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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 ClintonBloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida Hillicon Valley: Productivity, fatigue, cybersecurity emerge as top concerns amid pandemic | Facebook critics launch alternative oversight board | Google to temporarily bar election ads after polls close Trump pledges to make Juneteenth a federal holiday, designate KKK a terrorist group in pitch to Black voters MORE's 2016 presidential campaign.

Founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangePsychiatrist says Assange told him he was hearing imaginary voices, music Assange extradition hearing delayed over coronavirus concerns The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald discusses U.S. case against Assange MORE was recently arrested on a charge of conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea ManningChelsea Elizabeth ManningHistory is on Edward Snowden's side: Now it's time to give him a full pardon Hillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology Justice Department announces superseding indictment against Wikileaks' Assange 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.