New developments in the Seth Rich case

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  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

Written By: Tracy Beanz

An amended complaint in a civil suit brings to light new information in the controversial death of DNC staffer Seth Rich


A newly filed amended complaint in a lawsuit brought against a litany of defendants, including Turner Broadcasting, Anderson Cooper and the NY Times, alleges that Ellen Ratner, a Fox News analyst and White House Correspondent for Talk Media News, met with Julian Assange in the Fall of 2016 and received information from Assange that Seth Rich and his brother Aaron were responsible for releasing the controversial DNC emails to Wikileaks for publication.

The lawsuit seeks damages for several claims, including defamation, business disparagement, malicious prosecution, and civil rights violations.

The connection to Ratner had not been previously disclosed and is a bombshell revelation in what has been a tumultuous few years as the story has progressed.

Just last week, Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff, widely known for his role in first reporting information in the “Steele dossier”, wrote a long piece entitled “ Exclusive: The true origins of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. A Yahoo News investigation.”. In the piece, Isikoff purports that the Russian government, aided by the Internet Research Agency (IRA) was responsible for spreading the “conspiracy theory” that Seth Rich was responsible for disseminating the DNC emails to Wikileaks. However, the newly released statements and emails in the amended complaint certainly tell another story.

The amended complaint contains specific details of Butowsky’s interactions with Ratner. The complaint states the following: (RCH is abbreviated to mean “Russian Collusion Hoax”)

Mr. Butowsky stumbled into the RCH crosshairs after Ellen Ratner, a news analyst for Fox News and the White House correspondent for Talk Media News, contacted him in the Fall of 2016 about a meeting she had with Mr. Assange. Ms. Ratner's brother, the late Michael Ratner, was an attorney who had represented Mr. Assange. According to Ms. Ratner, she made a stop in London during a return flight from Berlin, and she met with Mr. Assange for approximately six hours in the Ecuadorean embassy. Ms. Ratner said Mr. Assange told her that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron, were responsible for releasing the DNC emails to Wikileaks. Ms. Ratner said Mr. Assange wanted the information relayed to Seth's parents, as it might explain the motive for Seth's murder. Upon her return to the United States, Ms. Ratner asked Mr. Butowsky to contact the Rich family and relay the information from Mr. Assange, apparently because Ms. Ratner did not want her involvement to be made public. In the two months that followed, Mr. Butowsky did not attempt to contact the Rich family, but he grew increasingly frustrated as the DNC and #Resistance “journalists” blamed the Russian government for the email leak. On December 16, 2016, Mr. Butowsky sent a text message to Ms. Ratner:

Other emails included in the complaint prove further communication between Butowsky and Ratner in regard to releasing and reporting the Rich/Assange connection.

When asked to comment, Ed Butowsky placed the blame for the disclosure of Ratner’s role squarely on the shoulders of Michael Isikoff, who Butowsky says broke journalistic ethics by speaking to a source after being told the information off the record. Butowsky told UncoverDC “I contacted Michael Isikoff because I had seen him in interviews and thought he wanted the truth. I spoke to him for a long while, and he wouldn’t believe any of the facts I presented him in regards to what I have discovered in the case of Seth Rich; he only wanted to peddle the narrative that Russia was behind all of this, which is nonsense. The only way I knew to get him to believe me was to share what I had heard from Ellen Ratner” When asked what he told Isikoff when Isikoff asked permission to speak to Ratner, Butowsky said: “I confirmed with him several times that our conversation on this was off the record. He asked me if he could contact her and I said absolutely not. He did it anyway”.

The revelation that Isikoff acted unethically in his conduct with Butowsky is reflective of the state of journalism today. Reporters are abandoning ethics to promote certain agendas. However, it is beginning to appear that wont be enough anymore. A recent court decision is also helping to extinguish a narrative that has been parroted for years about supposed “Russian Interference” in the 2016 election. It lends credence to the complaint in the Butowsky suit, while diminishing the impact journalists like Isikoff may have in perpetuating the "Russia Collusion" story. Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted Concord Management, alleging that they were responsible for working with the IRA to interfere in the election. A judge recently ordered the government to cease making public statements which purport a connection between the firm and the Kremlin, a charge the judge says the government has failed to prove and could taint the case. This makes the point even more clear; the government doesn’t possess the evidence it needs to back up the claims it made in the Mueller investigation, especially when it comes to the DNC “hack” and the alleged actors behind it. In regard to the Concord case and the fact that Isikoff still published the Seth Rich story armed with that knowledge, Butowsky went on to say “Michael Isikoff knew that what he was publishing in that piece isn’t true, and he didn’t care- he published it anyway”.

