The FBI is not investigating the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, which conflicts with a Fox News report that an agency probe of his laptop revealed he was in contact with WikiLeaks.
The report, which cited an unnamed federal investigator, said that an FBI report on Rich’s laptop revealed he had transferred 44,000 DNC emails to WikiLeaks.
FOX 5 DC originally said Monday night that private investigator Rod Wheeler knew of a connection between Rich and WikiLeaks. On Tuesday, Fox News published an extended report that seemed to corroborate Wheeler’s claims with the information from the anonymous federal investigator.
“I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” the federal investigator told Fox News, alleging that the FBI had done a report on Rich’s laptop within 96 hours after the murder.
However, Newsweek discovered that there is no FBI investigation into Rich’s murder, meaning there would not have been a scan of his laptop.
Furthermore, Wheeler seemed to walk back his claims that he knew there was a WikiLeaks connection, saying the Fox report was misleading and that all of the information he was aware of came from the federal investigator.
“I’ve never, ever seen Seth Rich’s computer, nor have I talked with the federal investigator,” he wrote to Newsweek. “I think it is likely that there is information on the computer that can assist us in the investigation… but short of that, I have nothing firsthand. I’m just going off of what the federal investigator says.”
Wheeler was apparently hired by a third party to investigate the case and does not have permission to speak on behalf of the family.
Rich’s family spokesperson also denied the report Tuesday, calling the claims “unsubstantiated.”
“As we’ve seen through the past year of unsubstantiated claims, we see no facts, we have seen no evidence, we have been approached with no emails and only learned about this when contacted by the press,” Braud Bauman, the family’s representative, said.