This is a chilling story about the lynchpin that, in a just world, would definitively unravel the pathetic “Russian Collusion” fraud and the DNC’s psychological civil war being waged on the public. It’s scary that hardly anyone is covering this but given how corrupt they are and their willingness to destroy lives and kill innocent people, it’s not surprising.
Ed Butowsky is a successful businessman from Texas who appeared frequently as a financial pundit on Fox Business. During the Republican Primary in 2016, he was a supporter of Carly Fiorina and later of Marco Rubio. He says he’s never spoken with or met Donald Trump.
He has been holding his tongue about some of the details revealed here to protect the safety of his friend, Ellen Ratner but due to Michael Isikoff’s article in Yahoo last week, claiming that the Seth Rich “conspiracy theory” was a product of the Kremlin, he felt compelled to come forward with the facts.
At Fox, Butowsky befriended Ellen Ratner, a Fox News analyst, whose brother was the late Michael Ratner, the lawyer of Julian Assange. In the Fall of 2016, Ellen Ratner told Butowsky that she’d just returned from Europe to attend a dedication ceremony for her deceased brother and while in London, she visited Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy for six hours.
Assange informed Ratner that he had paid Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron for the DNC emails that were published by WikiLeaks in July 2016. The emails showed how Hillary Clinton’s campaign had corruptly taken control of the DNC for the purpose of sabotaging her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders. Assange wanted Ratner to relay this information to Seth’s parents, as it might help explain the motive for Seth’s murder.
Ed Butowsky says Ellen Ratner asked him to contact the parents for her. Initially, he didn’t want to get involved but over the next 3 months, he observed the propagation of the Russian Collusion Hoax, accusing Donald Trump of being a Russian agent who had hacked the DNC server, etc. which Butowsky knew was ridiculous, especially in light of what Ratner had told him, so on December 16, 2016 he texted her, asking if she had spoken about the true story of the DC Leak to anybody. She told him that she had informed Bill Shine, who was then the co-president of Fox News, about her meeting with Mr. Assange in London, as well as Fox News producer Malia Zimmerman.
The next day, Butowsky contacted Joel and Mary Rich and told them, “Julian wanted you to know that the emails came from Seth, your son and that they were uploaded to him and…he knew that the Washington police were not going to help find who the murderer was.”
Joel Rich replied that they already knew that both of their sons, Seth and Aaron were involved in the DNC leak but that he was reluctant to go public with their role in the leaks because, as Progressive Democrats, they didn’t “want anyone to think our sons were responsible for getting Trump elected.” They did, however want to know who murdered their son and they asked Butowsky to contact them if he ever learned anything new.
Butowsky didn’t expect that he would but as it happens, he was contacted by former intelligence officer, Larry Johnson, who told him that journalist, Sy Hersh also knew about Seth Rich providing WikiLeaks with the DNC emails. He’d been trying to get an article published about it but nobody would touch it. Johnson put Hersh in touch with Butowsky, who recorded their conversation and sent it to Joel and Mary Rich, hoping that it would be of help. Three weeks went by and he didn’t hear a word from them.
“I sent them something that lays out that the file is at the FBI; that the FBI intervened, that…it’s at a shared location called the Cart Division, which is a computer access. I can’t remember the RT but there’s a division that’s shared by the Washington police and the FBI.” He found the parents’ lack of response to be odd.
Butowsky would later learn that shortly after Seth’s murder, Donna Brazile, then the DNC’s interim chair reached out to the Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe and Washington DC Mayor, Muriel Bowser for help in dealing with the political fallout of the murder. According to Butowsky’s suit, “DC police allowed the FBI to unlock Seth Rich’s electronic devices, and the FBI obtained data showing that Mr. Rich had indeed provided the DNC emails to Wikileaks. At Mr. McCabe’s direction, however, that information was kept secret with orders that it not be produced in response to any Freedom of Information Act request. For her part, Ms. Bowser directed DC police not to pursue any investigative avenues that might connect the murder to the email leaks. At her direction, local police blamed the murder on a “botched robbery” even though Mr. Rich’s watch, wallet, and other belongings were not removed from his body.”
Indeed, when Butowsky’s lawyer, Ty Clevenger filed a FOIA request for any documents relating to Seth Rich in reference to WikiLeaks, he was told there were 32 pages that matched this request but that they were classified and could not be released.
