Ed Butowsky Sits Down With Gateway Pundit for First Interview After Being Sued by Family in Seth Rich Murder Mystery
The Gateway Pundit traveled to Dallas, Texas, on Thursday to interview Ed Butowsky, a financial adviser and frequent Fox Business Network commentator, who is currently being sued by the parents of Seth Rich.
Our interview followed the news on Tuesday that the attorneys for the Seth Rich family sued Ed Butowsky and FOX News for alleged conspiracy theories over the murder of their son Seth Rich.
No one has ever been charged for this mysterious murder of the DNC staffer in Washington DC.
Sitting down with Butowsky, we discussed Rich’s $56 hard drive, lawsuits and legal threats, why the family doesn’t want to talk about WikiLeaks and much more.
The lawsuit filed in the Federal District Court in Manhattan. It names Butowsky, Fox News and their reporter Malia Zimmerman. The complaint alleges that Butowsky manipulated the grieving family into hiring Rod Wheeler as a private investigator to create a false narrative that he would later feed to Zimmerman.
Butowsky explained that contrary to the claim, he had no real interest in the case until his friend came back from London with information that he said he wanted to get to the Rich family. He took to Facebook asking if he knew anyone Jewish in Nebraska, in the off chance they may know how to reach them. Someone responded and amazingly knew Mary and Joel Rich, the slain staffers parents.
“I got them on the phone and I shared with them the information that this man had wanted them to know. What I told them was that I was told that your sons downloaded the emails from the DNC server and sold them to WikiLeaks,” Butowsky stated. “Mr. Rich said, and I didn’t see him — it was over the phone, ‘Ed, we already know that. That’s not new information to us.’”
Seth’s brother, Aaron Rich, works in cyber security for Northrup Grumman, which was named as the fifth-largest defense contractor in the world in 2015.
Butowsky went on to say that Mr. Rich told him that he only wanted to focus on who killed their son and not on the DNC, emails or WikiLeaks.
Towards the end of the phone call, Butowsky said that Mrs. Rich asked him to please let them know if he learns any additional information about the case.
It has long been speculated by many on both sides of the anti-establishment aisle that the murdered data analyst was behind the 44,053 DNC emails and 17,761 email attachments published by WikiLeaks during the 2016 election, which exposed a massive plot to undermine the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders. The liberal media has repeatedly claimed this theory is “debunked,” yet nobody has been prosecuted for the leak to prove or disprove anything, at all. Additionally, no suspects have ever been named in his murder and no surveillance footage showing the killer has ever been shared with the public for help identifying one.
Butowsky’s stunning story is surely not one that the mainstream media or Democratic National Committee wants you to hear.
The Rich family’s expensive Chicago-based lawyers contacted GWP following our initial report on Butowsky’s recollection of the conversation and referred to the claims that Mr. Rich acknowledged his son was the leaker as “false,” “reckless” and “defamatory.” They demanded an apology and retraction of our report, despite the fact that we ourselves did not make the claims — and the fact that Butowsky is a public figure who was directly involved with the family. His story is demonstrably newsworthy.
Now that he is being sued by them, his side of the story is even more relevant to the public interest and I stand behind my publishing of this interview. What we are presenting to you here is Butowsky’s own first hand version of events, not opinions of myself or the Gateway Pundit.
When asked why he thinks the family would deny this conversation taking place, Butowsky told the Gateway Pundit, “we talked about it. They don’t want their sons name to be associated with being the people or person responsible for getting Trump elected.”
“What I surmise is that maybe they’re a little afraid that if Seth was murdered… and if Seth’s murder was related to him downloading the emails from the DNC server on a $56 Western Digital hard drive —“ Butowsky began, to which I interjected and asked if that actually happened. He responded “yes” and continued on to say that “if that happened, and he put it in Dropbox by the way, that maybe Aaron’s life is at risk because of the relationship and what they did together.”
In a follow up after the video interview, Butowsky told GWP that an FBI source showed him a receipt for a $56 hard drive that he says Rich used to transport files from the DNC server to his laptop before loading them into a DropBox account.
A few days after his initial phone call with the Rich family, Butowsky says that he was speaking to a friend from DC and asked if he may know anyone familiar with the Rich case. The friend told him that he did know someone with extensive knowledge about the murder — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh.
Two days later, Butowsky and Hersh were on the phone discussing the case.
Butowsky explained that Hersh was speaking so quickly that he recorded the call because he could not take notes fast enough. He promptly forwarded the recording to the Rich family due to the detailed, and shocking, claims that the journalist was making.
