Questions surrounding the case of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich and whether he was the source who gave thousands of classified DNC emails to WikiLeaks, reached a new level Tuesday night, when leaked audio revealed that Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh claimed Rich contacted WikiLeaks.
On the audio recording, Hersh claimed he is citing an FBI document, which states that before Rich’s death, he contacted WikiLeaks with sample emails from the leak, and the evidence was then found on his computer.
“There are no DNC or Podesta emails that exist beyond May 21 or 22, last email from either one of those groups. What the report says is that sometime in late Spring… he makes contact with WikiLeaks, that’s in his computer,” Hersh said. “Anyway, they found what he had done is that he had submitted a series of documents—of emails, of juicy emails, from the DNC.”
Seth Rich, 27, was working as the DNC’s voter expansion data director in Washington D.C. when he was mysteriously shot and killed, while walking home around 4 a.m. on July 10, 2016.
It was also recently confirmed that Seth Rich was with Imran Awan — who has worked for several House Democrats, including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and was arrested last Monday and charged with bank fraud — on the night he was murdered.
The official story was that Rich was the victim of a botched robbery. However, the timing of his death, in relation to the release of the infamous DNC Emails from WikiLeaks less than two weeks later, has caused many to question the missing links surrounding his unsolved murder.
While there is speculation that Rich—who was found with both his watch and his wallet—was the victim of more than just a robbery gone wrong, Hersh said he does not believe Rich was “murdered because of what he knew.” He said that given the rough neighborhood Rich was living in, it was entirely possible that someone shot him in the back twice, and then got scared and ran away without taking his wallet.
“When they have a death like that,” Hersh said. “[D.C. Cops] have to find out what’s going on, you have to go to the apartment to see what you can find. If he’s dead, you don’t need a warrant, but most cops get a warrant, because they don’t know if the guy has a roommate.”
One of the main things police looked for was Rich’s laptop, and when even their special cyber unit could not crack into it, they called in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. On the audio recording, Hersh claims he is referencing the report created by the FBI after agents searched Rich’s laptop.
“All I know is that he offered a sample, an extensive sample, I’m sure dozens of emails, and said ‘I want money.’ Later, WikiLeaks did get the password, he had a DropBox, a protected DropBox. They got access to the DropBox,” Hersh said. “The word was passed. According to the NSA report, he also shared this DropBox with a couple of friends, so that ‘if anything happens to me it’s not going to solve your problems. WikiLeaks got access before he was killed.”
While Hersh claimed he believes the official story of Rich’s death, a months-long forensic investigation conducted by the Profiling Project came to the conclusion in June that Rich’s murder “more likely was committed by a hired killer or serial murderer,” than a robbery gone bad.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange also said he does not believe the official story of Rich’s death, during an interview in August 2016.
“Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often significant risks. There was a 27-year old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back… murdered… for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington,” Assange said. When asked what he was suggesting, he replied, “I am suggesting that our sources take risks and they become concerned to see things occurring like that.”
While Assange has yet to confirm whether Rich was the source of the DNC leaks, internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom spoke out in May and revealed that he worked with Rich. He said that if the U.S. Congress “includes #SethRich case into their Russia case,” he will give “written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was WikiLeaks’ source.”
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) May 20, 2017
In addition to providing new evidence that links Seth Rich to WikiLeaks, Seymour Hersh has also revealed that Saudi Arabia hid Osama bin Laden from the U.S. after 9/11, and that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped start the Syrian War by approving the delivery of sarin gas to rebels groups to frame President Assad.