One of the numerous revelations in Thursday’s release of the redacted Mueller report was WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange helped fuel the Seth Rich conspiracy in order to provide cover for Russian hackers, who were the actual source for the hacked DNC emails that WikiLeaks released during the 2016 presidential election.
Now that the conspiracy theory that Rich was murdered because he was the source of the stolen DNC emails was proven false by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Rich’s family has released a statement calling on those who pushed the false story to take responsibility for their actions.
New: Seth Rich's brother, Aaron Rich, releases statement after Mueller findings: "I hope that the people who pushed, fueled, spread, ran headlines, articles, interviews, talk and opinion shows…will take responsibility for the unimaginable pain they have caused us." pic.twitter.com/88HfFGlN2z
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) April 19, 2019
“The special counsel has now provided hard facts that demonstrate this conspiracy is false,” Aaron Rich, Seth’s brother, wrote. “I hope that the people who pushed, fueled, spread, ran headlines, articles, interviews, talk and opinion shows, or in any way used my family’s tragedy to advance their political agendas — despite our please that what they were saying was not based on any facts — will take responsibility for the unimaginable pain they have caused.”
The statement concluded: “We will continue to pursue justice for Seth’s murderers, as well as those who used his murder to advance their personal or political agendas by advancing false conspiracy theories.”
In May 2017, Fox News published a story that stated that the leaked emails came from the Democratic Party and that Democrats may have been connected in the murder of Rich, a DNC staffer, and the murder’s cover-up. The story was quickly touted as a “bombshell” by the network and breathlessly promoted by Fox News host Sean Hannity, who said: “If this is true and Seth Rich gave WikiLeaks the DNC e-mails … this blows the whole Russia collusion narrative completely out of the water.”
The story, however, quickly fell apart and the network would fully retract it within a week. Even after concerns and doubts were raised about the story soon after its publication, Hannity spent days on both his radio and television programs pushing it while suggesting Rich was murdered for providing the emails to WikiLeaks.
— jordan (@JordanUhl) April 19, 2019
Assange, meanwhile, helped get the conspiracy theory started when he began to drop hints and cryptic suggestions that Rich was his source for the emails and that his death was related to the leaks, something the Mueller report now shows was a concerted effort to draw attention away from the Russian hacking group Guccifer 2.0.
The Rich family ended up filing a lawsuit against Fox News and individuals related to the story in 2017, only for the suit to be dismissed last year as the judge said the suit failed to state a claim.