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NY Federal Judge requests Julian Assange testimony in Seth Rich case

Written By | Aug 6, 2020
Seth Rich, Rich, Assange, Wikileakes, Fox News

NEW YORK, NY:  A New York Federal Magistrate Judge has requested that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange give testimony in a US Civil lawsuit. That lawsuit is being brought against Fox News by the parents of Seth Rich.  US Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn officially requested assistance from a UK court. It was made under terms of the Hague convention to obtain Assange’s testimony.

“In the proper exercise of its authority, this court has determined that the evidence cannot be secured except by the intervention of the English courts and that assistance from the English courts would serve to further the international interests of justice and judicial cooperation,” the judge wrote in a memorandum for the senior master of the Royal Courts of Justice.
“Mr. Assange, as founder of WikiLeaks, is exceptionally suited to provide testimony that will be highly relevant to these issues. Therefore, Fox News, by and through this letter of request issued by the District Court, is formally requesting the testimony of Mr. Assange for use at trial,” the request to the UK court states.

As the Epoch Times reported:

Joel and Mary Rich, Seth Rich’s parents, sued Fox News in March 2018. Nearly a year after the news network published and retracted an article titled “Seth Rich, slain DNC staffer, had contact with WikiLeaks, say multiple sources.” (Family of Seth Rich Sues Fox News Over Debunked Wikileaks Story)

The Riches claimed the network inflicted intentional emotional distress on them by slandering their son. The case was dismissed in August 2018. But the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the dismissal more than a year later.

Seth Rich murder linked to WikiLeaks and the DNC?

The case has since entered the discovery phase and the judge determined that Assange’s testimony is crucial for determining the central dispute between the parties—whether the article was a “sham” as the Riches claim, or “substantially true” as maintained by Fox News.”

The Epoch Times continued:

Seth Rich was slain in Washington on July 10, 2016, less than 2 weeks before WikiLeaks “released a collection of thousands of internal emails and documents taken from the DNC servers,” the U.S. court request states.

One month after Rich’s murder, Assange brought up the DNC staffer’s name in an interview with a Dutch television reporter when discussing the dangers faced by WikiLeaks sources. On Aug. 9, 2016, WikiLeaks offered $20,000 for information about Rich’s murder. The website increased the reward to $130,000 in January 2017.”

“The magistrate judge’s request for assistance includes a list of 20 specific questions for Assange, including how, when, and from whom WikiLeaks obtained the stolen DNC emails and whether Seth Rich played any role in obtaining the emails or providing them to WikiLeaks.”

The Judge asked for a response from British Authorities by September 1st. Any interview of Assange would be done as a videotaped deposition. Assange currently sits in a UK prison awaiting possible extradition to the United States.

Julian Assange tells Fox’s Hannity: Wikileaks not from Russia

As the Gateway Pundit points out:
“Julian Assange has repeatedly said the documents did not come from Russia. And Robert Mueller interviewed hundreds of witnesses in his anti-Trump witch hunt but never got around to questioning Julian Assange who was the source of leaked DNC documents.”
“The parents of Seth Rich believe he had nothing to do with the leaked documents to Wikileaks.
They may not like what they find out.”
“On November 9, 2016 Ellen Ratner admitted publicly that she met with Julian Assange for three hours the Saturday before the 2016 election. According to Ratner, Julian Assange told her the leaks were not from the Russians, they were from an internal source from the Hillary Campaign.”

The Inner City Press reported the proceedings from the courtroom:
In the politically charged lawsuit of Seth Rich’s parents against Fox News the newsgathering privilege was invoked, but only partially vindicated.  U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn held a proceeding on August 4.
Fox’s lawyers cited the privilege; Rich’s parents’ lawyers said it was too late for that.
Judge Netburn begins by noting a “request for letters rogatory to seek the deposition of Julian Assange.”
Judge Netburn: You say you have a liability expert, to testify about the practices of Fox News? 
Richs’ lawyers: They call what they do “garden variety news gathering.” We want to focus on outrageousness. We have an expert on journalistic standards.
 Joseph Terry for Fox: We’d have an expert on that as well. 
Eden Quainton for Butowsky: We’d have an expert to say the leak was from a DNC insider – and that a story to that effect is not outrageous, but founded in fact.
Judge Netburn: So, a hack expert.
Judge Netburn: What about we extend fact discovery to the end of the year, but keep expert discovery to that limit as well?  Arun Subramanian for Joel and Mary Rich: We’ve be fine with that, subject to speaking with our brain trust (laughs).
Eden Quainton for Ed Butowsky: Our defense will be accuracy… So we’ll need for confer with many.
Ed Butowsky: Our Defense will be Accuracy

Ed Butowsky and Rod Wheeler are parties to the suit as sources for the Fox News reporting. Butowsky has filed a defamation suit against the NPR  and numerous media organizations in a Federal court in Texas. That suit is still pending. He insists that his reporting of the facts was correct.

Assange’s testimony would be crucial to ascertain the true source of the DNC emails. You would have thought someone would have talked with him officially years ago. Seems they were afraid of what he might say. They may be about to find out.

L.J. Keith

LJ Keith is a non-partisan commentator taking aim at all aspects of governmental domestic and foreign policy and the American socio-political landscape with an eye toward examining the functional realities of the modern age, how they can be understood, and what context to view the changing face of life in America and its place in the world at large.