FBI memo: DNC staffer Seth Rich was 'very drunk' when shot, unable to help police before dying

Some reports have suggested he was heavily intoxicated at the time.

Published: April 24, 2021 6:46pm

Updated: April 24, 2021 8:25pm

Newly declassified FBI documents reveal that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was "very drunk" when he was shot by an unknown assailant and was unable to give police any useful information before he died.

Rich was murdered in Washington, D.C. in 2016. His death spawned a number of conspiracy theories, including that he was killed in connection to scandals within the Democratic party, though no evidence has emerged to substantiate those claims.  Neither a motive for the killing nor a perpetrator have been determined.

The new FBI investigatory documents, meanwhile, state that Rich was heavily intoxicated at the time of his murder, a detail alluded to in some reports but confirmed by the declassified documents.

That detail is revealed in a heavily redacted interview FBI agents had with an assistant U.S. attorney whose identity is concealed in the report. The U.S. attorney apparently divulged to federal agents that, following Rich's being shot, "the police attempted to interview Rich on the way to the hospital but were not able to obtain a statement, because Rich was very drunk."

The shooting took place early in the morning at about 4:20 a.m. in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of D.C.

The interview with the U.S. attorney also suggests a potential break in evidence custody: A heavily redacted portion claims that one individual after the killing "took Rich's personal laptop to his house," after which it was unclear if anything had been "deleted or changed" on the computer. 

Elsewhere the document makes a passing reference to what appears to be a potential murder-for-hire motive though it is unclear who it involved. "Given [redacted] it is conceivable that an individual or group would want to pay for his death," one page of the documents declared.

Rich's family has slammed the conspiracy theories surrounding his death, calling those who have spread them "disgusting sociopaths." Fox News in October of last year reached a seven-figure settlement with Rich's family pursuant to a lawsuit the family brought against the network for its coverage of the murder. 

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