The FBI Has Been Lying About Seth Rich

In light of emails produced by an unrelated FOIA request, Craig Murray wonders what other documents the agency might hold about the slain  DNC employee. 

By Craig Murray

A persistent American lawyer has uncovered the undeniable fact that the FBI has been continuously lying, including giving false testimony in court, in response to Freedom of Information Act  requests for its records on Seth Rich, a young employee of the Democratic National Committee who was murdered in July 2016. The FBI has previously given affidavits that it has no records regarding Seth Rich.

A Freedom of Information request to the FBI which did not mention Seth Rich, but asked for all email correspondence between FBI Head of Counterterrorism Peter Strzok, who headed the investigation into the DNC leaks and WikiLeaks, and FBI attorney Lisa Page, has revealed two pages of emails which do not merely mention Seth Rich but have “Seth Rich” as their heading. The emails were provided in, to say the least, heavily redacted form.

Before I analyze these particular emails, I should make plain that they are not the major point. The major point is that the FBI claimed it had no records mentioning Seth Rich, and these have come to light in response to a different FOIA request that was not about him. What other falsely denied documents does the FBI hold about Rich, that were not fortuitously picked up by a search for correspondence between two named individuals? 

Emails Forwarded to Lisa Page

To look at the documents themselves in chronological order, they have to be read from the bottom up, and they consist of a series of emails between members of the Washington Field Office of the FBI (WF in the telegrams) into which Strzok was copied, and which he ultimately forwarded on to the lawyer Lisa Page.

Slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

The opening email, at the bottom, dated 10 August 2016 at 10.32 a.m., precisely, just one month after the murder of Seth Rich, is from the media handling department of the Washington Field Office. It references WikiLeaks’ offer of a reward for information on the murder of Seth Rich, and that Assange seemed to imply Rich was the source of the DNC leaks. The media handlers are asking the operations side of the FBI field office for any information on the case. The unredacted part of the reply fits with the official narrative. The redacted individual officer is “not aware of any specific involvement” by the FBI in the Seth Rich case. But his next sentence is completely redacted. Why?

It appears that the word “adding” [in the email with a 12:53 p.m. time stamp] refers to a new person added to the distribution “to” list.  

This appears to have not worked, and probably the same person (precisely same length of deleted name) then tries again, with “adding … for real” and blames the technology – “stupid Samsung.”

The interesting point here is that the person added appears not to be in the FBI – a new redacted addressee does indeed appear, and unlike all the others does not have an FBI suffix after their deleted email address. So, who are they? 

(This section on “adding” was updated after commenters offered a better explanation than my original one.)

FBI lawyer Lisa Page, to whom emails were forwarded.

Fourth & Most Interesting Email

The fourth email, at 1 p.m. on Wednesday August 10, 2016, is much the most interesting. It is ostensibly also from the Washington Field Office, but it is from somebody using a different classified email system with a very different time and date format from that of the others. It is apparently from somebody more senior, as the reply to it is “will do.” And every single word of this instruction has been blanked. The final email, saying that “I squashed this with …..”, is from a new person again, with the shortest name. That phrase may only have meant I denied this to a journalist, or it may have been reporting an operational command given. 

As the final act in this drama, Strzok then sent the whole thread on to the lawyer, which is why we now have it. Why? 

It is perfectly possible to fill in the blanks with a conversation that completely fits the official narrative. The deletions could say this was a waste of time and the FBI was not looking at the Rich case. But in that case, the FBI would have been delighted to publish it unredacted. (The small numbers in the right-hand margins supposedly detail the exception to the FOIA under which deletion was made. In almost every case they are one or other category of invasion of privacy.) 

And if it just all said “Assange is talking nonsense. Seth Rich has nothing to do with the FBI” then why would that have to be sent on by Strzok to the FBI lawyer? 

It is of course fortunate that Strzok did forward this one email thread on to the lawyer, because that is the only reason we have seen it, as a result of an FOIA request for the correspondence between those two. 

Investigating DNC Leak

Peter Strzok during congressional hearing in July 2018. 

Finally, and perhaps this is the most important point, the FBI was at this time supposed to be in the early stages of an investigation into how the DNC emails were leaked to WikiLeaks. The FBI here believed WikiLeaks to be indicating the material had been leaked by Seth Rich, who had by then been murdered. Surely in any legitimate investigation, the investigators would have been absolutely compelled to check out the truth of this possibility, rather than treat it as a media issue? 

