Fox News has retracted a story that claimed murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich provided DNC emails to WikiLeaks before he was shot in the back in July 2016.
The story cited an unnamed source in claiming that an FBI review of Rich’s laptop revealed Rich had transferred 44,000 DNC emails to WikiLeaks. The FBI, however, did not conduct such a review because they are not investigating Rich’s death — that job is being handled by D.C. police.
The Fox News report followed a local FOX 5 story that quoted private investigator and Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler who claimed Rich’s laptop contained the emails that were sent to WikiLeaks. Wheeler later admitted to Sean Hannity that he has no evidence to back up his claims. Rich’s family has since hit Wheeler with a “cease and desist” letter, asking him to stop spreading conspiracy theories about Rich’s death.
“On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich. The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed,” a statement from Fox News read.
“We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.”
A statement from Rich’s family thanked Fox for doing the right thing and retracting the story.
“The family would like to thank Fox News for their retraction on a story that has caused deep pain and anguish to the family and has done harm to Seth Rich’s legacy,” the family’s statement read. “We are hopeful that in the future Fox News will work with the family to ensure the highest degree of professionalism and scrutiny is followed so that only accurate facts are reported surrounding the case.”