The Washington Times on Sunday issued a retraction and apology as part of a settlement over a story that included the brother of former Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich, whose murder in 2016 fueled political conspiracy theories.
Aaron Rich sued the right-leaning publication in March after it published an editorial that implied he and his brother had sent emails from Democratic National Committee servers and provided them to WikiLeaks for cash.
The op-ed was titled “More cover-up questions: The curious murder of Seth Rich poses questions that just won’t stay under the official rug" and was written by retired Adm. James Lyons.
"The Column included statements about Aaron Rich, the brother of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, that we now believe to be false," the Times writes in the retraction.
"One such statement was that: 'Interestingly, it is well known in the intelligence circles that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron Rich, downloaded the DNC emails and was paid by Wikileaks for that information.' The Washington Times now does not have any basis to believe any part of that statement to be true, and The Washington Times retracts it in its entirety," it continues.
"The Column also stated: 'Also, why hasn’t Aaron Rich been interviewed [by law enforcement], and where is he?' The Washington Times understands that law enforcement officials have interviewed Mr. Rich and that he has cooperated with their investigation," it adds. "The Washington Times did not intend to imply that Mr. Rich has obstructed justice in any way, and The Washington Times retracts and disavows any such implication."
"The Washington Times apologizes to Mr. Rich and his family. All online copies of the Column have been deleted and all online content referencing the Column has been deleted to the extent within The Washington Times’ control," it notes in conclusion.
The retraction was part of the settlement between the 36-year-old paper and Rich, his attorney, Michael Gottlieb, told CNN. Terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.