We are asked to believe that not one of these emails says “well if the publisher of the emails says Seth Rich was the source, we had better check that out, especially as he was murdered with no sign of a suspect.” If the FBI really did not look at that, why on earth not? If the FBI genuinely, as they claim, did not even look at the murder of Seth Rich, that would surely be the most damning fact of all and reveal their “investigation” was entirely agenda driven from the start.

In June 2016 a vast cache of the DNC emails was leaked to WikiLeaks. On July 10, 2016, an employee from the location of the leak was murdered without obvious motive, in an alleged street robbery in which nothing at all was stolen. Not to investigate the possibility of a link between the two incidents would be grossly negligent. It is worth adding that, contrary to a propaganda barrage, Bloomingdale — where Rich was murdered — is a very pleasant area of Washington, D.C. —and by no means a murder hotspot. It is also worth noting that not only is there no suspect in Seth Rich’s murder, there has never been any semblance of a serious effort to find the killer. Washington police appear perfectly happy simply to write this case off. 

Bike rack and plaque outside DNC headquarters. (Johanna745, CC0 via Wikimedia Commons)

I anticipate two responses to this article in terms of irrelevant and illogical whataboutery:

Firstly, it is very often the case that family members are extremely resistant to the notion that the murder of a relative may have wider political implications. This is perfectly natural. The appalling grief of losing a loved one to murder is extraordinary; to reject the cognitive dissonance of having your political worldview shattered at the same time is very natural. In the case of David Kelly, of Seth Rich, and of Wille Macrae, we see families reacting with emotional hostility to the notion that the death raises wider questions. Occasionally the motive may be still more mixed, with the prior relationship between the family and the deceased subject to other strains (I am not referencing the Rich case here). 

You do occasionally get a particularly stout-hearted family who take the opposite tack and are prepared to take on the authorities in the search for justice, of which Commander Robert Green, son of Hilda Murrell, is a worthy example. 

(As an interesting aside, I just checked his name in the Wikipedia article on Hilda, which I discovered describes Tam Dalyell “hounding” Margaret Thatcher over the Belgrano and the fact that ship was steaming away from the Falklands when destroyed with massive loss of life as a “second conspiracy theory,” the first of course being the murder of Hilda Murrell. Wikipedia really has become a cesspool.) 

We have powerful cultural taboos that reinforce the notion that if the family do not want the question of the death of their loved one disturbed, nobody else should bring it up. Seth Rich’s parents, David Kelly’s wife, Willie Macrae’s brother have all been deployed by the media and the powers behind them to this effect, among many other examples. This is an emotionally powerful but logically weak method of restricting enquiry.

Secondly, I do not know and I deliberately have not inquired what are the views on other subjects of either Ty Clevenger, who brought his evidence and blog to my attention, or Judicial Watch, who made the FOIA request that revealed these documents.

I am interested in the evidence presented both that the FBI lied, and in the documents themselves. Those who obtained the documents may, for all I know, be dedicated otter baiters or believe in stealing ice cream from children. I am referencing the evidence they have obtained in this particular case, not endorsing — or condemning — anything else in their lives or work. I really have had enough of illogical detraction by association as a way of avoiding logical argument by an absurd extension of ad hominem argument to third parties.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

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24 comments for “The FBI Has Been Lying About Seth Rich

  1. Edith Ann
    February 3, 2020 at 15:28

    I do believe that Seth Rich leaked the DNC, Podesta, Clinton e-mails to WikiLeaks. Julian Assange has strongly hinted at that with a head movement, not a verbal affirmative yes. Recently a video was made of Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News and David Corn of Mother Jones on the subject of Seth Rich. Isikoff says to Corn, guess where the Seth Rich story came from. Corn says, where is that? Isikoff says Russia of course. This was so blatantly staged for this false flag to be flown. After 2 years of Russia, Russia, Russia the stream must continue and 2 of its contributors need a bush to hide behind. Several IT experts have made their diagnosis known about the rate of speed of the e-mails transit from the DNC. It is way to fast for a hacking they say. The e-mails were leaked from inside the DNC which points to Rich as he worked in voter outreach. Julian Assange has also stated that the E-mails were leaked and not hacked. He has also stated that they did not come from any state meaning Russia. As long as Russia can be the fall-guy the murder of Seth Rich will remain hidden. Can’t let Russia, Russia, Russia die.

