Aaron Rich, the brother of murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, on Tuesday filed a defamation lawsuit against several individuals who pushed a conspiracy theory about the brothers.
“This lawsuit is about accountability,” the law firm representing Rich, Michael Gottlieb, Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, said in a statement. “Those who defame and harass decent American citizens in an effort to advance their personal financial and partisan gain will be held accountable in court.”
The lawsuit names Ed Butowsky, an ally of President Donald Trump; conservative activist Matt Couch and his media group America First Media; and the Washington Examiner. In the complaint, Rich alleges that Butowsky, Couch and the Washington Times furthered a conspiracy theory that Aaron Rich helped his brother Seth Rich leak DNC emails to Wikileaks.
“There is no proof that Aaron engaged in any of the alleged conduct—nor could there be, because none of it happened. But Defendants are not interested in the truth. Instead, Defendants are motivated by personal notoriety, financial gain, and naked partisan aims—namely, a desire to discredit allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian Government in the 2016 hack of the DNC and the subsequent dissemination of DNC documents on Wikileaks,” the complaint reads. “In their blind pursuit of these objectives, Defendants have willfully trampled on Aaron’s reputation and emotional wellbeing.”
The complaint alleges that Butowsky and Couch in the summer of 2017 made several claims that Aaron Rich was involved in the leak of DNC emails during the 2016 election and that Aaron Rich knew his brother would be murdered. The lawsuit also cites a Washington Times piece in March alleging that Aaron Rich helped Seth Rich download the DNC’s emails.
There is no evidence to support fringe conservatives’ conspiracy theory that Seth Rich’s murder and the DNC hack were linked, and those involved in pushing the false narrative are facing several lawsuits. A former detective and Fox News contributor claimed in a lawsuit that Ed Butowsky recruited him and a Fox News reporter to work on a story pushing the conspiracy theory, which was later retracted. Seth Rich’s parents have also sued Fox News over the retracted story.
Read the lawsuit: