and distributed them through two GRU-operated fronts - the DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 websites. Mueller further claimed "the GRU units transferred many of the documents they stole from the DNC and the chairman of the [Hillary] Clinton Campaign to WikiLeaks."

DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 were the Russian conduits for communication with WikiLeaks, according to Mueller.

Mueller also alleged that "GRU officers used both the DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 personas to communicate with WikiLeaks through Twitter private messaging and through encrypted channels, including possibly through WikiLeaks's private communication system."

Despite efforts by the GRU and WikiLeaks to conceal their communications, Mueller said "it is clear that the stolen DNC and [Clinton campaign chairman John] Podesta documents were transferred from the GRU to WikiLeaks."

The broader U.S. intelligence community also concluded in a report in January 2017 that Russian operatives were behind the hacking of emails from Democratic officials before passing them along to WikiLeaks to publish.

WikiLeaks have long denied that Russia was their source, and Assange even reportedly claimed to have evidence to prove this.

Mueller cited media reports on former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., telling Breitbart News about his August 2017 visit to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Assange was residing in asylum. Rohrabacher said the DNC hack was an "inside job" and purported to have "physical proof" that Russians did not give materials to Assange.

Assange was recently arrested by British authorities and is facing extradition to the United States. The single charge Assange currently faces does not relate to coordination with Russia in 2016, but rather relates to allegedly assisting former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning with cracking a password to try to gain access to classified military records back in 2010.

Last summer the parents of Seth Rich condemned conspiracy theorists pushing false information two years after the death of their son. "We would like to remind those who are not law enforcement officials who claim to be helping by conducting 'investigations' are not helping at all," Joel and Mary Rich wrote. They also said people spreading conspiracy theories are interfering with the official police investigation into their son's murder.

Comment: Tragically, Seth Rich's parent's were caught in the vise of political forces beyond their control.

Political assassination? Law enforcement sources claim murdered staffer Seth Rich leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks, investigation being blocked
Per the Washington Examiner, Rich's family issued the following statement, via a 'spokesman', regarding the recent Fox News reports saying they have seen no evidence of the alleged emails between Seth Rich and 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," the statement said. "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 interest in pushing conspiracies will stop at nothing to do so."

"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 the 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."
But, as WikiLeaks noted, the family's "spokesman" is none other than Democrat crisis PR consultant Brad Bauman.

and this:
[Investigator Rod] Wheeler also told Fox News:
"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."

When we asked Wheeler if his sources have told him there is information that links Rich to Wikileaks, he said, "Absolutely. Yeah. That's confirmed."

Wheeler also told us, "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].

Rich's brother, Aaron, sued right-wing activists and the right-leaning Washington Times in March 2018 for acting with "reckless disregard for the truth" about the tragedy. In October, the Washington Times retracted a column and apologized for an opinion piece titled, "More cover-up questions: The curious murder of Seth Rich poses questions that just won't stay under the official rug," by retired Adm. James Lyons.