    February 2, 2020 at 20:12

    “I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me.”

    George Carlin

  3. John chemist
    February 2, 2020 at 17:23

    Yeah, Seth Rich wasn’t assassinated. It was just a robbery where nothing was taken. And of course, Epstein hung himself and managed to break bones in his own neck from hanging himself off a bed frame 3ft off the ground. To know how, just check out the surveillance video!

  4. jmg
    February 1, 2020 at 06:07

    Terrifying report on what awaits Julian Assange in the US, if extradited from the UK. Can’t breathe…:

    Assange would be held in “darkest corner of the prison system” if extradited to the US — World Socialist Web Site — 1 February 2020

  5. Patrick Cronin
    January 31, 2020 at 01:01

    I encourage Mr. Murray to reassert his claim that in late-Spring-early Summer, 2016, at a location in Washington D.C., he himself received the DNC data, from an “intermediary” of the “leaker”, who during that alleged meeting, with Mr. Murray asserted that the leaker was a “disgruntled democrat”, and that it was he himself (Mr. Murray) who carried the leaked DNC data to intermediaries of WikiLeaks, who in-turn published the now infamous WikiLeaks / DNC cache. And further, that in view of public accounting of these alleged events by Mr. Murray, he was never contacted by investigators of not only the Mueller probe, but by any investigators affiliated with the U.S. government.

  6. Jake M
    January 30, 2020 at 23:57

    Great article, doesn’t prove he did it, but does prove the government is lying about it. And that’s a fantastic step. Bury them.

  7. Ronin
    January 30, 2020 at 20:59

    The Seth Rich travesty always gets me going. It’s unbelievable how quickly it was shoved under the rug.

    Imagine that a young Russian named Sergei worked for the election process in Moscow. It gets leaked that information connected to Sergei’s department shows that the elections are being heavily manipulated to favor Putin. Shortly after that leak, Sergei is mysteriously murdered, shot in the back in a relatively safe area, with no suspects, no motive, and no signs of struggle or robbery. You mean to tell me that no one in the media or the FBI would be asking “yo, did Putin have that guy killed for leaking stuff?” Then imagine the journalists who published the leaks said “hey that guy was a source for us, you might want to investigate that murder more” Would people say “oh the journalist is just trying to get attention”, and continue to ignore a completely random murder with no motive who is connected to a highly volatile and precarious political process?

    That is literally what happened with Seth Rich.

  8. Donald A Thomson
    January 30, 2020 at 18:45

    I don’t see that this is conclusive proof of an FBI cover-up. To find documents, there has to be an index to them. I would expect that the indices wouldn’t be computer generated. As anybody who looks at an old book’s index and any book index today can see, a man made index was far superior. Why would this be filed under “Seth Rich”? It’s not part of an investigation into his case.

    Of course, I find it suspicious but that doesn’t require a high level of proof.

  9. Jeff Harrison
    January 30, 2020 at 17:02

    The FBI has, like essentially everything in Washington DC, become a political parody of what it is supposed to be. They have no respect for the law or constitutional protections. And they have demonstrated that over and over again.

  10. Jon Makay
    January 30, 2020 at 16:53

    thank you, Sir. for your work and time in this.

  11. Emily
    January 30, 2020 at 16:12

    Re: Assange confidante says to look into Sheldon Adelson crew, Ric Grennel especially, for why Trump changed on Julian Assange.


    Twitter thread of four parts begins here.

  12. Jan
    January 30, 2020 at 16:07

    I?m remembering a reference last year in a CN article to 15 pages of emails between Julian Assange and Seth Rich – supposedly revealed in a FOA request. The request did not obtain the emails, just a reference to them. Of course the fact that they even exist is significant. Does anyone have a link to that article?

  13. Emily
    January 30, 2020 at 15:54

    Related. Cassandra Fairbanks, very good friend of Julian Assange’s, has just tweeted that to find the answer for why Trump began changing his tune on Assange, one needs to look into Sheldon Adelson’s crew, especially Ric Grennel (sp?). I suspect the manufacturing of consent among conservatives for Iran War also comes from this cabal.

    This is related to Seth Rich because many conservative influencers and journalists who had been very vocal about Seth Rich suddenly began getting quiet, scrubbing their Twitter accounts, of all mentions of Rich at the same time this cabal started entrenching itself. At the same time they began disappearing Seth Rich, they began ignoring Assange’s plight and started putting out anti-Iran propaganda.

  14. L M Lewis
    January 30, 2020 at 11:55

    The Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts always had incomplete sets of teeth, but these days they seem nearly toothless. A big part of the problem is government’s failure to enforce rules for documenting government activities and preserving that information. A USDA official once bragged internally that the agency does not hold onto emails longer than two weeks. Another official at the agency criticized communicating by email (thus creating a paper trail), and documents related to legal cases habitually ended up in File 13.

    Further complicating things, since 9/11, more agencies have original classification authority and thus may claim “national security” allows withholding or redacting information. (Appeals sometimes reveal such claims were unfounded.) There is also the well-known problem of officials communicating business from personal email accounts that may be inaccessible to FOIA officers.

    At the other end of the process, a lot depends on the technical competence of individuals assigned to locate electronic files responsive to FOIA requests. Two requestors may receive different results if the searches were done by different people. It is something of a miracle, therefore, when a federal agency reports having files responsive to a FOIA request. Even then, one may wait a long time–years even–for the results.

    Agencies are required to post FOIA requests on their websites, so it’s a good idea to look there to see if someone else made a similar request. If perhaps another agency was involved in communications, requests should be filed with both agencies. One agency may have been more diligent than the other in preserving information, or may have better trained FOIA researchers, or may perceive as benign information another agencies considers problematic to reveal.

  15. Eugenie Basile
    January 30, 2020 at 09:42

    If Rich leaked to Wikileaks that would be Assange’s strongest Trump card…. Julian should hold it close to his chest and only play it at the crucial moment.
    Free Assange.

  16. Skip Scott
    January 30, 2020 at 09:33

    Great article Mr. Murray. Thank you for staying with this case.

    If I am correct, Trump has the power (at least technically) to de-classify anything. The fact that he hasn’t, and that the long awaited JFK files were never released, speaks volumes as to persons other than the president controlling much of what goes on in the nest of vipers known as “the beltway”.

    • Rob Leaver
      February 1, 2020 at 09:52

      “You declassify, we leak your tax returns”?

  17. January 30, 2020 at 09:24

    Very interesting new information regarding the FBI’s lying in this matter. Thank you Mr. Murray.

  18. January 30, 2020 at 09:14

    Uh, huh, like would believe anything the FBI says. Proven liars just like US corporate politicians, MSM and the MIC…

  19. AnneR
    January 30, 2020 at 08:31

    Thank you for this update, Mr Murray.

    What else would one expect from the Clinton owned DNC and the FBI but that in their determination to maintain by any means necessary the Cold War, “Russia Did It” policy of the USA and its vassal states they would ensure that there was no serious, definitely no serious and public investigation of Seth Rich’s murder? The leak *has* to accepted as a Russian *hack,* a “Russian interference” in our election, one which was determined to destroy HRC’s chance of being the queen bee in the WH. And that Wikileaks and Julian Assange be disappeared, one way or another, for his revealing US war crimes.

    I doubt that any of these revealed emails will even be hinted at on the MSM – certainly zero mention on either the BBC World Service or NPR. But then, these two are truly water carriers for the Empire, for the Deep State in both countries.

  20. January 29, 2020 at 23:34

    Seth Rich’s name immediately brings associations to mind of political murder, high-level cover-up, and corrupt American police forces.

    After, that is, associations of a young, pleasant-looking, and idealistic young man who likely believed some of high-school civics-text stuff about the nature of American society.

    • MrK
      January 30, 2020 at 07:47

      Seth Rich Questions Election Commission about Ballot Integrity

    • Deniz
      January 31, 2020 at 14:55

      Would you similarly conclude Assange is an idealistic fool because the state tortured him?

      It was a very sophisticated and successful approach to bringing down the very powerful, corrupt and untouchable Hillary Clinton. Wikileaks was also a smart choice (see Reality Winner and the Intercept). Of course he knew who he was dealing with, he probably just assumed potential jail time, not Arkancide.

      The FBI evidence implies Seth Rich is a history altering hero who died for his principles and country, why diminish him?

  21. Sage
    January 29, 2020 at 22:41

    Thanks so much for writing about this! I had no idea there were new FOIA documents out. If we had a free press in America, Seth Rich cover up would be in the headlines replacing the “Russia bad” conspiracy theory.

Comments are closed.