WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) — WikiLeaks announced a $20,000 reward for information in the death of Seth Rich, who some believe was responsible for the release of over 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails.
The online organization, which publishes information, news leaks and classified media from anonymous sources, announced the reward for information leading to a conviction on social media Tuesday.
Rich, 27, was a DNC staffer shot to death July 10 in Washington in an apparent robbery attempt.
His death came nearly two weeks before WikiLeaks released leaked DNC emails July 22, which immediately preceded the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The Washington Post reported there has been speculation, largely on the Internet, that Rich was shot because of his affiliation with the DNC, with some suggesting he personally handed over the emails to Wikileaks. The emails suggested the DNC intentionally put obstacles in the path of the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., among other embarrassments.
The WikiLeaks reward accompanies a $25,000 reward for information leading to a conviction, a standard part of all homicide investigations in the District of Columbia.
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Chief Peter Newsham commented Tuesday, “At this time, we don’t have any information to suggest that the case is in any way connected with his work at the DNC. We’re very pleased if anyone is going to assist us with giving reward money.”
Rich’s father, Joel Rich, referred to the suggestion of his son’s involvement as “bizarre,” adding Tuesday the WikiLeaks reward legitimized the online speculation.
“I hope the additional money helps find out who did this.” But, he said, “I don’t want to play WikiLeaks’ game.”