Concerned citizens gathered for a silent vigil in The Spirit of Justice Park on Capitol Hill on Monday, the one year anniversary of the murder of Seth Rich.
The shooting raised suspicions almost immediately due to his position within the Democratic National Committee, and the revelations published by WikiLeaks 12 days after his death.
— Scott Taylor ABC 7 (@ScottTaylorTV) July 7, 2017
Rich was shot twice in the back in the early morning hours of July 10, 2016, near his home while he was on the phone with his girlfriend. As the commotion began, Rich told his girlfriend not to worry. Many have questioned why he would not have asked his significant other to call the police, or at least have expressed alarm, if it was a random attacker.
The police initially ruled that the shooting was a botched robbery — but his wallet, watch, and necklace were still on his person when he was discovered by police. He had bruises on his knees and his face. He was alive and able to communicate with emergency workers at the scene — though what he told them has never been made public.
Despite the incident taking place on a street with many surveillance cameras, no footage was ever released to the public that may aid in identifying a suspect. Likewise, no dash or body camera footage has ever been published.
Rich had been drinking alone at a bar called Lou’s City Bar in the hours leading up to his death. Police reportedly never questioned the staff on duty that evening.
In June, tech mogul Kim Dotcom released a statement asserting that Rich was the source of the leaked emails, and that he had gone by the alias “Panda.” Social media postings from both Rich and those closest to him reveal that he had an extreme fondness for the animals.
“I know this because in late 2014 a person contacted me about helping me to start a branch of the Internet Party in the United States. He called himself Panda. I now know that Panda was Seth Rich,” Kim wrote in his statement. “Panda advised me that he was working on voter analytics tools and other technologies that the Internet Party may find helpful.
I communicated with Panda on a number of topics including corruption and the influence of corporate money in politics.”
Dotcom added that, “he wanted to change that from the inside.”
Amidst claims by Dotcom leading up to his statement, Julian Assange tweeted that though WikiLeaks won’t identify sources — sometimes their sources reveal themselves to other people. He also included the #SethRich hashtag in his tweet.
WikiLeaks has never disclosed a source. Sources sometimes talk to other parties but identities never emerge from WikiLeaks. #SethRich
— Defend Assange Campaign (@DefendAssange) May 22, 2017
Though Assange has infamously expressed interest in Rich, he has always maintained that WikiLeaks will never name a source. To this day, he continues to refer to Chelsea Manning as an “alleged source.”
The organization did offer a $20,000 reward for Rich’s murderer however, and has retweeted articles that asserted he was their source without providing any additional comment.
In an interview last year, Assange also alluded to Rich having been the source of the earth shattering leaks, which exposed a massive plot to undermine the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders.
“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 during an interview with Dutch TV last year. When asked by the host if he would suggest that Rich was involved, he stated that “we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States and that our sources face serious risks… that’s why they come to us so we can protect their anonymity.”
In a recently discovered video from the Election Data Summit in 2015, Rich was seen expressing concern about ballot integrity.
“Seth Rich, with the DNC,” he introduces himself, after clearing his throat. “I think some of you had spoken about provisional ballots and rejected ballots — I guess we have looked at, as an outside practitioner with a vested interest in training our voters, how do we get better access to data that tells us why ballots are rejected — why ballots are cast as provisional — so we can analyze that and develop better training guides?”
The following year, nearly three months before Rich was killed, New York voters reported two highly suspicious voter purges that barred 120,000 people from being able to vote. The scandal lead to massive outcry from supporters of Sanders, who believed that the DNC was engaging in election fraud to nominate Hillary Clinton.
In an aggressive statement following reports that Rich was the WikiLeaks source, Brad Bauman, the spokesman for the Rich family, who just so happens to be a Democratic Party crisis PR consultant, claims that even if an email [to WikiLeaks] was found, it would not be evidence of foul play.
As Big League Politics has previously reported:
Bauman is a well-known Democratic crisis communications consultant and former Democratic staffer. He is a co-founder and partner of the firm the Pastorum Group. Fellow co-founder Josh Cohen has written for The Atlantic Council, the George Soros-funded think tank that targets pro-Trump journalists, and fellow co-founder Michelle Coyle Edwards was an executive at Rising Tide, which was a Ready For Hillary client.
Following a three month long investigation into the murder, the Profiling Project, a volunteer group of current and former George Washington University forensic psychology graduate students and instructors, found that his death “does not appear to be a random homicide.”
Additionally, the declared in their report that it does not appear to have been a botched robbery — and that it “was more likely committed by a hired killer or serial murderer.”
The organization, whose main goal is assisting police with profiling, added that there may be additional surveillance footage and that the resolution of prosecuting the individual(s) responsible appears to be hindered both actively and passively.
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