When Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman volunteered to help solve the mystery of Seth Rich’s murder, a DNC staffer gunned down near his home in Washington, Rich’s family welcomed the gesture. They held a joint press conference with Burkman and worked together trying to reach out to people who could possibly have a clue leading to the killers. Burkman put up more than $100,000 of his own money as a reward for those coming up with useful information.
But now, Burkman has taken his investigative work into conspiracy theory territory and the Rich family feels betrayed. Earlier this week, the Republican lobbyists sent letters to Congress, claiming that he has leads indicating Russian involvement in Rich’s murder.
But members of the Rich family, who during the eight months since the murder have stressed time and again that conspiracy theories floating in regards to the event are false and painful, now feel Burkman has crossed the line. An unnamed family member told DCist that Burkman’s Russian theory is “hurtful” and distracting. “We don’t believe there’s any involvement of any of the different conspiracy theories. We’ve made that clear multiple times. Putting out statements with absolutely nothing tangible and no hard facts—that’s what I want to stop,” the family members said.
Burkman told the publication he is “honoring my commitment to Mary Rich,” Seth’s mother. But the family member disputed this account, arguing that talks about conspiracy theories regarding Seth Rich’s murder “chip away at his legacy.”