Newt Gingrich Spreads Debunked Story About Murdered DNC Staffer

Getty Images

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
Font Size:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich regurgitated a baseless claim on Sunday that former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was assassinated after giving thousands of Democratic party emails to WikiLeaks.

Gingrich suggested police and the FBI have covered up Rich’s July 10 death in an effort to pin the DNC hack on the Russian government.

“We have this very strange story now, this young man who worked for the Democratic National Committee who apparently was assassinated at 4 in the morning, having given WikiLeaks something like 23,000 — I’m sorry, 53,000 emails and 17,000 attachments, nobody’s investigating that,” Gingrich said in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”

The conspiracy theory that Rich stole DNC emails has been floating around ever since he was killed in what police say is a robbery gone wrong. But nobody has been arrested in the case, a fact which has stoked speculation that Rich, a data analyst at the DNC, had something to do with the email dump. (RELATED: FBI Not Investigating Seth Rich Murder)

WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 DNC emails two weeks after Rich was killed.

The theory picked up steam again this week when a private investigator named Rod Wheeler told a Washington, D.C. news station that Rich’s laptop contained the emails that were passed to WikiLeaks.

Rich’s family quickly disputed Wheeler’s claims and ordered him to “cease and desist” discussing the case. Wheeler, a former homicide detective and Fox News contributor, recanted his story and claimed he was misrepresented by a reporter.

Gingrich appears to have been unaware of all of that when he seized on Wheeler’s claim to discredit the intelligence community’s assessment that Russian hackers stole the DNC emails and gave them to WikiLeaks.

“It turns out it wasn’t the Russians, it was this young guy who, I suspect, was disgusted by the corruption of the Democratic National Committee,” Gingrich asserted.

“He’s been killed, and apparently nothing serious has been done to investigate his murder.”

Gingrich said he hopes that Robert Mueller, the special counsel in the Russia probe, will look into Rich’s death.

“So, I’d like to see how Mueller is going to define what his assignment is, and if it’s only narrowly Trump, the country will not learn what it needs to learn about foreign involvement in American politics.”

Follow Chuck on Twitter