FOX REPORT: Family Refutes Claims & Fox Retracts Report

Gavin MacFadyen. (Getty)

Fox News has retracted its reporting that an anonymous federal investigator claims to have seen thousands of emails involving murdered DNC analyst Seth Rich and WikiLeaks’ ally Gavin MacFadyen.

Fox officially retracted its story on May 23, writing:

“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.
We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.”

The family of Rich had fought back against the claims, saying they have seen no facts no evidence and decrying unproven conspiracy families that they believe are harming their son’s reputation.

The Fox claim came after a private investigator working for the Rich family, Rod Wheeler, alleged on Washington D.C. television that a source had told him Rich was in contact with WikiLeaks before he was murdered. The Rich family on May 16 released a statement critical of that account and saying they had seen no evidence nor emails. According to the New York Times, the Rich family is demanding retractions from Fox and an apology.

seth rich

Seth Rich. (Facebook)

The DNC hack has been blamed on the Russians by some, although that’s not proven. Newsweek has now reported that the FBI is not investigating the Rich murder, and is quoting the private investigator as denying he has any firsthand knowledge of purported Rich/WikiLeaks contact.

According to UK Daily Mail, Wheeler recanted his comments, and Rich’s family sent the private investigator “a cease and desist letter threatening legal action after he claimed – and then recanted- that Rich was in contact with WikiLeaks before he was gunned down in July.”

According to NBC News, a lawyer for the Rich family sent a letter to Wheeler that said, “Your statements and actions have caused, and continue to cause, the Family severe mental anguish and emotional distress. Your behavior appears to have been deliberate, intentional, outrageous, and in patent disregard of the Agreement and the obvious damage and suffering it would cause the Family. Your improper and unauthorized statements, many of which are false and have no basis in fact, have also injured the memory and reputation of Seth Rich and have defamed and injured the reputation and standing of the members of the Family.”

NBC News reported of Wheeler, “Wheeler has since completely recanted his story, both in the press and in a private message to Rich’s family. The private investigator told other outlets the Fox reporter essentially put words in his mouth by giving him information that he then repeated in an on-camera interview.” Although the family has asked for an apology and retraction from Fox 5, none has been granted thus far, reported NBC.

Fox News reported the alleged and unproven Gavin MacFadyen link through an anonymous source.

Rich was shot to death on a Washington D.C. city street in 2016 in a murder that remains unsolved. MacFadyen died of lung cancer on October 22. MacFadyen was perceived as being a journalist who’s friendly to WikiLeaks. He was the director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London, investigated whistleblowing claims, and helped raise money to pay for WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange’s legal expenses.

Seth Rich. (LinkedIn/Seth Rich)

Rich’s family previously indicated that the murder may have stemmed from a robbery.

Wheeler has stepped back from the Fox 5 account, now telling Fox News that he had no personal knowledge of any link between Rich and WikiLeaks and said, “I don’t know for sure, I don’t know as a matter of fact if the emails went out to the Wikileaks or anybody else.” He told Buzzfeed that the Fox 5 account was not accurate.

Rich’s family released a statement on May 16, strongly criticizing conspiracy theories and “fake evidence” in the case and saying the PI was speaking out of school.

The family’s spokesman, Brad Bauman, is a partner at the Pastorum Group, a crisis communication firm that works with progressive causes. WikiLeaks was quick to point this out:

Shortly after the report about Wheeler’s claims, a Twitter account in the name of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange retweeted the Fox 5 story on Wheeler without comment. The unverified account has 174,000 followers. The conservative site Breitbart has reported that the site is Assange’s, and that Twitter refuses to verify it.

The television report focused on Wheeler’s allegations about Rich. Wheeler is a former homicide detective in D.C., according to Fox 5, and he’s a Fox News contributor. One Fox story said of Wheeler: “Former D.C. homicide detective points finger at Obama administration, explains why things will be better with Trump.”

Seth Rich, DNC

Seth Rich was a DNC staffer when he was murdered. (Facebook/Seth Rich Memorial Page).

NBC News reports that a Dallas-based financial adviser, Ed Butowsky, “a Fox News contributor who has written articles for Breitbart” is the person who urged the Rich parents to hire Wheeler.

Fox5 said Wheeler was hired by Rich’s family and is “running a parallel investigation into Rich’s murder.”

Rich’s unsolved murder on a Washington D.C. street had already sparked a flurry of conspiracy theories even before the latest report because he was a staffer and self-described data analyst for the Democratic National Committee.

WikiLeaks is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in Rich’s death (that’s in addition to a previous $25,000 reward being offered in the case).

