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By Ted Goodman
The family of deceased Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich is calling on local police to publicize details of the murder investigation, according to the Daily Mail.
‘The family has full confidence in the Metropolitan Police Department’s ability to proceed with this investigation,” said Brad Bauman, a spokesperson for the family, the Daily Mail reports. “But given the large amount of hearsay and conspiracy theories surrounding the case, maybe it’s time for the police department to be more forthcoming with information regarding the investigation and to update the people of Washington, D.C. on the status of the case.”
Rich, 27, was the voter expansion data director at the DNC, according to Roll Call, and had been employed for two years. Rich also worked on a computer application to help voters locate polling stations, and had just accepted a job with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
According to Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police reports, officers patrolling the Bloomingdale neighborhood heard gunshots at around 4:20 a.m. on the morning of July 10, 2016. Officers discovered a “conscious and breathing” Rich at 2100 Flagler Place NW.
Police have not yet solved the case, but surmised that Rich was a victim of a botched robbery. Police said that they found his wallet, credit cards and cellphone on his body. The band of his wristwatch was torn but not broken. The current theory maintains that the shooters panicked after shooting Rich and immediately fled the scene.
While police have refused to divulge information on the case to the public, The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained the public incident report, which revealed that at least three responding officers were wearing body cameras. When TheDCNF reached out to the police for information regarding the presence of body cams or surveillance footage near the scene of the crime, the department refused to confirm or deny the existence of surveillance footage.
News of the family’s request comes just a day after Fox News retracted a story that claimed Rich may have been behind a breach of the DNC’s email servers, where Wikileaks obtained thousands of internal email communications that it leaked to the public.
Rod Wheeler, a Washington-based private investigator hired by the Rich family, suggested that there was tangible evidence that Rich had communicated with WikiLeaks before his death. The next day, Wheeler seemed to backtrack on those claims, and local police said that his assertions were “unfounded.”
The Rich family, according to the New York Times, now regrets hiring Wheeler and has publicly objected to his claims.
The Metropolitan Police Department told TheDCNF that it is in communication with the family, but would not release any further information at this time. When asked if the Seth Rich case is being handled according to standard operating procedure, the department’s public information office said that would be a question for investigators.
“While the family still have confidence in the Metropolitan Police Department’s ability to investigate Seth’s murder, of course, they are frustrated with the lack of evidence, leads and credible information about the case.” Bauman told TheDCNF. “They desperately want to find Seth’s murderers and bring them to justice as quickly as possible.”
A Washington, D.C. lobbyist, who is offering $105,000 for information leading an arrest and conviction of those responsible for Rich’s death is challenging the DNC, RNC and Fox News personality Sean Hannity to match his offer.
“If they care so much about the Seth Rich family, they should put up at least what I put up,” Attorney Jack Burkman told TheDCNF. “All they do is talk, no action,” Burkman continued.
“I don’t know who is worse, the DNC – who haven’t done a thing, or Sean Hannity who talks about it every night without action. All talk, no action,” he repeated. Burkman, who is leading a separate, independent investigation said that he supports the family’s demand that the police go public with its information. He also said that his team is pursuing details that have not yet been made public.
“We are now in the process of pursuing other footage from that night that has not been made public,” Burkman claimed. When asked if he thought that there was video out there that hasn’t been released, Burkman said, “We believe it exists.”
The Metropolitan Police Department denied a Freedom of Information Act request from TheDCNF asking for details regarding Rich’s murder. “We have determined that the requested records pertain to an open investigation, [and] disclosure of these records would interfere with any prospective enforcement proceeding,” the police department said in its response. TheDCNF is now appealing the letter to Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.