I’ve been shocked to see a handful of my Bernie Sanders supporting friends joining the Fox News crowd in the conspiracy theory surrounding Seth Rich. I get it, they’re still mad about some of the events that transpired, but joining the Seth Rich based conspiracy just makes them appear sad and desperate. Fox News is the antithesis of everything Bernie stands for.
As with any conspiracy theory that gains a lot of traction, I decided to jump in and give it a fair assessment. Here’s the gist in case you’ve missed it- Seth Rich worked for the DNC at the same time the leaks to Wikileaks was occurring. Seth Rich was murdered on the streets of DC, shot in the back, and nothing on his person was taken (he still had his wallet and other belongings). Authorities called it a “botched robbery.” Julian Assange brought up Rich a few times but has not named him as the source of the DNC emails. Kim Dotcom, a German-Finnish hacker/entrepreneur, has claimed that Rich was the hacker and claims he was in contact with Rich since 2014. Sean Hannity was pushing the conspiracy, until recently, when Fox told him to cut it out and retracted the story.
Is Kim Dotcom, the only supposed witness, credible? Not at all. Kim ruined any credibility he may have had last year leading up to the US elections. He repeatedly made claims that he knew where Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails are “hidden” and that he would soon release them. The election happened shortly after and the issue never resurfaced. Dotcom simply made up the story in order to help swing the election but never provided a shred of evidence that he actually had access to any emails. Now, with the Rich conspiracy, he’s repeating the same type of lie and shying away from providing any evidence. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
The biggest problem in the entire conspiracy theory is the idea of proximity. When word got out that a DNC staffer died mysteriously, many started tying him to the leak because of his proximity to the DNC building. “Well, he was right there in the headquarters,” thought some of the original people involved in starting the conspiracy. The problem with that simple thinking is that proximity has nothing to do with the hacking. The emails were phished, meaning a fake link was sent to reset his password, which gave hackers his password and allowed them to copy all account contents. The phishing email was released. None of this requires someone to be close to the DNC. The DNC has millions of enemies and they are all potential suspects for the hack. It’s simple-minded to make the connection that Rich was the “hacker” because he worked in the same building.
Let’s not forget that 17 intelligence agencies have supported the assessment that Russia was behind the leaks. “The intelligence agencies are working for Hillary,” some will say. That’s an absurd assertion, and not just because it’s obvious that Comey had a huge part in helping Trump win the election. As someone who has worked with many of the intelligence agencies, I’ve come to know that the majority of them lean Republican, and many are huge Trump supporters. There’s simply no way that majority would allow for a GOP witch-hunt, especially under a Trump presidency, without evidence.
So, in the end, there is no evidence whatsoever that Rich was killed by DNC goons or Clinton associates. The only supposed witness, Kim Dotcom, has no credibility based on his past actions. Yet millions will continue to believe Rich was murdered because he worked in the same building and was involved in a botched robbery. Like Pizzagate, they will eventually get tired of people ignoring their lack of evidence and move on to the next conspiracy theory.