The Federal Bureau of Investigation is requesting that a United States judge reconsider its decision that releases material from the laptop computer belonging to Seth Rich.
In the event that the courts somehow don’t order the information to be produced, the bureau seeks 66 years.
In the middle of 2016, Rich was working as an employee for the Democratic National Committee when he was murdered on a street in Washington, DC. To this day, nobody has been taken into custody in connection with the murder.
Brian Huddleston, a guy from Texas who submitted a Right to Information Act (FOIA) demand for the material, received a ruling in September from District Judge Amos Mazzant, a Barack appointment. The judge determined that the agency must pass over data retrieved from the computer to Huddleston.
The allegation made by the FBI that the right to privacy held by members of Rich’s family exceeded the need to protect the public interests was shot down by Mazzant, who pointed out that the FBI did not reference any applicable case law in support of their position.
However, attorneys for the United States said in a fresh petition that the decision was incorrect.
In such a motion for reconsideration, the attorneys argued that the bureau should not be required to produce the info because the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) contains exemptions for details that are compiled for purposes of law enforcement and “could realistically be expected to provide the identity of such a confidential informant.” Another exception that allows agencies to withhold material that might identify law enforcement tactics also applies, according to what they stated. This exemption allows for more privacy protections.
The motion stated that “given the Court’s findings that aside from the material pertaining to Seth Rich’s laptop which was withdrawn pursuant to Exclusions six and seven (C) based on confidentiality interests, the Federal bureau of investigation properly withheld and redacted all the other information sensitive to Huddleston’s requests,” the production order does seem inconsistent with the remainder of the order. “Given the findings that except for the data relating to Seth Rich’s laptop which was deferred pursuant to Exemptions 6 or 7(C
After first asserting that it had never taken possession of Rich’s laptop and any material from it, the FBI eventually admitted in the year 2020 that they had thousands of documents taken from the device.
According to a statement released by the government at the time, the FBI “is now working on obtaining the contents from Seth Rich’s private computer into a format to be examined.”
A source gave information and materials taken from the computer to an Intelligence officer during a conversation on March 15, 2018, according to a statement made by Federal records officer Michael Seidel. The meeting took place on March 15. He said that the folders included a variety of stuff, including images and papers, among other things.
In the new document, federal attorneys state that the FBI never retrieved the material, which it disclosed as having come from another law enforcement agency. They said that the material is on a disk drive that has photographs of the laptop on it.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation did not start an inquiry into the death of Seth Rich, nor did it give investigative or technical help to any probe into the death of Seth Rich,” the statement reads. As a direct consequence of this, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has never attempted to extract the data from the disk drive and has never attempted to analyze the information that is included on the disc, according to what they claimed.
According to the government’s interpretation of the Freedom of Material Act, in order for the FBI to provide the information, it would first need to turn the data found on the disc into pages and then evaluate those pages in order to redact any sensitive information.
In the event that Mazzant sustains his order, the Bureau requests a significant amount of time to do the task; specifically, 66 years, as well as 500 pages every month.
If the court decides not to grant the FBI’s petition, the agency requests that it be allowed to submit documents at a pace of five hundred pages each month. In an email to The Epoch Times, a lawyer for Huddleston said that “at that pace, it would take over 67 years merely to deliver the paperwork, never mind the photos and other data.”
“Having dealt with the Bureau for the last 5 years, I now operate on the assumption that the Government was lying to me until and until it shows otherwise. That the FBI is making such an effort to conceal documents pertaining to Seth Rich raises the issue of why they are doing so.
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has alleged that Rich was the one who released Democratic Central Committee (DNC) secrets to WikiLeaks, while Robert Mueller, the special counsel, has said that Russian hackers were the actual source. However, the findings of the Mueller investigation are at odds with those of CrowdStrike, the company that was contracted to examine how the DNC information was leaked.