By Larry Johnson
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 the:
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.