On Wednesday, August 2, 2017, the day after DNC IT staffer Seth Rich’s unsolved and suspicious murder one year ago was splashed all over the MSM, new reporting and analysis of former homicide Det. Rod Wheeler’s flip on the issue – which resurrected the story and brought it back to media and public attention via a lawsuit – continued to call into question Wheeler’s latest spin on the story. A major development on Wednesday was the appearance online of a seven minute audio recording of Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh sharing his insights into the unsolved killing of Rich, which he says he has investigated. Hersh’s musings, laced with obscenities and the tough talk of an experienced gumshoe reporter with impeccable inside sources, gives the lie to what Wheeler is now claiming via his lawsuit against Fox News et al.
The Hersh audio, running almost seven minutes, went viral on Wednesday August 2 and is now posted all over the Internet, most often on YouTube. One posting of it by BigLeaguePolitics.com displays a published date of July 11, 2017. Whenever it first appeared, according to BigLeaguePolitics’s analysis of the recording:
Seymour Hersh confirms that Seth Rich had contacted WikiLeaks with sample emails from the leak [which, Hersh alleges, Rich purloined and then leaked from inside the DNC and not the Russians via a hack]. Hersh cites an FBI document as proof for his claim [about Rich’s contacts with WikiLeaks].
At World Net Daily on Wednesday, Alicia Powe, who has been investigating and breaking news about the Rich murder for months, devoted an entire article to the Hersh recording:
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh appears to have dropped a bombshell in audio released Tuesday – pointing out that the DNC emails obtained by WikiLeaks stopped pouring in after the mysterious murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich in 2016.
In the audio, Hersh also claims an FBI report described to him by an insider confirms that Rich, the DNC voter-expansion data director, had taken some emails to WikiLeaks and requested payment for a full trove of DNC emails during the presidential campaign.
Powe continues to describe the Hersh recording:
On the audio recording, Hersh says his information came from a source “on the inside,” a “very high-level guy” who is “unbelievably accurate and careful.” He said WikiLeaks was able to acquire access to a password-protected dropbox that contained the emails.
Hersh also claims the DNC invented a story alleging Russian “hacking,” with help from CIA Director John Brennan, as a cover story.
While Hersh said he believes the MPD’s “botched robbery” account of Rich’s murder, he noted that the DNC staffer had been concerned for his safety at the time of his death. [emphasis added.]
Meanwhile, a legion of independent journalists, analysts, and new media Web sites weighed in on Wednesday in an attempt to evaluate this latest unexpected new spin on the previously dormant cold case investigation of the Rich murder. Attention centered on the archival trail of recordings featuring Rod Wheeler in a series of on-camera and on-mic interviews and conversations that he gave between mid-May and his sudden apparent flip to the other side that became apparent with his lawsuit on Tuesday August 1. Wheeler now claims that he was misquoted in his comments to the press in May about his investigations into the Rich murder, although he validated in his own words numerous times on camera what he was quoted by others as saying.
I linked to a number of these earlier interviews with Wheeler, both video and audio, in an article that I wrote for The Hagmann Report on August 2.
Meanwhile, Ed Butowsky, one of the two individuals named in Wheeler’s lawsuit (in addition to a Fox investigative reporter, the Fox News channel, and 21st Century Fox), filed in New York federal court on August 1, had this to say about the situation, according to the Washington Examiner:
Butowsky has strong ties to Fox News as an unpaid political commentator and he said Tuesday night on CNN that Wheeler, a paid Fox News contributor, is motivated by money.
Rod Wheeler is “broke” and simply “trying to get money.”
“Rod Wheeler was always looking for a job because he has no money,” Butowsky said. “And by the way, this lawsuit is all about Rod Wheeler trying to get money because he messed up.”
To describe this evolving story as a can of worms or a Pandora’s box is an understatement. So many of the interested parties in the Seth Rich murder – including Democrat politicians at the highest levels – have maximum agendas at play, and it is impossible to predict where this story will wind up.
What should be kept in mind now on August 3, 2017 is that these latest developments in the story that broke two days ago on Tuesday morning should not be seen in a vacuum or in isolation, rather as pieces of a larger puzzle involving efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the Fox News channel and ultimately the viability of the presidency of Donald J. Trump. The Fox News channel (FNC) emerged as a target in the early reporting on Wheeler’s lawsuit by the MSM on Tuesday because it was FNC alone, last May, that reported Wheeler’s claims about the Rich case. It was also Fox News, alone among the major media, that seemed to be interested in the Seth Rich case at all. FNC and its prominent prime time host Sean Hannity (who interviewed Wheeler on May 16) therefore were sitting ducks for the MSM when Wheeler’s lawsuit was first reported – making as it also did wild and incredible accusations claiming that Fox News conspired with President Donald Trump last May to concoct a false narrative and plant fake news about the Seth Rich case.
This latest news in the case of Seth Rich’s unsolved murder couldn’t be more bizarre – or potentially more interesting and revealing. Stay tuned for further developments.
Peter Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about national politics, media, popular culture, and health care. He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and The Hagmann Report. On August 1, Peter appeared on The Hagmann Report to discuss the breaking news in the Seth Rich case. The recording of the entire 3-hour program is here, and Peter appears at the 1 hour 45 minute and 50 second point.