UPDATE — 5/23, 4:02 p.m. EDT: Fox News has removed the story cited below from May 16 about a murdered DNC employee who allegedly had contacts with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting,” Fox News said in a statement. “Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed.”
Fox News’ Sean Hannity has also highlighted the now-retracted story on his television show and on Twitter, which prompted both employees of the network and Seth Rich’s family to condemn the narrative being pushed further.
In retaliation, left-wing watchdog Media Matter has published a list of Hannity’s Fox News advertisers in an apparent bid to get companies such as Capital One, Allstate and Hewlett Packard to stop sponsoring his show.
A Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer gunned down on a Washington, D.C., street in July 2016 is now generating news over allegations he been in contact with whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks.
Washington police theorize DNC data analyst Seth Rich, 27, was the victim of a bungled robbery attempt, but a former D.C. homicide detective employed by the family to probe his death contends he has hard evidence of collusion between Rich and WikiLeaks.
Rod Wheeler, a former member of the Metropolitan Police Department hired by Rich’s family says his investigation leads him to believe Rich was leaking information to the investigative journalistic group.
“My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” Wheeler told a Fox News affiliate Monday.
Wheeler also told Fox News his conclusions about Rich having email contact with WikiLeaks has been confirmed by an FBI source. Similarly, Fox News reported an unnamed federal investigator revealed an examination of Rich’s computer by a forensics expert exposed 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments from January 2015 to May 2016 were sent from Rich to WikiLeaks’ Gavin MacFadyen.
“I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” the unnamed federal investigator told Fox News.
Wheeler’s interpretation of evidence appears to confirm comments offered by WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange told a Dutch television reporters in August 2016. Assange has long insisted DNC emails obtained by the whistleblowing platform were the result of a leak, not a hacking.
One day following Wheeler’s comments, a statement released by the Rich family through BuzzFeed denied Wheeler’s claims.
“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,” Rich family spokesperson Brad Bauman told BuzzFeed News in an emailed statement.
The Rich family statement concluded with an acknowledgement of Wheeler’s employment, but added his contract barred him from speaking to media.
[Daily Mail] [Fox News] [RT America] [BuzzFeed] [The Hill] [Nieuwsuur/YouTube]