In continuance of the decades-old, specious “Clinton Body Bags” narrative, the deaths of four people with supposed links to Hillary Clinton in the summer of 2016 (over a span of six weeks, not “less than a month”) have been proffered as evidence (or at least a very strong suggestion) that those deaths are part of a nefarious plot to bump off anyone who might possess information that could bring down Clinton’s campaign for the presidency.
However, as is typical of this form of conspiracy theory, those four people had only the most tenuous and indirect of connections to Hillary Clinton, and the putative reasons offered for why they would supposedly need to be killed (if any reasons were offered at all) ranged from non-credible to erroneous:
o On 11 July 2016, Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Conrad Rich was shot and killed just after 4 AM in Washington, D.C. There is zero evidence behind the conspiracy theory that Rich was gunned down while on his way to meet with the FBI (at 4:00 AM?) to discuss testifying against Hillary Clinton regarding election fraud in the 2016 primaries.
As noted by Rich’s hometown newspaper, the Omaha World-Herald, despite the lack of any substance to such rumors, WikiLeaks has since fanned the flames of speculation by offering a $20,000 reward for information about Rich’s killer:
Fevered political conspiracy theories about the death of Seth Rich have been swirling through online comment sections and websites ever since the Omaha native was gunned down early on July 10 close to his home in northwest Washington, D.C.
All indications from police have been that Rich’s death was most likely the result of a botched robbery — a sadly too-common case of a promising young man cut down simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But that hasn’t stopped wild Internet speculation from going viral, based in part on the fact that Rich worked at the Democratic National Committee. Internet commenters have suggested that Rich was behind the disclosure of DNC emails to WikiLeaks that helped force the resignation of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida as chairwoman. The conspiracy theorists got new ammunition when WikiLeaks announced a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in Rich’s death.
Never mind the evidence in favor of a robbery, the fact that the leaked emails were released well after his death or even that WikiLeaks itself stressed that the reward should not be taken as an implication that Rich was involved in the email leak.
Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Alice Kim said “there is no indication that Seth Rich’s death is connected to his employment at the DNC,” and a spokesman for the Rich family said that people “attempting to politicize this horrible tragedy” are “causing more harm than good”:
[S]ome are attempting to politicize this horrible tragedy, and in their attempts to do so, are actually causing more harm than good and impeding on the ability for law enforcement to properly do their job. For the sake of finding Seth’s killer, and for the sake of giving the family the space they need at this terrible time, they are asking for the public to refrain from pushing unproven and harmful theories about Seth’s murder.
o Former U.N. Diplomat John Ashe died in June 2016, and his death was quickly followed by conspiracy claims that he was about “to testify against Hillary Clinton in US District Court.” Although Ashe’s cause of death prompted some curious speculation (it was initially reported as a heart attack but subsequently attributed to a weightlifting accident), he was not about to testify against Hillary Clinton or the DNC at the time he died — he was set to begin pre-trial meetings related to corruption charges against himself.
o Writer Victor Thorn passed away in August 2016, by all accounts of a self-inflicted gunshot wound (i.e., suicide). Thorn wasn’t anyone who had “exposed the Clintons,” however — he was the author of conspiracy-mongering books contending that the Holocaust was a hoax and that Israel was responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. His books on the Clintons were in the same vein: long on sensationalist rumor, speculation, hearsay, conspiracy theory, and “just asking questions”-style insinuation, but short on documentation. (Examples: “Was Bill and Hillary’s much ballyhooed first meeting at Yale actually part of a much larger prearranged marriage engineered by shadowy New World Order figures whose ultimate plans led them to the White House?” and “Find out how during their academic careers, Bill and Hillary were recruited into the CIA under Operation CHAOS to subvert the anti-war movement.”)
o Shawn Lucas, best known for a viral video capturing him serving the DNC with a lawsuit in July 2016, passed away suddenly the following month. (Lucas was reportedly found dead in a bathroom; although officials have disclosed no specific cause of death yet, neither have they indicated that foul play is suspected.)
Lucas was not, as subsequently portrayed in conspiracy memes, the “lead attorney in the anti-Clinton DNC fraud case”; he was just a process server who delivered papers to the DNC notifying them of a lawsuit charging the organization with “fraud” in favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary process. Killing a process server after the fact as a means of suppressing a lawsuit makes no sense, especially when all the principal parties involved in the lawsuit remain alive and capable of talking.
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