The last time Butowsky spoke to the Riches, he ended up offering to pay for a private detective and introduced them to another colleague at Fox, former DC Metro Police homocide detective, Rod Wheeler, with whom they contracted to investigate their son’s murder.
There’s a saying, that “No good deed goes unpunished.” What followed was a series of antics so shockingly corrupt, on the part of Rod Wheeler, his monstrous attorney, Doug Wigdor the DNC’s crisis manager Brad Bauman, Fox News and the Rich family that crystallizes the execrable nature of the DNC and their minions in the Mainstream Media.
In this interview by Pete Santilli, we learn that Butowsky tried to take his story to The Washington Post but was told by a journalist there that all articles must first be approved by the same DNC crisis manager who was “assigned” to the Rich family to manage all of their communications!
This and more hideousness was evident to knowledgeable observers at the time but it remains unknown to the public at large. I will attempt to summarize these spine-curling events in a follow-up article.
EXCERPT OF ED BUTOWSKY LAWSUIT (“RCH” = Russian Collusion Hoax)
50. On May 16, 2017, FoxNews.com published a story by Malia Zimmerman which claimed that Seth Rich had been involved in the DNC email leak. The article undermined the DNC narrative that Seth Rich had been murdered in a “botched robbery,”and it likewise undermined the Russia Collusion Hoax. The story featured quotes from Mr. Wheeler regarding his investigation, as well as quotes from an unnamed federal official who claimed that federal investigators had copies of Seth Rich’s communications with Wikileaks. Shortly thereafter, the Rich family terminated Mr. Wheeler, and Mr. Wheeler was subjected to withering scorn and criticism from anti-Trump media.
51. On May 18, 2017, Mr. Wheeler told Mr. Butowsky that he needed an attorney to pursue claims against Marina Marraco, a reporter for the local Fox affiliate in Washington, D.C. According to Mr. Wheeler, Ms. Marraco duped him into granting an interview about the Seth Rich investigation so she could “scoop” Ms. Zimmerman and publish her story one day before the Fox News network published Ms Zimmerman’s story. At Mr. Wheeler’s request, Mr. Butowsky introduced Mr. Wheeler to some well-known attorneys in Dallas. Mr. Butowsky participated in the telephone conversation between Mr. Wheeler and the Dallas attorneys, and Mr. Wheeler never once indicated that he had been misquoted or mistreated by Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, or Fox News (as opposed to the local affiliate in D.C.). On the contrary, Mr. Wheeler sent a written statement to Ms. Zimmerman at 1 p.m. on May 19, 2017 wherein he claimed that he had shared the contents of Ms. Zimmerman’s story with Joel Rich and Aaron Rich the night before it was published:In the contract I have with the family, signed by Joel, Mary and Aaron Rich, I am not allowed to speak to the media on the family’s behalf, but I could speak to the media about this investigation of Seth Rich’s murder or other stories I was involved in. They knew I was a Fox News contributor and regularly went on television.I called Joel Rich the night before the Fox News story was going to be published, which was Monday night. During that 18-minute call (phone logs provided), I reviewed the story with Joel Rich, he liked it and was encouraged by the new leads. Joel already knew about the story because Fox had contacted him earlier in the day. He also suggested I contact an investigative reporter, Michelle Sigona, from Crime Watch Daily with the information. I also spoke with Aaron Rich, Joel’s son, for 21 minutes the night before the story came out and told him about the new information that had emerged and the story would likely be coming out in the near future.I told them both I would be commenting on the case and asking people to come forward if they had insight on the new information. I never violated the terms of our contract as I never spoke on behalf of the family.According to Mr. Wheeler, the Riches did not object to the Fox News story when he discussed it with them in advance of its publication.
52. On May 23, 2017, Fox News retracted the May 16, 2017 article, claiming that the article did not meet its editorial standards. Fox News did not identify any errors in the article, and there were none. Within the network, rumors began to circulate that the storywas killed by Sarah and Kathryn Murdoch, the left-leaning Hillary Clinton supporters and daughters-in-law of Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch. One month prior to the May23, 2017 retraction, Sarah and Kathryn Murdoch were credited with driving out conservative Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. See Don Kaplan, “Rupert Murdoch’s sons’ progressive wives helped oust Bill O’Reilly from Fox News Channel,” New York Daily News, April 19, 2017 (https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/murdoch-sons-progressive-wives-helped-oust-bill-o-reilly-article-1.3075872). Kathryn previously worked for the Clinton Climate Initiative, and her husband James was a donor to the Clinton Foundation.
