By Liz Crokin
A private investigation firm has filed an emergency motion to preserve evidence in the Seth Rich murder case after multiple online accounts belonging to the late DNC staffer have recently disappeared.
The Profiling Project filed an emergency injunctive and declaration motion on June 13 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia after their private investigators discovered Rich’s social media accounts were disappearing from the Internet.
“We need an emergency injunction to prevent Seth’s online presence from being eliminated,” Profiling Project Founder Jack Burkman said. “This evidence could be the key to solving his murder.”
Burkman said multiple social media accounts owned and operated by Rich are censored or evaporating entirely from the Internet. Burkman’s unsure who is behind the deleting of Rich’s online activity; however, he strongly believes the destruction of this evidence can hurt the investigation.
“We don’t know who is destroying the accounts but the police need cognizance of this,” Burkman said. “This is a very dangerous thing.”
“Seth Rich’s Twitter account has recently been deleted. Seth Rich’s Facebook page has recently been deleted and Seth Rich’s Reddit account (MeGRIMLOCK) has recently been edited and some of its postings deleted,” the motion reads.
“Little is more critical to the investigation of this murder than this online information that could lead to the determination of a motive for the murder. Most of the current working theories of the case may be disproven or enhanced by examining Seth Rich’s online information.”
Burkman and his team have discovered that Rich had an online presence much deeper than even his close friends knew about. “Our team learned Seth had a much deeper and richer online accounts than people realized,” Burkman said.
Burkman insists information on Rich’s accounts could shed light on the motive behind his murder. “He had anonymous postings and anonymous communication,” Burkman said. “Nothing is more important to this case than his online material.”
Private investigator Rod Wheeler has stated that there’s evidence that Rich had contact with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Although WikiLeaks’ policy is to keep their sources anonymous, Julian Assange suggested in a TV interview last summer that Rich was their source for the leaked DNC e-mails. Assange emphasized how WikiLeaks whistleblowers “go to significant efforts to get us material” at “often very significant risks.” He then cited details of Rich’s murder and called it a “concerning situation.” WikiLeaks has offered a $20,000 for tips on Rich’s murder.
The emergency motion follows a lawsuit the Profiling Project filed last week against the DC Metro Police Department to release critical evidence regarding Rich’s murder. Burkman said the police refuse to cooperate with them.
“They’re not returning calls” Burkman said.
Burkman claims police refuse to release key evidence in the case that should be public record such as police body camera footage, ballistics and the medical examiner’s report.
“They won’t even release the medical examiner’s report with the stated cause of death,” Burkman said. “By law, it should be public record and that’s why they sued them.”
Burkman is optimistic the judge will rule in their favor to preserve Rich’s online information. “There is an urgency with the on-line material — that’s why we are in front of the judge to preserve it,” Burkman said.
Liz Crokin is an award winning investigative journalist, author of Malice and regular contributor to the Hagmann and Hagmann Report.
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