Why Has the FBI now Decided to Stop Lying About Its Investigation of Seth Rich? by Larry C Johnson

Seth-rich-dnc-300x205

A stunning development on the legal front that directly impacts the so-called conspiracy theory that the death of Seth Rich was something more than routine street crime. The FBI now admits it has Seth Rich’s laptop. This information has just been posted on Lawflog.com courtesy of Ty Clevenger.

According to an email posted at Lawflog.com and sent to attorney Ty Clevenger, the attorney for the FBI now admits that:

FBI has completed the initial search identifying approximately 50 cross-reference serials, with attachments totaling over 20,000 pages, in which Seth Rich is mentioned.  FBI has also located leads that indicate additional potential records that require further searching. . . .

FBI is also currently working on getting the files from Seth Rich's personal laptop into a format to be reviewed. As you can imagine, there are thousands of files of many types. The goal right now is to describe, generally, the types of files/personal information contained in this computer.

After more than four years of repeated denials from the FBI that they had searched their files and had no information on Seth Rich, we now know that was a blatant lie. It was David Hardy, a FBI Senior official, who put that denial in writing in September 2017. Hardy was the Section Chief of the Record/Information Dissemination Section (“RIDS”), Information Management Division (“IMD”),1 Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), in Winchester, Virginia. He stated under oath that the FBI had no records on Seth Rich:

(19) CRS Search and Results. In response to Plaintiff’s request dated September 1, 2017, RIDS conducted an index search of the CRS for responsive main and reference file records employing the UNI application of ACS. The FBI searched the subject’s name, “Seth Conrad Rich,” in order to identify files responsive to Plaintiff’s request and subject to the FOIA. The FBI’s searches included a three-way phonetic breakdown5 of the subject’s name. These searches located no main or reference records responsive to Plaintiff’s FOIA request.(9)

By letter executed on November 9, 2017, OIP advised Plaintiff it affirmed the FBI’s determination. OIP further advised Plaintiff that to the extent his request sought access to records that would either confirm or deny an individual’s placement on any government watch list, the FBI properly refused to confirm or deny the existence of any such records because their existence is protected from disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(7)(E). . .

In his 2018 declaration, Mr. Hardy also testified under oath that the Metropolitan Police Department in D.C. was solely responsible for investigating Mr. Rich’s murder.

Now we learn that not only does the FBI have more than 20,000 pages relevant to the search term, “Seth Rich,” the FBI still has Seth Rich’s laptop computer.

This does not compute. If Seth Rich truly was a victim of a senseless street crime in the middle of the night in Northeast DC, why would the FBI have his laptop. The FBI is not a computer repair shop. The FBI is not a computer storage facility.

The FBI collects and retains evidence of federal crimes. It also has responsibility for counterintelligence matters. I can understand the FBI collecting Seth Rich’s computer as possible evidence after he was murdered. It would have been entirely appropriate to investigate whether or not Rich was in contact with Wikileaks. The FBI only retains evidence on an active, open case.

But the FBI has insisted for more than four years that it was never involved actively in the investigation of Seth Rich’s murder and that it never opened a case. That lie is now exposed.

What is even more troubling is the fact that the FBI still holds Seth Rich’s computer. If their investigation turned up nothing then the the computer would have been returned to the Rich family. The laptop is still with the FBI. It is now clear that the FBI did open a case regarding the murder of Seth Rich and whether he was a source for the DNC dump to Wikileaks. And that case remains open.

Today’s disclosure from the FBI supports the claim of renowned investigative journalist, who testified in a recent deposition:

that one of his sources had received information from an FBI report stating that Seth Rich had leaked emails to Wikileaks, requested payment and made copies of the emails as a precautionary measure.

After four years of stonewalling, the FBI is now starting to come clean and admit to its previous lies. Why now? If the FBI was confident that Joe Biden and friends would take over in January, the could have continued to lie. Today's revelation means the FBI is now trying to get ahead of revelations to come. The importance of this development extends beyond the case of Seth Rich and his alleged role in the leaking of DNC emails.

