100,000 NEEDED BY JUNE 18
by Sharon Rondeau
Rich, a 27-year-old DNC staffer, was shot in the back on July 10, 2016 as he walked home from a bar in what is said to be a rejuvenated, upscale section of Washington, DC. His murder remains unsolved.
Early on, speculation arose that Rich was the source of thousands of DNC emails provided to the open-government organization WikiLeaks, which began to release them 12 days after the murder.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has all but said (see video) that Rich was a source, although he said that WikiLeaks never divulges its sources. WikiLeaks has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer(s).
Very little has been divulged about any investigation currently under way by the DC Metro Police Department (MPD). In January, The Washington Post published an article disdainful of the theory that Rich provided any documentation to WikiLeaks and has continued to push back against recent renewed interest in the theory.
On May 15, a media firestorm erupted when a DC Fox affiliate, Fox5, aired a segment on the Rich story with former detective Rod Wheeler, who claimed that he had learned of evidence during his own separate investigation of the case showing that Rich had communicated with WikiLeaks through email.
In subsequent interviews over the next two days, Wheeler altered his story to say that he himself had not seen the evidence, but rather, that he had gleaned it from a Fox News Channel reporter who had been investigating the case and had reportedly spoken to a “federal investigator” with access to Rich’s computer.
The reporter’s written article on the subject, dated May 16, stated that the Rich family disputed Wheeler’s findings and was greatly displeased that he had spoken to the media allegedly without communicating with them first. According to a subsequent report published by WND, Wheeler is no longer conducting his investigation.
Following the Fox5 report, FNC’s Sean Hannity became interested in the story, airing several segments last week in which he voiced his speculation that if, in fact, Rich were the source of the DNC emails, the report of the U.S. intelligence community that the DNC servers were hacked by Russian government operatives could be proved false.
On Sunday, Hannity tweeted that “Complete panic has set in at the highest levels of the Democratic Party.”
The mainstream media and left-wing sycophants immediately pounced on Hannity as “peddling a conspiracy” and encouraged their followers to pressure Hannity’s advertisers to withdraw their support, which some did.
A backlash by Hannity’s supporters is now ensuing, with customers closing their accounts at USAA and vowing not to shop at Pelleton’s and other retailers which withdrew their advertising from “Hannity.”
On Tuesday, just before beginning a Memorial Day vacation, Hannity suggested that his show could be canceled. “I serve at the pleasure of the Fox News Channel,” he told his audience. On Twitter, he asked his followers to help in combating left-wing and other media attacks.
Also on Tuesday, after declaring that a major “announcement” would be forthcoming on the Rich case, Hannity stated that in deference to the family’s wishes, he would not discuss it on his television broadcast for the time being.
That announcement followed Hannity’s Sunday night tweet stating that he would be hosting internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom on both his radio and television shows in the near future. Dotcom entered the fray last Friday when he tweeted that he had direct knowledge that Rich was a WikiLeaks source. “I was there,” Dotcom asserted.
His curiosity piqued, Hannity responded to Dotcom’s tweet and asked to see evidence. A day or so later, Hannity announced that he would host Dotcom on both of his media venues.
On Tuesday night, however, Hannity made it obvious that he would not be hosting Dotcom.
On Wednesday, The Washington Post published an article strongly suggesting, without providing evidence, that Dotcom was the source of an alleged hacking attempt to Seth Rich’s Gmail account, which is maintained by his father, Joel.
In response on Thursday, Dotcom provided exclusively to the International Business Times (UK) a lengthy open letter to the Rich family, and specifically to Aaron Rich, Seth’s brother, requesting that they cease and desist from maligning his reputation. Dotcom denied having attempted to breach the Gmail account, citing The Post’s article, which has been replicated on a number of websites.
Dotcom claimed the family’s statements amount to defamation, citing a letter he alleged the family sent to Fox News producers in an apparent attempt to convince them to disallow Hannity from having Dotcom appear. “The purpose of this letter is to formally request that the family and their representatives cease from making such statements about me going forward. This request is made in the spirit of us constructively moving forward and allowing the investigation into the DNC leak to progress without delay so that there can be an informed decision on whether it had any involvement in Mr Rich’s death, as many fear,” Dotcom wrote.
Also on Thursday, Dotcom tweeted that his legal team will be releasing a letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed by the U.S. Justice Department to oversee the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. elections and claims that Trump and/or his campaign aides had improper connections with Russian government operatives.
Dotcom maintained that Mueller will need to see the evidence he says he has in order to complete the Russia investigation.
In a statement released on his website on Tuesday, Dotcom stated that he knew for a fact that Rich was a WikiLeaks source and that he is willing to give written testimony to Congress or to travel to the United States, if proper arrangements can be made, to provide in-person testimony.
In 2012, Dotcom was charged by the Justice Department with copyright infringement and other internet-based crimes resulting from his launch of Megaupload, a file-sharing website which at one time amassed 4% of all internet traffic.
Doctom denies the charges, and his attorneys have been fighting an extradition request to the U.S.
All whitehouse.gov petitions require 100,000 signatures within a 30-day period for the administration to take note and provide a response. The deadline is June 18.