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Family of former DNC staffer denies WikiLeaks contact before death

By Ed Adamczyk
Family of former DNC staffer denies WikiLeaks contact before death
A private investigator said Monday there is evidence that Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee employee shot to death in Washington in 2016, had been communicating with WikiLeaks before his death. Photo courtesy Rich family

May 16 (UPI) -- The family of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich denied reports that the 27-year-old had contact with WikiLeaks prior to his death in July.

Rich, 27, worked in the party's voting rights sector and planned to join Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign when he was shot dead in Washington, D.C., last July. Police believe it was a botched robbery.

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Rob Wheeler, a private investigator hired on Rich's family's behalf, told Fox News the DNC staffer had been in contact with WikiLeaks.

"My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and Wikileaks," he said. "I do believe that the answers to who murdered Seth Rich sits on his computer on a shelf at the D.C. police or FBI headquarters."

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Wheeler's comments are consistent with those of an unidentified federal investigator who reviewed a forensic report into Rich's death within 96 hours after it occurred. The investigator said the contents of Rich's computer indicated that he'd made contact with WikiLeaks director Gavin MacFayden, according to Fox News.

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"I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks," the federal investigator told Fox News.

MacFayden, 76, died of cancer on October 22.

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"The police department, nor the FBI, have been forthcoming," Wheeler said. "They haven't been cooperating at all. I believe the answer to solving [Rich's] death lies on that computer. ... I have a source inside the police department that has looked me straight in the eye and said, 'Rod, we were told to stand down on this case and I can't share any information with you.'"

Police told WTTG-TV, a Fox affiliate in D.C., that Wheeler's assertion that police were instructed to stand down was false.

The Rich family was critical of the Fox report.

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"It's sad but unsurprising that a group of media outlets who have repeatedly lied to the American people would try and manipulate the legacy of a murder victim in order to forward their own political agenda," spokesman Brad Bauman told Business Insider.

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