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20 Responses to Why Has the FBI now Decided to Stop Lying About Its Investigation of Seth Rich? by Larry C Johnson

  1. FOOL NELSON says:

    Larry, I recently tricked Marcy Wheeler into divulging her source, Michael Adams, who she thought was involved with Guccifer 2.0. Craig Murray hasn’t denied that he met with Adams in September 2016. Have a look. https://twitter.com/FOOL_NELSON/status/1333905823165247492?s=19

  2. Fred says:

    “Today’s revelation means the FBI is now trying to get ahead of revelations to come.”
    Revelation that America has been subject to a more than four year long ‘color revolution’ that is going to play out to the bitter end very soon.

  3. Diana L Croissant says:

    I’m happy that Seth Rich has not been completely forgotten. So many people I know do not have the slightest idea who he is/was. The people who do know about Seth Rich are probably wondering also why it took so long to get just this information.
    I hope we can actually get all the facts about this entire episode.

  4. BillWade says:

    Another one getting ahead of coming revelations: Hunter Biden has admitted today that he is under DOJ investigation for his China dealings.

  5. Chuck Light says:

    Kind of hard to confirm this report due to the fact that access to the Lawflog.com website cannot be obtained. I tried the link in this post, and also tried by searching for Lawflog.com in Google, to no avail. All that appears is a page with the words “Error establishing a database connection”.
    I also Googled “seth rich computer” to see if there were any other sources reporting this information, without success.
    I’ll give it one more try tomorrow.

  6. Deap says:

    Can anyone please explain to a lay person how “counter-intelligence” works. From our US perspective, and from a target’s perspective. Thnx.
    Is it more than a calculated disinformation campaign – for what purposes? Any good books to read on the topic. Does MSM fake news ever also become NGO counter-intelligence?
    Why does it end up the Democrats are almost always guilty of what they accuse others of doing. Is that a form of “counter-intelligence”.

  7. james says:

    thanks larry… @ Ty Clevenger has worked hard trying to break this nut and has stayed on the topic in spite of the obfuscation that he and all are being given… thanks also for sharing this..

  8. james says:

    by the way.. it is a good question too – why has the fbi decided to stop lying? i don’t have any clear ideas on that.. maybe they know someone is going to come out with some info that will make them look bad if they don’t start sharing what they know??

  9. Chuck Light says:

    It would be helpful if Mr. Clevenger (or Mr. Johnson) could make the entire email available by posting it, either in Lawflog.com or in SST, so that the entire context of the email could be understood. Not that anyone would misquote the email, but there may be additional information in it which would help explain the conflict in the factual information.
    One possible explanation of why the FBI allegedly claims possession of more than 20,000 documents which refer to Seth Rich is that over the three to four years since the 2017 FOIA process, there has been a lot of stuff about Seth Rich and theories regarding his death. It is possible (not necessarily true, but possible) that many if not all of these pages constitute evidence the FBI collected while investigating Wikileaks, for instance, or individuals who alleged that Rich was murdered because he was the leak. It may be in fact true that in 2017 the FBI had no documents relevant to the 09/2017 FOIA request, and that now, in 2020, they have a lot of documents.
    The email in full might help with context in understanding the assertions Mr. Clevenger makes on behalf of his client, Mr. Huddleston.

  10. M. says:

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/552
    They probably withheld the information before to hide the forensic techniques they were using from hackers.
    My guess is it’s available now because those techniques have become widely publicised on channels unrelated to Rich’s murder and Wikileaks (e.g., Blackhat lectures, Darkweb forums, etc.).

  11. Deap says:

    Did not the “government” just settle a case for a significant amount of money with the Seth Rich family in the past few weeks? Details escape me now, but what was the coincidental timing for both events – settled case and new disclosures.