In the audio recording, Hersh states that Rich had contacted WikiLeaks with sample emails prior to the leak. He cited an FBI document that he was privy to as proof for his claim.
“What the report says is that some time in late Spring… he makes contact with WikiLeaks, that’s in his computer,” Hersh says in the recording. “Anyway, they found what he had done is that he had submitted a series of documents — of emails, of juicy emails, from the DNC.”
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 1, 2017
Hersh explains that Rich wanted money, but it was unclear how the negotiations went. Though that part remains a mystery, Hersh said that WikiLeaks did obtain access to a password protected DropBox where Rich had put the files.
The famed journalist also states that Rich had concerns about something happening to him and that WikiLeaks gained access before he was killed.
“The word was passed, according to the NSA report, he also shared this DropBox with a couple of friends, so that ‘if anything happens to me it’s not going to solve your problems,’” he added. “WikiLeaks got access before he was killed.”
The authenticity of this audio was confirmed by Hersh to Consortium News, though he said that the recording was done without his permission.
When Mr. Rich received the audio containing the stunning allegations, he responded to Butowsky with a simple email saying, “got it.”
“The Rich’s had told me that Washington police weren’t helping them at all. The Metro Police had shut down the investigation. I felt terrible, these people — their son was murdered and no one is helping them find out who murdered their son. I mean — how tragic can this be?” Butowsky asked.
When the family did not seem interested in what Hersh said, Butowsky said that he called Mr. Rich and asked if the material was helpful.
“He acted kind of strange at the point,” Butowsky said.
Butowsky asked why they had not hired a private investigator. Mr. Rich told him that they could not afford one. He ended up offering to pay the bill, which the slain staffer’s parents thanked him for and accepted.
Enter Rod Wheeler.
Wheeler is a retired Washington homicide detective and Fox News contributor. He was brought on to act as a private investigator by Butowsky, with whom he had mutual friends.
The parents, along with Aaron, met with Wheeler multiple times over a 14 day period before coming to an agreement. The contract stated that Wheeler was not to speak to the media about the case without the family’s permission. It included Butowsky only regarding the fact that he would be paying for the services. Butowsky said that he gave Wheeler $5,000 to get started.
In an audio recording during the investigation, Wheeler explained that Aaron Rich was actively attempting to shut down anyone looking into the WikiLeaks connection.
“He said no, he said I have his computer, meaning him,” Wheeler says in the audio. “I said, well can I look at it?…He said, what are you looking for? I said anything that could indicate if Seth was having problems with someone. He said no, I already checked it. Don’t worry about it.”
Wheeler also said in the recording that Seth’s girlfriend told him that Aaron Rich had possession of Seth’s cell phones, but Aaron denied it and said “we’re not going to worry about the cell phones.”
During our interview, Butowsky maintained that Wheeler did a great job in his efforts, despite the fact that he is now being sued by the investigator.
At some point after the investigation began, the DNC hired Brad Bauman to represent the family. He is a well-known crisis communications consultant for the Democratic Party through his DC firm the Pastorum Group.
“I remember Mr. Rich saying ‘who is this guy? He showed up one day and said he was assigned to me by the DNC.’ Why would the DNC assign somebody,” Butowsky said of a conversation regarding Bauman.
Meanwhile, Wheeler found enough evidence that he believed that there was a cover up underway.
On April 9, 2017, Wheeler sent Zimmerman a text that was obtained by the Gateway Pundit containing a link to a news story about the Rich case. Wheeler wrote, “this is interesting. I’m ready to say that Seths Death was not a botched street robbery and there appears to be a coverup within the D.C. Govt related to this death.”
Zimmerman had been working with Wheeler on the now infamous story for Fox News. Following her explosive report that shook the establishment to the core, Wheeler claimed the quotes attributed to him had been fabricated.
The problem is, the quotes were not fabricated, which the Gateway Pundit can confirm through copies of the text and email exchanges between Zimmerman and Wheeler, his notes from a meeting with a police detective on the case, as well as his public statements before and after the report. Wheeler was also given a draft of the story which included all of his comments and explicitly approved them before Zimmerman’s report was filed.
Butowsky told GWP that Zimmerman actually had three sources for her story and that Wheeler had misread a quote that was attributed to a federal investigator and thought that she had claimed it came from him.
