Court orders FBI to produce Seth Rich laptop more than 6 years after his murder

by WorldTribune Staff, October 2, 2022

A federal judge on Sept. 29 ordered the FBI to “produce the information it possesses” related to the laptop of murdered Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich.

Seth Rich

U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant gave the FBI 14 days from the day of the order to respond to plaintiff Brian Huddleston’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

According to court documents, the federal judge’s order was the result of a five-year court battle between the FBI and Ty Clevenger, the attorney representing Huddleston.

Huddleston first submitted a FOIA request to the FBI on September 1, 2017 in an effort to obtain information to help his investigation into Rich’s potential involvement in the DNC e-mail leaks that occurred in June 2016.

The case has sparked two FOIA lawsuits. In the first lawsuit, the FBI produced no responsive documents. In the second lawsuit, the FBI somehow found 20,000 pages of potentially responsive documents.

Of those 20,000 pages, the government found 1,596 pages of responsive documents, of which the government withheld 1,469 pages under various FOIA exemptions (privacy, law enforcement exemption, etc.)

The FBI also withheld the contents of Rich’s personal laptop, which it possesses, in its entirety, alleging the privacy of Rich’s family in “preventing the public release of this information” outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

The court rejected that argument, stating “the FBI has not satisfied its burden of showing more than a de minimis privacy interest that would justify withholding information from Seth Rich’s laptop.”

On July 22, 2016, just 12 days after Rich was murdered and days before the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks released 20,000 DNC emails.

Related: Death of DNC lawsuit processor, on heels of earlier murder of DNC staffer, sparks conspiracy rumors, August 5, 2016

Rich’s murder remains unsolved.

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