  12. David Habakkuk says:

    This is a most important development, the product of a display of ‘ferretting’ by Ty Clevenger which any old ‘current affairs hack’ like myself can only regard with the greatest admiration, and indeed more than a little envy.
    Kudos to him, and also to Ed Butowsky, for persisting ‘through thick and thin’, despite appalling health problems.
    Some past ‘ferreting’ of my own may I think have some relevance to questions raised by this extraordinary – if long overdue – ‘volte-face’ by the FBI.
    In October 2014, I received an email out of the blue from Detective Inspector Craig Mascall of Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), in relation to then forthcoming Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which was conducted by Sir Robert Owen.
    In this, DI Mascall made clear that he was already aware of the pieces I had published on the affair on the internet, and also of my having been ‘in communication with’ two people who were actually very relevant to what I had written.
    Of these, Catherine Belton, who wrote for the ‘Financial Times’, would reappear in ‘Russiagate’, featuring in the notes by Kathy Kavalec of the State Department of her October 11 2016 meeting with Christopher Steele – who has described her, in the High Court in London, as a ‘friend.’
    In turn, she had been a contact with the other figure with whom I had been, rather more extensively, ‘in communication’, an Alexandria-based lady called Karon von Gerhke.
    Both she, and also Ms. Belton, had been contacts of a former KGB Major called Yuri Shvets, who, in an ‘affidavit’ filed in the ‘District Court of the Southern District of New York last year, made the following claims:
    ‘From 2007 to 2014 BY ARRANGEMENT WITH THE U.S. GOVERNMENT (caps mine) I consulted anti-terrorist squad of Scotland Yard on assassination in London of Aleksandr Litvinenko, a Russian exile and former officer of the Russian security agency (FSB.) …
    ‘In February 2015, I testified as A KEY EXPERT WITNESS (caps mine, again) in Royal Court of London in inquest on Alexander Litvinenko assassination.’
    What I provided to DI Mascall was a summary of a mass of evidence, from Karon von Gerhke and other sources, which I had been supplied by me to Sir Robert Owen’s team, and acknowledged as having been read by them, many months earlier.
    (Some key parts of it had been supplied by her, to Mascall and others in both SO15 and MI6, right at the outset of the investigation into Litvinenko’s death.)
    Among other things, this evidence included emails to Karon from Shvets, from just before Litvinenko died, which generated the strongest possible ‘prima facie’ case that almost everything he had said subsequently about the case was a bunch of lies.
    My own rather brief exchanges with Ms. Belton had enabled me to confirm a long-standing suspicion that she had ‘played’ Karon to ensure that this evidence remained suppressed. (That is what one can expect, of someone who is a ‘friend’ of Christopher Steele.)
    When the hearings began the following January, with DI Mascall presenting the police case, absolutely central ‘evidence’ was provided in series of interviews, supposedly conducted by then DI Brent Hyatt with Litvinenko before he died.
    What the ‘key expert witness’ Shvets claimed ‘meshed’ with the contents of the supposed interviews.
    But it was quite clear to me that, not only was the crucial evidence from Karon von Gerhke, and much else, being suppressed, but that the supposed interviews were transparent fabrications. Indeed, we were dealing with an ‘industrial-scale’ fabrication of evidence (including forensic evidence.)
    The conclusion I drew – not I think unnaturally – was that everyone involved in this process was simply crooked. Only later did I realise that I had been doing some of the people in SO15 a grave injustice.
    Other crucial evidence was provided in the maps which were prepared within the organisation – finalised between my submitting my materials and the opening of the hearings – to illustrate Litvinenko’s movements on 1 November 2006, the day when, supposedly, Andrei Lugovoi, and/or Dmitri Kovtun, poured polonium into his green tea.
    If one simply looked at what DI Mascall said in his response to cross-examination by Andrew O’Connor QC about this document, one would have concluded that both men were equally corrupt, and that all the material first Karon and then I had supplied had been simply ignored.
    If however one looked at the maps themselves, a quite different picture emerged.
    For one thing, they answered a key question, beyond a shadow of doubt. According to the ‘narrative’ which Steele and his confederates had been attempting to sustain since spring 2007, Litvinenko had only visited the offices of his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky after Lugovoi and/or Kovtun poured polonium into his tea.
    This claim Owen accepted. However, quite unequivocally, the maps confirmed what I had thought – that he visited before the supposed poisoning. The effect on the credibility of the whole structure of the Report was, to be blunt, rather equivalent to driving an airliner into the World Trade Centre. Little was left but rubble.
    Closer inspection revealed a great deal more.
    As I came to realise, what the detectives who prepared the maps had produced was a particularly fine instance of what the political theorist and intellectual historian Leo Strauss and his acolytes describe as ‘esoteric writing’: when people who have to pretend to conform to a ‘narrative’ covertly subvert it. Among other things, parts of it were very funny.
    Whatever their differences, there are I think some parallels between this case and ‘Russiagate’ which are worth pondering.
    In both cases, there is every reason to believe that a sequence of events which was quite unexpected for all, or at least almost all, those involved generated an overwhelming need for a cover-up.
    In the case of case of the Litvinenko mystery, the ‘trigger’ to the sequence was the smuggling of polonium-210 into London, for purposes which had nothing to do with assassinating anybody. In that of ‘Russiagate’, it was the decision by Seth Rich that he was prepared to supply highly sensitive materials from the DNC to ‘WikiLeaks.’
    In both cases, the sequence developed in such a manner that key people on both sides of the Atlantic came to view the exposure of the truth – probably quite correctly, from their point of view – as something close to an ‘existential threat.’
    One rather important lesson is that absolutely all ‘evidence’ which comes from ‘official sources’ in ‘Russiagate’, in particular the FBI, and all official and other analyses dependent on it, deserves to be regarded with the same suspicion as is appropriate in relation to the ‘evidence’ on which Sir Robert Owen based his report and that document itself.
    Anyone who argues for, instance, that any firm conclusions can be based on the report of IG Horowitz in effect establishes that either his, or her, analytical competence, or their integrity, or both, are suspect.
    A second rather major point is that when one is dealing with organisations like the FBI, as clearly with SO15, the internal politics involved may be very complex.
    Accordingly, it may be that the extraordinary ‘breakthrough’ which Ty Clevenger has achieved is the harbinger of the release of the key evidence which will finally illuminate a central thread in ‘The Plot Against the President.’
    Equally, however, it is possible that what we has actually been going on, behind the scenes, is another ‘industrial scale’ fabrication of ‘evidence’ – which could, among other things, include the destruction of a great deal of it, and the ‘doctoring’ of the hard disk on Seth Rich’s laptop.
    (Of course, there may have been more than one, which could facilitate the destruction of crucial evidence.)

