The July 2016 death of Seth Rich was — at least among the fringe-right — fodder for conspiracy theories. Washington police maintain that the DNC staffer's murder was the result of a botched robbery.
On Monday, though, a D.C.-based Fox affiliate published an errant update to the almost year-old investigation.
"Rod Wheeler, a private investigator hired by the Rich family, suggests there is tangible evidence on Rich's laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death," WTTG-TV reported. "Now, questions have been raised on why D.C. police, the lead agency on this murder investigation for the past ten months, have insisted this was a robbery gone bad when there appears to be no evidence to suggest that."
"The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming," Wheeler told the station. "They haven't been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both."
As NBC News reporter Alex Seitz-Wald noted on Twitter, the Fox affiliate ran the story before reaching out to the D.C. police office, which has since sweepingly denied the report:
Following publication of the WTTG report, Rich's family released a statement undermining Wheeler's findings:
As of this writing, Wheeler's "unsubstantiated claims" of a D.C. police cover-up was still the top story on Fox News's homepage.
And InfoWars — the conspiracist media company headed by Alex Jones, who recently lost custody of his kids after eating an amnesiac "big bowl of chili" — pitched its own take, claiming The Washington Post published its bombshell report, that President Trump “revealed highly classified information” to Russian ambassadors, to distract from the supposed cover-up.