53. About a week after speaking with the attorneys in Dallas, Mr. Wheeler told Mr. Butowsky that he had decided to use another attorney, and that he would receive $4 million for using the other attorney. Mr. Butowsky soon learned that the other attorney was Douglas Wigdor, an employment attorney in New York who had filed numerous discrimination lawsuits against Fox News. According to Mr. Wigdor’s own public statements, he was hoping to recover $60 million in damages from the ongoing lawsuits against Fox News. Unbeknownst to Mr. Butowsky at the time, Mr. Wigdor had enlisted Mr. Wheeler in an extortion scheme. As of 2017, Fox News’s parent company, 21stCentury Fox, Inc., was trying to gain approval from British regulators to purchase Sky Television, and Mr. Wigdor saw Mr. Wheeler’s case as an opportunity to extort money from Fox. Rather than pursue claims against the local affiliate in D.C. that had duped Mr.Wheeler and deceptively edited his statements, Mr. Wigdor convinced Mr. Wheeler to fabricate an entirely new story, i.e., that Mr. Butowsky and Ms. Zimmerman had been conspiring with President Trump to divert attention from the Russia collusion narrative. Mr. Wigdor planned to use those explosive allegations to sabotage Fox’s attempts to buy Sky, specifically by convincing British regulators that Fox News was entirely unethical and had acted corruptly at the behest of President Trump. In fact, Mr. Wigdor mentioned Fox’s attempt to buy Sky News in the lawsuit that he subsequently filed on behalf of Mr. Wigdor, and he later testified before a British parliamentary committee in opposition to the Sky Television purchase.
54. In his bogus lawsuit, Mr. Wheeler selectively quoted texts and emails from Mr. Butowsky to make it appear that Mr. Butowsky had pushed the May 16, 2017 Fox News story at the behest of President Trump. In reality, Mr. Butowsky never had (and never has) met President Trump nor spoken with him. Although Mr. Butowsky knew people who worked in the Trump White House, he had actively supported Carly Fiorina in the Republican primary. After she dropped out of the race, he supported Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. Nonetheless, because Mr. Butowsky knew people who worked in the White House, Mr. Wheeler repeatedly begged Mr. Butowsky for help in getting a job there, and Mr. Butowsky has numerous texts and emails to prove that. (When he recommended Mr. Wheeler to the Rich family, Mr. Butowsky did not know that Mr. Wheeler was habitually broke, nor did he know that Mr. Wheeler was fired from the Metropolitan Police Department for marijuana use). As a result of Mr. Wheeler’s repeated requests for help in getting a White House job, Mr. Butowsky jokingly told Mr. Wheeler that the White House was anxiously awaiting the results of his Seth Rich investigation. Mr. Wheeler knew full well that Mr. Butowsky was joking, and Mr. Wheeler knew full well that Mr. Butowsky had no personal connection to the President.
55. When Mr. Wigdor filed suit against Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, and FoxNews in August of 2017, he knew that Mr. Wheeler had not been misquoted in the Fox News story, and that’s because Mr. Butowsky and his attorneys had provided Mr. Wigdorwith texts, emails, and audio evidence proving that Mr. Wheeler had not been misquoted. Mr. Wigdor also knew that the Trump Administration played no role in the May 16, 2017Fox News story. Mr. Wigdor filed the fraudulent lawsuit anyway.
56. Even though Fox News retracted its May 17, 2017 report by Malia Zimmerman, local affiliate WTTG (a.k.a. “Fox 5 DC”) did not retract its report by Ms. Marraco. Instead, WTTG updated its May 15, 2017 on May 17, 2017 report to prove unequivocally that Mr. Wheeler was lying to other media outlets when he denied saying there was evidence connecting Seth Rich to the DNC leak. See Maria Marraco, Fox 5 DC(http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/private-investigator-there-is-evidence-seth-rich-contacted-wikileaks-prior-to-death). WTTG uploaded video showing the following statements by Mr. Wheeler:FOX 5 DC: “You have sources at the FBI saying that there is information…”
Within days of the updated May 17, 2017 report by WTTG, all of the defendants in this lawsuit were actually aware that Mr. Wheeler was lying about Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, and Fox News.
