Brother of Slain DNC Staffer Seth Rich Sues Conservative Media Outlets Over Conspiracy Report

The lawsuit alleges that the outlets spread a conspiracy stating that Aaron Rich, a defense contractor, worked with his brother to leak DNC documents to WikiLeaks in exchange for money

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Seth Rich.
Seth Rich.Credit: Facebook, JTA Photo Archive

The brother of Seth Rich, a Jewish Democratic National Committee staffer killed near his Washington, D.C., home in 2016, has filed a lawsuit against conservative media outlets and individuals.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday by Aaron Rich in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia alleges that those named in the lawsuit caused harm to his reputation and emotional distress for suggesting he played a role in the alleged theft of DNC emails dumped by WikiLeaks after his brother’s death, CNN reported.

The media outlets and individuals named in the lawsuit are wealthy Texas businessman Ed Butowsky; internet activist Matt Couch; America First Media, Couch’s media company; and The Washington Times, a conservative newspaper. They are accused, according to CNN, citing the lawsuit of “reckless disregard for the truth.”

Seth Rich, 27, a Nebraska native, was shot dead while walking home before dawn on July 10, 2016. Police have speculated that he was the victim of a robbery gone awry. Rich’s body was found about a block from his home with his wallet, watch and cellphone still in his possession. His murder remains unsolved.

His death sparked several conspiracy theories.

Several days after the death, WikiLeaks dumped a collection of DNC emails that U.S. intelligence officers now say were related to Russian interference in the 2016 election. WikiLeaks offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Rich’s killer.

Aaron Rich’s lawsuit alleges that the people and media companies named pushed a conspiracy theory suggesting that he used his background as a defense contractor with technical expertise to suggest he worked with his brother to leak the DNC documents to WikiLeaks, received money for doing so, and then worked to cover it up.

Earlier this month, the parents of Seth Rich filed a federal lawsuit against Fox News for a story saying he was part of a conspiracy involving WikiLeaks. The federal lawsuit names Fox News, investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman and Butowsky, who works as a Fox commentator, as liable for the harm to their son’s reputation caused by the report.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer