The FBI records vault now hosts two PDFs of unclassified documents related to murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich. The first batch, which shows a creation date of June 21, 2021, is 137 pages. The second, with a creation date of July 8, contains 5 pages.
UncoverDC reported on the 68 pages made public on April 23 and 121 pages on May 7, both released by attorney Ty Clevenger. Clevenger had filed a lawsuit against the FBI on behalf of a man whose initial FOIA request had been denied. Winning that suit forced the FBI to release the responsive records it initially denied existed.
The first 77 pages of the 137-page document contain what appears to be the 68 pages that have been available since April 23, plus an additional 9 indexing pages. The rest are new to the public and consist mostly of a variety of 302’s that summarize interviews and evidence from the FBI’s investigations into Rich’s murder and the DNC server breach. One interviewee was a personal acquaintance of Rich, and another interview involved the FBI’s Cyber Division. There are also mentions of FireEye, the Internet Research Agency, and a prosecutorial strategy meeting following the CyberCaliphate breach of the Department of Defense social media accounts in 2015.
In December 2019, Clevenger received an email from an attorney representing the FBI which stated that the initial search by the FBI for records responsive to Clevenger’s FOIA had found “approximately 50 cross-reference serials, with attachments totaling over 20,000 pages, in which Seth Rich is mentioned.” The FBI attorney’s email also stated, “[The] FBI is also currently working on getting the files from Seth Rich’s personal laptop into a format to be reviewed.”
Rich’s laptop is also mentioned in these new files as having been collected on May 19 by the FBI from law firm Perkins Coie. It is unclear why counsel for Hillary Clinton and the DNC would have had it. Diana West writes:
“Perkins Coie, legal counsel of the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, has its fingerprints are all over the old Russia Hoax, beginning with hiring Fusion GPS to concoct the fake Steele dossier and hiring Crowdstrike to fake-investigate the DNC email leak. Now the firm of Marc Elias (Kamala Harris campaign counsel) and Michael Sussman and Robert Bauer ( wife Anita Dunn) is a link in the chain of custody of the Seth Rich laptop.”
Further, she interprets the new release as referring to two Rich laptops:
“These pages distinguish between Seth Rich’s personal laptop, which an unknown person took to an unknown house, where it suffered a redacted fate, and Seth Rich’s work laptop, which the assistant US Attorney and redacted others are aware of as being in the possession of the FBI. The AUSA requested a ‘forensic image’ of the laptop.”
What may have been on the laptops, or what may still be on them or any copy, is not near all that is left to be seen. One 302 notes that the interview it summarizes was audio recorded, one filing references a DVD, and Clevenger’s FOIA case is ongoing.
On June 15, Clevenger filed a Motion to Compel requesting the court force the FBI to show unredacted versions of the documents withheld from the original 68-page release, noting that 507 pages and a computer disk were exempted. Clevenger’s motion claimed “…the FBI has been playing word games in an attempt to conceal responsive records” and requested a hearing and in-camera review of them all. The motion further stated:
“Plaintiff noted that the FBI previously made false representations… claiming that it could not locate any records about Seth Rich. The FBI recently admitted to this Court that it has thousands of responsive pages and, as set forth below, the FBI has now admitted that it was already in possession of at least some of those documents at the very time that it claimed it was unable to locate any responsive documents… At this point, the FBI has an established history of hiding records, especially records about Seth Rich… Furthermore, the FBI’s initial production, in this case, shows that it is still trying to hide information from the public via excessive and improper redactions.”
On June 28, FBI counsel responded, and on July 6, Judge Amos Louis Mazzant III, an Obama appointee, denied the Motion to Compel. Clevenger has not posted about this development, nor the documents now hosted at the FBI’s vault.
The smaller 5-page document, hosted at the vault, starts with two reference pages followed by three pages of an internal Department of Justice (DOJ) email chain. It involves a civil rights/civil liberties complaint against James Comey and Robert Mueller. Though details are largely redacted, it appears to have been filed on May 17, 2017, from within the FBI through a general hotline before being forwarded to igeneral@OIG.USDOJ.GOV. The complaint alleges violations starting in 2015 and requests that the document be shared with Mueller himself along with Assistant Secretary Rod Rosenstein. It is unclear where Seth Rich’s name would have appeared on this document.
The final pages of the larger new document contain salacious emails that have spread quickly through social channels because they make claims that Mueller and Hillary Clinton were complicit in Rich’s murder. However, these are most likely private citizen emails sent to the FBI office and kept on file by procedure rather than due to their relevance.