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 MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report 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 ClintonTop Sanders adviser: Warren isn't competing for 'same pool of voters' Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Republicans plot comeback in New Jersey MORE's 2016 presidential campaign.

Founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul Assange3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Mueller on Trump's WikiLeaks embrace: 'Problematic is an understatement' The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment MORE was recently arrested on a charge of conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea ManningChelsea Elizabeth ManningWaPo announces plans to increase investigative journalism staff US to question Assange friend jailed in Ecuador: report US extradition case for Assange set for next year 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.