57. The website DebunkingRodWheelersClaims.com (now at DeBunkingRodWheelersClaims.net) was launched in November of 2017, and it published texts, emails, audio, and video showing that Rod Wheeler had never been misrepresented by Mr. Butowsky, Ms. Zimmerman, or Fox News, including the email quoted above in Paragraph 51. The evidence on the website showed unequivocally that Mr. Wheeler had lied to other media about them. The website also included audio of famed journalist Seymour “Sy” Hersh stating that he had confirmed that Seth Rich was responsible for leaking the DNC emails. According to Mr. Hersh, who was by no means a Republican or a Trump supporter, he could not find a media outlet willing to publish the Seth Rich story. In a separate phone call with Mr. Butowsky, Mr. Hersh said he obtained his information about Seth Rich from Mr. McCabe, the deputy FBI director. Not later than December of 2017, all of the Defendants in this lawsuit were aware of the contents of DebunkingRodWheelersClaims.com.
58. On May 15, 2018, after Mr. Wigdor got what he needed from Mr. Wheeler in terms of political and public relations impact, Mr. Wigdor and his firm sought to drop Mr. Wheeler as a client. Judge Daniels allowed Mr. Wigdor and his partners to withdraw on May 30, 2018, and Mr. Wheeler’s frivolous lawsuit was dismissed on August 2, 2018. The unscrupulous Mr. Wigdor then settled all of his remaining clients’ claims against FoxNews for a $10 million lump sum (rather than the $60 million that he had originally sought), and Mr. Wigdor apportioned $7 million of that among those clients.
Defendants Bauman and The Pastorum Group
59. In early March of 2017, Joel Rich informed Mr. Butowsky that he had received a call from Defendant Bauman, and that Defendant Bauman said he had been “assigned” to the Rich family by the DNC. Defendant Bauman is an unscrupulous left-wing political operative, and the DNC assigned him to the Rich family in order to control them and keep the Russia Collusion Hoax alive. Defendant Bauman knew that Seth Rich leaked emails to Wikileaks, but Defendant Bauman’s assignment was to divert attention away from Seth Rich in order to keep the RCH alive.
60. Under coercion from Mr. Bauman and the lawyer Defendants named in this lawsuit, Joel Rich stopped speaking with Mr. Butowsky and the Rich family started attacking Mr. Butowsky publicly (albeit not by name). Prior to the time of Mr. Bauman’s involvement, the Rich family acknowledged to friends and relatives that Seth and Aaron were involved in the DNC email leak, but then they suddenly changed their story. On information and belief, Mr. Butowksy alleges that Joel, Mary, and Aaron Rich were told that Aaron could be charged with felony computer crimes if they did not cooperate with their new handlers, i.e., Mr. Bauman and the lawyer Defendants. Aaron Rich’s lawyers have repeatedly alleged, for example, that Mr. Butowsky accused him (i.e., Aaron) of computer crimes and treason. In reality, Mr. Butowsky has never said such a thing. This appears to be an example of psychological projection on the part of the lawyers purporting to represent Aaron. To wit, they have accused their client of committing computer crimes and treason, but they attribute the accusation to Mr. Butowsky.
61. The Rich’s lawsuits against Mr. Butowsky (discussed below) are part of a larger pattern. On April 20, 2018, the DNC filed a hare-brained, kamakaze lawsuit alleging that President Trump colluded with the Russians to steal its emails, even though the DNC already knew that neither President Trump nor the Russians had anything to do with the hacking. See Democratic National Committee v. Russian Federation, et al., Case No. 1:18-cv-03501 (S.D.N.Y.). The DNC knew it could never win the case, but that was not the objective. The objective was to keep the Russian Collusion Hoax in the headlines through the 2018 Congressional elections. Similarly, Mr. Bauman orchestrated a hyper-aggressive litigation / defamation strategy designed to intimidate, discredit, and ultimately silence anyone who questioned the DNC narrative about Seth Rich’s involvement in leaking emails. In particular, Mr. Bauman recruited the various lawyer Defendants herein to sue Mr. Butowsky into silence. (In fact, a left-wing publication praised the strategy. See Amanda Marcotte, “Can lawsuits slow the tide of right-wing conspiracy theory? Seth Rich’s family wants to find out,” June 1, 2018 Salon(https://www.salon.com/2018/06/01/can-lawsuits-slow-the-tide-of-right-wing-conspiracy-theory-seth-richs-family-wants-to-find-out)). The Boise Schiller Defendants have, for example, offered to settle their clients’ claims against Mr. Butowsky’s co-defendants for nominal sums if those co-defendants will agree to remain silent in the future about Seth Rich and the leaked emails. In other words, the objective of Mr. Bauman’s litigation/defamation strategy is not to recover damages, but to discredit people like Mr. Butowsky and bully them into silence.