  13. Deap says:

    I am reminded of the Watergate burglary on June 17, 1972, the following months of official denials and the unraveling thread finally getting pulled over a year later on July 13, 1973:
    Tape recorder from President Nixon’s office.
    Butterfield was questioned by Senate Watergate Committee staff Scott Armstrong, G. Eugene Boyce, Marianne Brazer, and Donald Sanders (deputy minority counsel) on Friday, July 13, 1973, in a background interview prior to his public testimony before the full committee.[33]
    Butterfield was brought before the committee because he was Haldeman’s top deputy and was the only person other than Haldeman who knew as much about the president’s day-to-day behavior.[4][e]
    The critical line of questioning was conducted by Donald Sanders.[34] Armstrong had given a copy of Buzhardt’s report to Butterfield;[35] now Sanders asked if the quotations in it might have come from notes. Butterfield said no, that the quotations were too detailed.[10] In addition, Butterfield said that neither staff nor the president kept notes of one-on-one private meetings with Nixon.[34]
    When asked where the quotations might have come from, Butterfield said he did not know.[10] Then Sanders asked if there was any validity to John Dean’s hypothesis that the White House had taped conversations in the Oval Office.
    Butterfield replied, “I was wondering if someone would ask that. There is tape in the Oval Office.”[34] Butterfield then told the investigators that, while he had hoped that no one would ask about the taping system, he had previously decided he would disclose its existence if asked a direct question .
    (WIKI)

  14. Barbara Ann says:

    Mr Habakkuk
    Very interesting. I expect your second hypothesis re the FBI’s apparent volte face on Seth Rich and his hard drive may well be correct. It seems ‘evidence’ creation gathering of the Lavrentiy Beria variety is best outsourced to people like Crowdstrike. Evidence burying is the feds’ forte and best conducted in-house.

