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WikiLeaks adds fuel to an elaborate conspiracy theory about a DNC staffer's death


Who killed Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer, on July 10?

Police haven't found the shooter yet. But conspiracy theorists think allies of Hillary Clinton did it. And WikiLeaks's odd behavior since the release of 20,000 leaked DNC emails is adding fuel to the fire.

Experts have claimed hackers tied to the Russian government leaked the emails, but others, including Donald Trump's security advisor and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, have disputed that.

Julian Assange on Seth Rich

In an interview with a Dutch TV station, Assange denied the popular account that Rich was killed in a robbery, implying that Rich was the source that leaked 20,000 DNC emails showing favoritism toward Clinton.

"We do not name our sources," Assange said after describing Rich's death.

Police said Rich's body was found with his credit cards and wallet still on his person, but are still considering attempted robbery as a motive.

The area where Rich was killed had been plagued by robberies after construction made dead ends on dim streets. Three armed robberies and a carjacking have taken place   near the shooting scene since June.

Given that, most of the accusations against the Clintons in Rich's death seemed pretty fringe. But there was one twist. 

D.C. police have been offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of Rich's killer. That part is normal.

This next part is not.

Why is Wikileaks offering its own reward?

Conspiracy theorists seem to suggest this is  evidence Rich leaked the DNC emails. They even cite this as evidence Rich was an FBI informant meeting with agents trying to bring down Clinton, and he was shot down before he got there.

There are a lot of problems with this theory, as Snopes points out

For one, Rich was on the phone with his girlfriend when he was shot. He told her he was nearly home. He also wasn't exactly privy to a lot of dangerous information about Hillary -- his main job was helping people find their polling places, and he'd only worked for the DNC since 2014. 

Additionally, the blogger who first wrote the article that started the conspiracy theory, who goes by Sorcha Faal, has been reportedly debunked and known to produce sensational, fake stories, like claiming that President Obama ordered the military to nuke Charleston, S.C. 

More recently, that same blogger said that the hacker "Guccifer" was dead -- he is alive and well. 

D.C. police said there is "no indication" Rich's death had to do with his work at the DNC. 

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