It was in the early morning hours on July 10, 2016, when Seth Rich, a young worker for the DNC was gunned down on a Washington, DC Street. The crime remains unsolved to this day. Many believe that this murder holds the clues to a much larger conspiracy – one that holds relevance to the DNC server “hack,” which has been reliably shown to be a data transfer rather than a hack, substantially and critically changing the still-unproven DNC allegations account. Much of the Russian “collusion narrative” relies upon key elements of this story, entangled in a mess of obfuscation that could indeed have relevance to the murder of Seth Rich.
From my perspective as a veteran investigator who has worked on a number of unsolved homicides and murder investigations directly and in the role as a consultant for various police departments, this case is, at best, a mess. First and foremost, my heart aches for the family of Seth Rich, as I know very well the feeling of loss by having a family member murdered and the case go unsolved. I lived it and watched in angst as my family lived it too.
The pain can be exacerbated by people with no legitimate purpose who insert themselves into an ongoing police investigation, irresponsibly compromising and at times, causing irreparable damage to the integrity of the police investigation – far beyond the nuisance created by their activities. I’ve seen it happen, and it rarely ends well. As such, my personal experiences have formed the basis for my professional handling of such matters.
The murder of Seth Rich is incredibly sad, especially considering his young age and the circumstances of his death. The fact that he has been publicly identified as a possible source of allegedly purloined information relating to a crime with national security implications has raised much public interest. That public interest, however, has generated a substantial number of theories about Mr. Rich and the circumstances surrounding his untimely death, from the most bizarre to the “quite possible,” and everything in between.
As I previously stated, I experienced the effect of unfounded theories in the immediate aftermath of the brutal murder of a family member, which was well before the ubiquity of the Internet. However, I welcomed all legitimate assistance, including leads and other information that could lead to a successful conclusion of a cold case, justice for the victim and closure for my family. Then and now, a very careful and thoughtful balance must be exercised, with proper consideration to the victim, the victim’s family, the police investigation, and most importantly, the truth.
Considering the possible and even likely relevance of the life and death of Mr. Rich to national events during the 2016 Presidential election, it was with great interest that I watched a press conference held last Tuesday, July 10, 2018 by well-known DC Lobbyist Jack Burkman on the second “anniversary” of the passing of Mr. Rich. The press conference was announced by Burkman who claimed to have new and groundbreaking information that could be instrumental to the resolution to the unsolved cold case.
While Burkman announced and ultimately conducted the press conference, it is important to acknowledge that the street-level investigative work was performed by the very well-respected veteran and now retired NYPD Detective Sergeant and others working in conjunction with citizen investigative journalist Matt Couch.
The event was streamed live courtesy of Jason Goodman, a citizen investigative journalist and founder of Crowdsource the Truth who was physically present at the event. Mr. Goodman was joined via video link by New York Timesbest-selling author Dr. Jerome Corsi for his analysis and commentary (which can be accessed here).
Mr. Goodman asked pointed, pertinent and salient questions of Mr. Burkman, although some of the answers offered by Mr. Burkman lacked clarity and remained elusive post-event. For this reason, I requested Jon Robberson, the producer of The Hagmann Report to invite Mr. Burkman to appear on the program to clarify the information, especially since he was being publicly ridiculed by a number of people and websites that described the press conference, among other things, a waste of time.
Mr. Burkman accepted the invitation to appear on The Hagmann Report to take questions and add clarity to this new evidence. He agreed to appear for a full hour and agreed to answer any questions that would not jeopardize the group’s ongoing investigation. The segment began at 8:00 PM ET on Friday, July 13, 2018, and Mr. Burkman was brought on to the program at 8:09 PM ET, following an introductory monologue and establishment of facts for those unfamiliar with the case.
The interview that was scheduled to last a full hour abruptly ended at 8:28 PM ET, just 18 minutes after it began, when Mr. Burkman unexpectedly stated that he was taking his dog to the vet. It was unclear whether his dog was in some sort of distress and the termination of the interview was a medical necessity. For that, I’ll let the listener decide, although we can confirm that no mention of a prior commitment was noted just 60 minutes before the interview during a pre-show telephone conversation with this guest.
In preparation of this interview, five-(5) single spaced type-written questions for the guest (but not provided to him) were formulated to chronologically walk the listener through the case that would provide the necessary context to the new information announced at the press conference. We barely made it through the first page during those 18 minutes.
We respect the fine work of Detective Sgt. Frank Whalen and the team assembled by citizen investigative journalist Matt Couch. We care immensely about justice for Seth Rich and have much sympathy for his family. We care about the truth, wherever it leads, and believe that this is an important case not just for the Rich family, but the proper resolution could well have implications beyond the obvious.
We sought and hoped to achieve clarity for an international audience through this interview, but sadly are now left with more questions than answers. More importantly, those questions are now of a much different nature and extend well beyond those five type-written pages of questions that remain unanswered.
We live in interesting and dangerous times. Deceptively dangerous. Times in which simple questions posed to individuals (Peter Strzok comes to mind) requiring only simple answers are met with convoluted answers intended to divert from the truth. The truth is all we seek, and nothing less.
We will never stop asking questions that will lead us to the truth.
In any event, we wish the best for Mr. Burkman’s dog.