  15. Dennis Daulton says:

    It’s either apart of a broader package of information dumps to prepare the way for Trumps re-election or it’s apart of a broader package of information dumps to force Biden to resign shortly after taking office.

  16. Deap says:

    Correction: The newly constituted Fox News settled with the parent of Seth Rich – Nov 24, 2020: …..”The family of Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee employee who was killed in 2016, has reached a settlement with Fox News over the network’s reporting on the conspiracy theories surrounding his death……”
    And what exactly were these now allegedly debunked FoxNews “conspiracy theories”?

  17. blue peacock says:

    David Habakkuk,
    The scale of corruption and deception at institutions on both sides of the Atlantic seems extraordinary.
    What do you speculate are the motivations, goals, objectives of these institutions for them to consider that exposure to these affairs is an existential threat and cause them to engage in such “industrial scale” fraud? It would appear that it may not necessarily be an institutional imperative but more of an imperative of a certain class or specific group of individuals who not only have management control of the institutions but have certain motivations. I am trying to get a flavor of what those motivations may be?

  18. james says:

    @ David Habakkuk.. thanks.. i too share your concerns and think @barbara ann sums it up well in her last line – “Evidence burying is the feds’ forte and best conducted in-house.” it will be interesting to see if this goes anywhere.. i doubt it…

