by Sharon Rondeau

(May 27, 2017) — A petition launched at on May 19 which stood at approximately 18,000 signatures on Friday morning now shows (12:37 p.m. EDT) that more than 25,000 individuals have signed and their signatures registered.

The petition asks the White House to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the unsolved murder of 27-year-old Seth Rich, a DNC staffer who was inexplicably killed last July 10 in the Bloomingdale section of Washington, DC.

Rich was walking home from a bar in the early morning hours when he was shot 2-3 times in the back and left for dead steps from the home he shared with several roommates.

On May 15, local DC television station Fox5 aired an interview with private investigator Rod Wheeler, a former DC Metro Police Department detective and Fox News contributor, who was conducting a separate investigation into the crime from that of the Metro police. During that interview, Wheeler contended that evidence exists showing that prior to his death, Rich was in email communication with a London-based, Wikileaks-affiliated journalist, Gavin MacFadyen.

Wheeler’s explosive news was not well-received by the mainstream media, which immediately moved to discredit him and the story.

In subsequent interviews with other outlets, Wheeler restated his story to say that he personally had not seen the evidence, but rather, that it was relayed to him through a Fox News Channel (FNC) reporter who had been working on the case.  The journalist, Malia Zimmerman, reported having received the information from a federal-level investigator.

At that point, Wheeler’s credibility was not only questioned, but also shredded by the media as if in lockstep, and the family’s reaction was to reject any suggestion that Seth could have been in touch with Wikileaks.

However, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange all but stated in an interview with a Dutch journalist that Rich was a source. Within weeks of Rich’s death, Assange posted a $20,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the killer(s).

The numbers of emails and attachments Zimmerman reported in a May 16 article as having been provided by the federal investigator matched exactly the numbers WikiLeaks said it had received from an unnamed source and published beginning on July 22, ten days after Rich’s life was taken.

Under inordinate backlash from the family, its spokesman, and the mainstream media, Fox News removed Zimmerman’s article on May 23, claiming that it had not received the customary “editorial scrutiny” applied to all of its work.  “We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted,” the notice also said.

Fox5, however, stood by its story and issued a “clarification” offered by Wheeler claiming that the inconsistency in his report came about from a “miscommunication.”

Family spokesman Brad Bauman, who co-founded a crisis consulting group to tailor to “progressive” causes, subsequently told WND in an interview that anyone suggesting that Rich might have been a source for WikiLeaks “deserve[s] a place in hell.”

In a second WND interview, Bauman abruptly “disconnected” the phone line after he was asked if his services are paid for by the DNC.

The visceral reaction by Democrat operatives, the mainstream media, and secondary, left-leaning media sources has not gone unnoticed by many following the story closely, including at least two congressmen, Rep. Blake Farenthold and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. Both are suggesting that a special investigation is warranted based on available information which contradicts the mainstream media’s narrative that Rich was killed in a “botched robbery.”

On May 19, internet entrepreneur and gamer Kim Dotcom tweeted that he has evidence showing that Rich was a WikiLeaks source. Fox News’s Sean Hannity, who had begun reporting on the case based on the Fox5 segment, asked Dotcom for more information, at which point Dotcom tweeted, “I knew Seth Rich.  I know he was the @Wikileaks source.  I was involved.”

Hannity had intended to host Dotcom, who lives in New Zealand, on his show, but was apparently shut down by his producers.   Dotcom revealed on Thursday in an open letter to the Rich family that Hannity’s producers had received a letter from the family alleging that Dotcom was not a credible source.

Provided exclusively to the International Business Times (UK), the lengthy letter stated that if the alleged “defamation” did not cease, Dotcom would initiate legal action from New Zealand.  Dotcom additionally stated that the evidence he claims to have will eventually be borne out and expressed what he described as a continued willingness to work with the family to arrive at the truth surrounding Rich’s death.

Dotcom also objected to the implication in an article published Wednesday in The Washington Post that he was the source of an alleged attempted hack of Seth Rich’s Gmail account, which is maintained by his father, Joel.

The Post, which has been at the forefront in labeling the possibility of Rich’s connection with WikiLeaks a “conspiracy,” has not responded to Dotcom’s open letter.

Also on Thursday, Dotcom stated that his legal team will be releasing a letter directed to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, brought in by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein approximately ten days ago to oversee the FBI investigation into alleged Russian “meddling” in the 2016 election and alleged improper communications between Trump campaign aides and the Russian government.

On Twitter and on his website, Dotcom has offered to provide written testimony to Congress to assist in solving the case or to travel in person to the United States to provide his evidence to Mueller. On Friday, Dotcom tweeted that the information he has will be necessary to Mueller’s successful completion of the Russia investigation.

Prior to taking vacation on Wednesday for the Memorial Day weekend, Hannity tweeted that he was getting “closer” to the truth. The tweet followed his Tuesday night announcement that he would not be reporting further on the case on his Fox show “for now.”

From there, left-leaning media launched a campaign targeting Hannity’s advertisers because of his “peddling” of “conspiracy theories.”

The petition can be signed here:

As stated on the petition, 74,983 more signatures are needed by June 18 for the White House to take action.

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