The rest of the 51 page complaint is straightforward and direct, a virtual novel explaining the details surrounding the saga. The implications of the filing are stunning. Throughout the filing, Butowsky’s attorney, Ty Clevenger, asserts plainly that Seth and Aaron Rich were responsible for providing the DNC emails to Wikileaks, while also asserting that Ed Butowsky has no knowledge of whether Seth Rich was killed because of it. As the lawsuit states on page 12:

“The DNC employee responsible for the leaks was Seth Rich, and he was assisted by his brother Aaron. Mr. Butowsky does not know exactly when the DNC figured out that Mr. Rich was the source of the leak. On July 10, 2016, however, Mr. Rich was fatally shot while walking home in Washington, D.C., and the murder has not been solved. Mr. Butowsky does not know whether the murder is related to Mr. Rich's role in leaking DNC emails.”

UncoverDC spoke to Clevenger who said “We are prepared to provide witness testimony along with other evidence that proves the claims we have made in the complaint.”

There were many other bombshells released in the report. One of them brings forensic evidence to the forefront. While the FBI was forced to admit in recent court proceedings they have never examined the DNC server, other intelligence professionals say they have hard evidence. For years independent investigative journalists have been publishing stories about the work of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity)  a group comprised of former intelligence officials, including famed whistleblower William Binney. The group provided forensic evidence which proves that the information released by Wikileaks was not a hack, but a leak from the inside. Binney even met with then CIA chief Mike Pompeo to provide the information.

Another eye-opening section addresses communications that had been ongoing between Aaron Rich’s counsel and Ty Clevenger, counsel for Butowsky. The complaint states that there had been attempts to have Aaron Rich sign a waiver allowing Wikileaks to release information publicly about the source of the emails. On page 33 of the complaint, Clevenger details how he initiated the communication, referencing an email he wrote to Governski, the attorney for Aaron Rich in another lawsuit, and a defendant in this case. On May 30, 2018 Clevenger wrote:

“I’ve attached a preservation letter that I sent to eBay and PayPal, and I have also attached a proposed waiver for your client. Julian Assange / Wikileaks likely will not cooperate unless your client consents to the release of information. Please let me know if he is willing to consent. Thanks.”

Attorney Clevenger sent the preservation letter because it is believed that this is how Wikileaks compensated both Aaron and Seth for providing the emails to Wikileaks. Governski responded:

“We believe the appropriate mechanism for obtaining information from third parties is to serve subpoenas to those third parties as contemplated under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Those rules do not require any advance waiver from any party in order to serve or enforce such a subpoena. If any third party has a request to make of our client as a result of a subpoena, we will address those requests directly with those third parties rather than through opposing counsel”

To which Clevenger replied:

“Yes, but as a practical matter, Julian Assange, Kim Dotcom, and Wikileaks are beyond U.S. jurisdiction. Furthermore, Assange and Wikileaks have shown that they will not be coerced into revealing the identity of their sources. It is for that reason that I am asking your client to voluntarily waive any objections to the release of such information. If you are saying your client is unwilling to do that, I think the media (and the public) will find that very interesting.”

After receiving no response, Clevenger drafted another letter, stating the following, in part:

“As you know, Ms. Governski and I have exchanged emails about whether your client, Aaron Rich, is willing to voluntarily authorize Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and/or Kim Dotcom to discuss any relationship that they may have had with Mr. Rich or his brother, Seth Rich. Thus far, it appears that your client is unwilling to authorize such disclosures.

This is very telling. On the one hand, Mr. Rich boldly denies that he and/or his brother leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks. On the other, he refuses to authorize disclosures from the witnesses who are in the best position to know who leaked those emails. That begs a question: if your client has nothing to hide, why is he hiding it?”

Governski stated that she would be issuing a subpoena to Wikileaks and Assange, however the complaint states that to this day, no subpoena has been issued to any of the aforementioned figures. This certainly tends to lend credence to Clevenger’s assertions.

Also in the lawsuit are statements about, and the link to, the recording and phone conversation of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sy Hersch, who stated that he had information from a well placed source that Seth Rich was, in fact, responsible for transferring the emails to Wikileaks. You can read the entire complaint here.

This newly filed complaint breathes fresh air into the story of Seth Rich, at a time when those in the mainstream media and establishment would like for the public to believe it was all a conspiracy theory. As more comes to light, we may be removing the word theory, only to be left with a horrible conspiracy.

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