  19. David Habakkuk says:

    BP,
    I think that is a complicated question.
    Part of the answer, I think, has to do with a curious combination of ignorance, intellectual arrogance and unscrupulousness,which causes a lot of these people to get involved in complex intrigues in which they are way out of their depth.
    The ‘affidavit’ by Yuri Shvets is accurate at least in establishing how willing very many were in the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement to treat him as a reliable source: ignoring the fact that he an Ukrainian, with clear ‘Banderista’ sympathies.
    The document is well worth reading in full, and can be found as item 65 in the materials on the case the latter has brought against Channel One Russia on the ‘Courtlistener’ site.
    (See https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7815085/goldfarb-v-channel-one-russia/ .)
    On the ‘Wayback Machine’ one can access Shvets’s page on site of the ‘Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies.’ The suggestion in the ‘affidavit’ that he left in 2005 is patent disinformation, as he was still listed as ‘Guest Professor’ on the site in July 2008.
    (See https://web.archive.org/web/20080720090945/http://cicentre.com/intelligencespeakers/ISB_L-Z/SP_SHVETS_Yuri_B.htm .)
    Soon after the date, his entry was taken down. However, the fascinating assembly of the press coverage of the Litvinenko mystery, which Shvets and his colleagues had assembled, was not removed until after 30 April 2009.
    (This was after I picked up Karon von Gerhke’s evidence about Shvets, and was putting it together with other materials, including, critically, evidence uncovered by my Rome-based collaborator, David Loepp.)
    (For the last available version of the press coverage, see https://web.archive.org/web/20090430205014/http://www.cicentre.com:80/Documents/litvinenko.html .)
    Given that I drew the attention of Sir Robert Owen’s team to this, the extraordinary record it gives of the twists and turns to which Shvets, Christopher Steele and others had to resort, to try to cover up the truth about how Litvinenko lived and died, are peculiarly interesting.
    In relation to your question, the relevant point is that Shvets, on the part of Berezovsky, was very skilfully supplying a ‘market’ for two different kinds of ‘information.’
    An absolute nightmare for many of the erstwhile victims of the Soviet and Russian empires who had taken refuge in the United States, and their descendants was that Putin’s use of the attack on the World Trade Center to suggest that his country and the West had an overriding common interest in fighting jihadist terrorism might gain traction.
    Being realistic, what do you think that people with names like Strzok, Pientka, Farkas – and. crucially, Kavalec – are liable to think about this?
    At the same time, the rather evident possibility that ‘WMD’ and other military hardware from the former Soviet Union might be acquired either by ‘rogue states’ or jihadists had two effects. It both fuelled fears, and also created opportunities: that it might be possible to create ‘casus belli.’
    In this situation, there were complex arguments, among other things relating to the view one should take of Berezovsky, in many places: Interestingly, among them was clearly Israeli intelligence, and in particular military intelligence, in some parts of which we know Putin’s argument did gain traction.
    One of the great successes of the ‘Berezovsky goup’ was in mixing accurate information and disinformation about Mogilevich, so that not very bright people like the former FBI Special Agent Robert ‘Bobby’ Levinson swallowed most of it whole. As a result, he fell victim to one of the more obvious ‘entrapment’ operations in recent history.
    However, the gullibility of the Americans, and Brits, whom Shvets, Goldfarb and their associates were ‘playing’ caused them to ‘overreach.’
    It was crucial for them to provide ‘evidence’ suggesting that Putin’s offers of collaboration against jihadists were ‘active measures’: that the ‘overt’ strategy concealed a ‘covert’ strategy of supporting jihadists, and even equipping them with WMD.
    Accordingly, to the material already assembled to ‘bamboozle’ the likes of Levinson was added ‘evidence’ supposed to establish that Mogilevich, while acting as an agent of the FSB and under Putin’s personal ‘krysha’, had been attempting to supply a ‘mini nuclear bomb’ to Al Qaeda.
    The purposes of the Russian response to this operation – which was, actually, extraordinarily damaging to any kind of ‘rational’ argument about what the interests of Western governments were – are, ironically, illuminated by the ‘Crash Course in Disinformation’ entries in the assemblage of press cuttings.
    These mayy well have been largely the work of Oleg Kalugin, although quite possibly with ‘input’ from Shvets.
    What elements in the Russian security services were clearly doing was trying to turn the Berezovsky operation against its originators.
    So, it seems overwhelmingly likely that they facilitated access to polonium-210 – whose most important historical use has been in a ‘trigger’ of a primitive nuclear device – with the idea that Litvinenko, and hopefully Berezovsky, could be caught ‘in flagrante delicto.’
    It was the overwhelmingly need to avoid exposure of what a genuine ‘timeline’ would suggest that led to the ‘industrial scale’ fabrication of evidence.
    All kinds of people know all about this. Among them have to be those on your side who were responsible for the ‘narrative’ by Shvets becoming central to Sir Robert Owen’s cover-up.
    Among other interesting elements, it may be relevant to ask who might have been a crucial representative of the ‘U.S. Government’ which Shvets insists authorised his collaboration with SO15 in 2007-2015.
    An obvious candidate would be the head of the CIA ‘London Station’, who in 2008-11 and 2014-17 was a figure who appears to have vanished from view: Ms. Gina Haspel.
    So: the question becomes, not so much, who was ‘in the know’ about Steele’s ‘cover-up’, but – ‘who wasn’t.’ Among many relevant figures, in addition to Kathleen Kavalec: Strobe Talbott and Glenn Simpson.
    Continuing onwards, one comes to the events of 2013.
    At that time, the dangers involved in the inability to take seriously the dangers of collaboration with jihadists was made vividly apparent in the ‘cover up’ of the August 2013 ‘false flag’ over the sarin attack in Ghouta.
    This was the time when James Brennan and other like-minded figures, both in your country and mine,were doing their damndest to equip ‘jihadists’ with an arsenal of high quality sarin.
    It seems reasonably clear that a lot of people in the DIA by now believed that quite unacceptable risks were being taken.
    In this, rather obviously, Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn was a key figure.
    Unfortunately, as I think has emerged, while a much nicer man than I would have imagined, Flynn is hopelessly naive. He trusted FBI people like Strzok, and also ‘Covington & Burling.’
    I have gone on long enough. But if one attempts seriously to reconstruct this history, it is not I think so difficult to see why people like Halper, and Dearlove, and Strzok,and Gaeta. and indeed Kavalec, might have considered Flynn an ‘existential threat.’
    To cut a long story short, there was then a Russian counter-operation, which, had it been successful, would have led to Litvinenko, and Berezovsky, being exposed as having been involved in smuggling polonium – without it being possible to explain that they were not themselves attempting to supply a ‘suitcase nuke’ to jihadists, etc etc.

  20. Fasteddiez says:

    Chuck Light
    I got there using DuckDuckGo, It worked for me, I use it instead of the People’s Google and such, So download it, and also Tor as a backup. Investigate their security features and reviews.

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