“Rod Wheeler read the story and saw this quote, ‘I saw the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks (or something along those lines), said a federal investigator.’ Rod Wheeler, he told me this on the phone, he said ‘Ed, I blew it. I thought that was referencing me.’ He thought that quote was attributed to him,” Butowsky told GWP. “He had gone on CNN and said ‘Fox misquoted me!’ Fox didn’t misquote him, he just read it wrong. He thought he was the federal investigator she was referencing, he screwed up!”
Zimmerman had wrote, “a federal investigator who reviewed an FBI forensic report detailing the contents of DNC staffer Seth Rich’s computer generated within 96 hours after his murder, said Rich made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time.” It is clear in her report that the person she was referring to was not Wheeler, but an additional source who has never been named.
Multiple sources have told the Gateway Pundit that the Rich investigations at Fox News were squashed and removed due to demands by the Murdoch family — not because Zimmerman hadn’t properly investigated her story.
“That story should be put back up,” Butowsky asserted several times during our interview.
Still, Wheeler filed a lawsuit against the network and Butowsky, joining in a class action suit being represented by lawyer Doug Wigdor. The most shocking allegation within the complaint was that Zimmerman’s report fabricated quotes in order for Butowsky to help the White House distract the public from the Russia investigation.
Butowsky claims that Wigdor threatened the network with a lawsuit for weeks before filing, unless Fox News agreed to pay $60 million in settlements. The looming lawsuits were preventing the network’s buyout of Sky News, which he believes was part of the reasoning for going after them.
Butowsky alleges that Wheeler was promised $4 million of that money if a settlement was reached.
“He said, ‘Ed, I found me a lawyer that’s going to give me $4 million,’” Butowsky stated. “I said ‘what?! Why would anyone give you $4 million?’ I mean, what in the world.” He claimed that Wheeler told him that he wasn’t going to like it, but that he would soon understand. Weeks later, Butowsky received an email from Wigdor. The lawsuit came soon after.
In October, Butowsky’s lawyers filed a Rule 11 complaint against Wigdor, arguing that “the lawsuit has no basis in fact or in law, and is clearly being advanced for an improper purpose—to harass, intimidate, and extort the Defendants.”
The claims in the lawsuit were the basis for the complaint filed by the Rich family. Both suits claim that Butowsky was the mastermind of a plot to help the White House cover up Russian hacking.
“This is a complete made up story,” Butowsky said, “to try to get money from Fox News.”
The far-fetched conspiracy theories put forward in the lawsuits have led to serious threats against Butowsky’s family. The normally joyful and composed man broke down in tears as he described the impact this has had on his life and loved ones.
“This country is out of their minds — the people who want to accept this,” Butowsky said. “I volunteered to pay a bill. I gave them money to help find out who murdered their son.”
Butowsky added that there is a lot more going on in this case than people realize.
“How do you defend yourself against the parents of a boy who was murdered?” Butowsky said. “If people care about the truth, what I just said is the truth. Mr. and Mrs. Rich can do whatever they want to do. I don’t even know what they want, I just hope they find some way to deal with what they have to deal with. I wish they would be honest with people. There’s a lot of hardship in this country and a lot of separation and some of it has to do with this case.”
Butowsky repeatedly asserted that he will not sue the Rich family over their claims about him.
“I didn’t do anything to these people and I never would — why would I?” Butowsky asked.
Butowsky said that he simply thought that he was privately helping a grieving family.
Rich was shot in the back in the early morning hours of July 10, 2016, near his home while he was on the phone with his girlfriend — 12 days before the publication of the DNC emails by WikiLeaks. The police initially ruled that it was a botched robbery — but his wallet, watch, and necklace were still on his person when he was discovered by police.
Assange has infamously expressed interest in Rich, but he has always maintained that WikiLeaks will never name a source — even after death. WikiLeaks has offered a $20,000 reward for Rich’s murderer however, and has retweeted articles that asserted he was their source without providing any additional comment.
WikiLeaks has never disclosed a source. Sources sometimes talk to other parties but identities never emerge from WikiLeaks. #SethRich
— Julian Assange ⌛ (@JulianAssange) May 22, 2017
In a 2016 interview with Dutch TV, Assange alluded to Rich having been the source of the earth shattering leaks.
“Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often significant risks. There was a 27-year old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back… murdered.. for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington,” Assange said. When asked by the host if he would suggest that Rich was involved, he stated that “we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States and that our sources face serious risks… that’s why they come to us so we can protect their anonymity.”
Butowsky concluded the interview by saying that he simply wants people to tell the truth.
“I hope the truth comes out one way or another. Mr. and Mrs. Rich, and a number of other people, know the truth and they should come forward and just tell the truth. It’s real simple,” Butowsky asserted.