Seth Rich Family Finally Gets Apology, Retraction Over DNC-Wikileaks Conspiracy Column

“The Washington Times apologizes to Mr. Rich and his family,” paper says of its column about murdered DNC staffer

Last Updated: October 1, 2018 @ 9:55 AM

The Washington Times issued an apology Sunday evening to the family of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich for an op-ed it published that contained several accusations it now said are “false.”

“The Column included statements about Aaron Rich, the brother of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, that we now believe to be false,” said the paper. “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.”

Among the accusations in the piece, “More cover-up questions: The curious murder of Seth Rich poses questions that just won’t stay under the official rug,” by Adm. James Lyons, was an assertion 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,” the paper conceded.

During the height of the 2016 campaign, the story of Seth Rich electrified conservatives. The DNC staffer was killed in July in D.C during what police say was a botched robbery.

A series of conspiracy theories promoted around the same time and after the election insisted that Rich had secretly leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks and his death was a hit, the result of retributive foul play. The theory was popular as a way to exonerate Russian-backed hackers who U.S. intelligence agencies broadly agree were the ones behind the hacking.

Among the biggest boosters of the theory was Fox News’ Sean Hannity, who routinely reported Seth Rich updates even after the family pleaded with him to stop — and sued his employer. He eventually did so after his network was forced to retract their own faulty reporting over the issue.

“Out of respect for the family’s wishes, for now, I am not discussing this matter at this time,” said Hannity in May. “That effort is not stopping in any way, shape, matter or form. I am continuing the work I promised to do for you. And at the proper time, we shall continue and talk a lot more.”