Rich, 27, worked for the DNC on voting issues, and his murder was highlighted by Hillary Clinton in a speech. He was shot and killed in Washington D.C., and his murder remains mysterious. “Police have found little information to explain his death,” said The New York Daily News.

Rich was shot on July 10, 2016 at 4:15 a.m. near a Washington D.C. neighborhood where he lived, said CBS News.

The Washington Post wrote on July 11: “Police said they have no suspects, witnesses or motive, though they are looking at whether Rich could have been slain in an attempted robbery.”

Washington D.C. Metropolitan police public affairs told Heavy on August 9: “At this time, there is no indication that Seth Rich’s death is connected to his employment at the DNC. However, we welcome information that could potentially lead to the identification of the individual(s) responsible for his death and are pleased when any outside contributors help us generate new leads.”

Numerous news sites, such as NBC, have reported that government officials and security firms believe that Russian intelligence was behind the DNC leak; WikiLeaks denies being tied to Russian intelligence but won’t reveal its sources for the DNC emails, which, among other things, appeared to show DNC officials favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the primary. The FBI is now investigating whether Trump campaign officials colluded with alleged Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.

Read more about MacFadyen’s death here:

Gavin MacFadyen Cause of Death: How Did the Journalist Die?

How did Gavin MacFadyen die? The highly respected journalist has passed away.

Click here to read more

Why Did WikiLeaks Tweet a Picture of Gavin MacFadyen?

WikiLeaks tweeted and pinned a photo of a man with no explanation today. The picture is of Gavin MacFadyen, but why is his photo being featured?

Click here to read more

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  1. You can be certainly that right wing Caucasian fake news will do everything with their tiny-brained power to malign, impugn and slander Seth Rich.
    In fact, the ‘little white lies’ are already building their stupid conspiracy theories.

  2. I doubt if there’s anything to see here. What’s sad is that he was probably the victim of a random robbery and the real culprit(s) will remain free because of this conspiracy, wikileaks diversion. I hope the DC police are staying the course and doing good old-fashioned detective work to solve this young man’s untimely death.

    What’s CERTAIN, is that communication between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks DID occur!… and!… that Julian Assange and the FBI are in receipt of yet to be revealed TRUTHS, re Seth’s email exchanges! The problem for Julian Assange is, when, and how to release what he’s received! And!… and if “certain tales” of “conspiracies” are to be given credence, then their “untimely release”, could place countless individuals in LIFE THREATENING JEOPARDY!
    If “certain tales” being communicated on the Net are true, then certain of the emails presently in the possession of WikiLeaks AND the FBI, are MUCH MORE than JUST collusion with Trump and Russian interests (the just aforesaid, already substantiated by American Intelligence Agencies!)!… and involve a conspiracy between– BELIEVE OR NOT!– Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump!… and on an issue, that MOST AMERICANS would contend, I-S U-T-T-E-R-L-Y I-M-P-R-O-B-A-B-L-E, A-N-D I-N-C-O-N-C-E-I-V-A-B-L-E! But!… that is, if one believes the conspiracies! But to be honest!… if these conspiracies involving Hillary Clinton were true (the Trump matter of C-H-I-L-D R-A-P-E/ C-H-I-L-D A-B-U-S-E already having been reported by numerous Media outlets!)!… then I can’t imagine that Julian Assange, or the FBI, would continue much longer to hide such crimes! And, if there be VERACITY to the tales involving Hillary Clinton, the dam that must first be breached, is DONALD TRUMP! For!… when Trump is cornered, he tends to “spill the beans” on others!… it’s one of the things he does well! The issue then, is… is America willing to face the revelations, of HIS tales to told?… and, would American Intelligence Agencies– AND DESPITE THE INTERNATIONAL SHAME!– be willing perform their D-U-T-Y! But again!… that is, if the conspiracies be true!
    To be G-R-E-A-T, requires sacrifice!… and for American Greatness, that sacrifice may very well include its political leaders! And if it takes an unheard of step for Americans to make in order for America to realize success, then America must be willing to face its GOLIATH!
    Please!… no emails!

  4. This article seems to leave out any medical description of what happened? I have heard that Seth was reported to be alive and conscious when police arrived very quickly after the report of gunshots. Where is his computer? Don’t forget that the PI said no one knew where it was. Don’t the DC cop’s wear body cams? Dash cams? so many more details have to be available after all this time and the case needs to be looked at in it’s totality. This stinks big time! I hope that justice is done and the public doesn’t just forget as usual.