Mueller report says WikiLeaks pushed Seth Rich conspiracies

Mueller report says WikiLeaks pushed Seth Rich conspiracies
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Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerHouse progressive: Pelosi 'has it right' on impeachment Democrats talk subpoena for Mueller Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna: 'I'm not there yet' on impeachment MORE's report said WikiLeaks pushed conspiracies about slain Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich to obfuscate the source of the hacked DNC emails it published in 2016.

"As reports attributing the DNC and [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] hacks to the Russian government emerged, WikiLeaks and [Julian] Assange made several public statements apparently designed to obscure the source of the materials that WikiLeaks was releasing," the report said. 

"The file-transfer evidence described above and other information uncovered during the investigation discredit WikiLeaks's claims about the source of material that it posted," it continued. The report described a file transfer between the Russian GRU and WikiLeaks. 

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The report said that statements by WikiLeaks and Assange about Rich "implied falsely that he had been the source of the stolen DNC emails."

Rich's brother Aaron Rich responded to Mueller's findings in a statement on Friday.

“The special counsel has now provided hard facts that demonstrate this conspiracy is false," Aaron Rich said in the statement.

"I hope that the people who pushed, fueled, spread, ran headlines, articles, interviews, talk and opinion shows, or in any way used my family’s tragedy to advance their political agendas—despite our pleas that what they were saying was not based on any facts—will take responsibility for the unimaginable pain they have caused us," he added. 

WikiLeaks in 2016 published a trove of emails that were stolen from the DNC and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Iowa Democrats brace for caucus turnout surge MORE's 2016 presidential campaign.

Founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeSweden takes step toward seeking Assange extradition WikiLeaks says Assange papers, manuscripts will be given to US authorities: report Chelsea Manning ordered back to jail after refusing to testify in WikiLeaks probe MORE was recently arrested on a charge of conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea ManningChelsea Elizabeth ManningSweden takes step toward seeking Assange extradition WikiLeaks says Assange papers, manuscripts will be given to US authorities: report Chelsea Manning ordered back to jail after refusing to testify in WikiLeaks probe MORE to “knowingly access a computer, without authorization and exceeding authorized access,” to obtain classified information. 

Rich was killed in Washington, D.C., in 2016 in what authorities described as a robbery gone wrong. Unfounded conspiracy theories connected his death with the stolen emails.

The Justice Department on Thursday released special counsel Robert Mueller's report on his nearly two-year investigation into whether there was Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

Updated: April 19 at 6:20 p.m.