Fox News’ Sean Hannity dove into the new developments in the mysterious murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich on Tuesday evening, stating that the new details could “completely shatter the narrative” that WikiLeaks was working with Russia to sabotage the Clinton campaign.
Hannity added that if true, “this could become one of the biggest scandals in American history, and could mean that Rich could have been murdered under very suspicious circumstances.”
Early Tuesday morning, news broke that former DC homicide detective Rod Wheeler, who was privately investigating the murder, found evidence that the 27-year-old had been communicating with WikiLeaks. A federal investigator who reviewed information on the case confirmed to Fox News that Rich was in contact with Wikileaks before his murder, through now-deceased Wikileaks director Gavin MacFayden. Rich was shot in the back near his home on July 10, and left for dead. The police initially ruled that it was a botched robbery — but his wallet, watch, and necklace were still on his person when he was discovered by police.
“Now, while there were several key questions about why Rich was killed, well, here’s what we do know: 12 days. Exactly 12 days after Rich died and was killed, Wikileaks published the leaked emails from the DNC, and after Rich’s death, Wikileaks offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or the people responsible for the murder. And then back in August during an interview on Dutch TV, Assange implied that, in fact, Seth Rich, was his source,” Hannity said.
Hannity then revisited his own interview with Assange from January, where the controversial publisher told him that Russia was not behind their email release. He noted that in 11 years of publishing, WikiLeaks has never been proven wrong.
In the interview, Hannity asks Assange about reports that former ambassador Craig Murray was physically handed the emails by a disgruntled Bernie Sanders supporter in a wooded area near American University. Assange repeated that he never comments on sources, but confirmed that Murray is a friend.
“And the mystery deepens. Now, let me connect the dots from here. Now, from my perspective, this could be a very huge bombshell story. If this is true, and Seth Rich gave Wikileaks these DNC emails which ultimately led to the firing, remember, Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the eve of the DNC Convention, this blows the whole Russia collusion narrative out of the water,” Hannity asserted. “Now, maybe Seth Rich was upset that the DNC was conspiring to hurt Bernie Sanders and help Hillary Clinton when the nomination. We learn from those released emails, remember this, that that was the case.”
In a bizarre statement following Wheeler’s report, Brad Bauman, the spokesman for the Rich family, who 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.
Seth Rich's new "family spokesman" is Brad Bauman a professional Democrat crisis PR consultant with the Pastorum Group.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 11, 2016
“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,” Bauman said in a statement.
Later in the episode, Hannity interviewed Wheeler about his explosive claims.
Wheeler told Hannity that the information about Rich emailing WikiLeaks came from a “federal investigator that was involved on the inside of the case,” and who had personally seen the computer and the case files.
Bauman had claimed that the family had never hired Wheeler, but a signed contract provided to Fox News listed the family as his clients, and was signed by Rich’s father, Joel Rich.
Fox News reports that a federal source confirmed to them that “an FBI forensic report of Rich’s computer — generated within 96 hours after Rich’s murder — showed he 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.”
The investigator specifically told Fox News that 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments were sent from Rich to MacFayden before May 21. That happens to be the exact number included in the leak.
“My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” Wheeler said. “I do believe that the answers to who murdered Seth Rich sits on his computer on a shelf at the DC police or FBI headquarters.”