Newt Gingrich (AP/Dennis Van Tine)

Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity keep Seth Rich conspiracies alive

Prominent conservatives won't stop spreading conspiracy theories about a slain DNC staffer


Charlie May
May 22, 2017 2:07PM (UTC)

When comedian Michael Che said "nothing matters anymore" on SNL last week during his faux interview with President Trump, it shouldn't be downplayed or taken merely as satire. In some respects, it's just the reality of contemporary political discourse.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich appeared on "Fox and Friends" on Sunday morning, only to use his platform to further promulgate the previously debunked conspiracy theory that former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was assassinated because he was the source that provided Wikileaks with tens of thousands of hacked Democratic Party emails.

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"We have this very strange story now of this young man who worked for the Democratic National Committee, who apparently was assassinated at 4 in the morning, having given WikiLeaks something like 53,000 emails and 17,000 attachments," Gingrich told Fox News. "Nobody’s investigating that, and what does that tell you about what’s going on? Because it turns out, it wasn’t the Russians. It was this young guy who, I suspect, was disgusted by the corruption of the Democratic National Committee. He’s been killed, and apparently nothing serious has been done to investigative his murder. So I’d like to see how [Robert S.] Mueller [III] is going to define what his assignment is."

Gingrich didn't just say it could be a possibility that Rich was the Wikileaks source or that the murder may be worth some sort of further investigation, he baselessly asserted that Rich was the source — on national television — and that it effectively negated any alleged Russian involvement.

But Gingrich isn't even the only notable person peddling this theory, it's also being peddled by Sean Hannity, and more recently Kim Dotcom, the internet entrepreneur who founded Megaupload.

Hannity who has increasingly gone on Trump-like twitter sprees over the recent months has not been able to contain himself from spreading this theory along with the hashtag #SethRich to his nearly 2.5 million followers.

Dotcom on the other hand, has has recently inserted himself into this situation, and claimed that he has irrefutable evidence that Rich was the Wikileaks source, and will be releasing some sort of statement on Tuesday, though it's currently not clear what that will consist of.

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On Monday morning, and perhaps the most strange addition to the story is that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sent a vague tweet that suggests their sources may discuss matters with other parties. Assange alludes to a loophole in the Wikileaks policy that sources are never revealed by the publisher itself, but that other actors may do so.

The whole theory is now a strange web that prominent and influential people have become tangled in. Gingrich and Hannity haven't just simply raised some questions about the death of Rich, they have used their platforms to foment the theory and claim it to be the one and only truth, all while bashing the Democratic party for doing the same exact thing regarding the alleged involved of the Russian government in the 2016 election.

Yes, Hannity, it would be nice if you could at least show some respect to a family that recently lost a loved one. Surely he will apologize to the Rich family when he decides to take his tin foil hat off, right?


Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Dnc Julian Assange Kim Dotcom Newt Gingrich Russia Investigation Sean Hannity Seth Rich




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