62. To be clear, Mr. Bauman and the lawyer Defendants – all of whom are Democratic partisans – knowingly joined in a larger conspiracy to promote and protect the RCH, and particularly to discredit and intimidate anyone like Mr. Butowsky who might undermine the RCH narrative. While Mr. Bauman and the lawyer Defendants wereplaying offense against Mr. Butowsky by suing and defaming him, their governmental co-conspirators (e.g., Mr. McCabe, Mayor Bowser, and then-Police Chief Kathy Lanier) were playing defense. Mayor Bowser and Chief Lanier, for example, blocked city investigators from pursuing any information that might undermine the RCH narrative. The lead homicide detective assigned to the case, Joseph Dellacamera, was flatly prohibited from revealing the connection between Seth Rich and Wikileaks. See, e.g., Patrick Howley, “Seth Rich Police Detective: Department Gave Me ‘Strict, Strict Rules,’ If I Talk I’ll Get ‘Re-Assigned’,” August 2, 2017, BigLeaguePolitics.com (https://bigleaguepolitics.com/seth-rich-police-detective-department-gave-strict-strict-rules-talk-ill-get-re-assigned). For his part, Mr. McCabe ordered FBI agents to hide all information connecting Seth Rich to Wikileaks, and to deny its existence in response to any FOIA requests.
63. The scam continues even now. In his March 22, 2019 report on alleged Russian collusion, Special Counsel Robert Mueller stated unequivocally that Russian hackers were responsible for sending DNC emails to Wikileaks, but he was later forced to admit that his investigators had never examined the DNC’s servers. Instead, Mr. Mueller had relied on exclusively on a redacted copy of a report that CrowdStrike had produced for the DNC. So far as the Plaintiff is aware, the U.S. Department of Justice had never before relied exclusively on a private company’s report about an alleged computer crime (as opposed to the government conducting its own investigation), and Mr. Mueller certainly did not disclose in his report that he had failed to examine the servers. Furthermore, Mr. Mueller never made any attempt to interview Mr. Assange, who would know better than anyone else how Wikileaks obtained the DNC emails. Mr. Mueller’s investigation was a farce, at least so far as Seth Rich and DNC “hacking” were concerned.
64. Mr. Mueller’s deputy, Andrew Weissmann, is a Democratic partisan and a Hillary Clinton supporter with a long history of prosecutorial misconduct (in fact, all of the 17 attorneys on Mr. Mueller’s staff were partisan Democrats, and his investigators initially included Democratic partisans Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page). On July 13, 2019, Congressman Devin Nunes revealed that prior to his appointment to the Mueller team, Mr. Weissmann played an undisclosed role in briefing reporters about allegations that President Trump had colluded with Russia. The Plaintiff alleges that Mr. Weissman conspired with Mr. McCabe and DNC officials to maintain the false narrative that Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC, most recently by inserting false information into Mr. Mueller’s report. The Plaintiff further alleges that Mr. Bauman and the lawyer Defendants herein knew that their governmental co-conspirators (e.g., Mr. Weissmann and Mr. McCabe) were hiding and misrepresenting evidence, and that they were hiding and misrepresenting the evidence at least in part to aid the campaign against people like Mr. Butowsky. As a result of this scheme, Mr. Butowsky was severely hindered in his efforts to defend himself in the litigation discussed below. Plaintiff’s Counsel, for example, filed a FOIA lawsuit against the FBI for information about Seth Rich, and the Plaintiff intended to use that information for litigation purposes, but Mr. McCabe and the other governmental defendants lied to the FOIA court and hid the information.