Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was shot and killed in 2016 in what authorities have concluded was an attempted robbery.
Since his death, conservative media has pointed to loose links to former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and WikiLeaks as their evidence that he was murdered for political purposes. Recent developments regarding former FBI Director James Comey’s firing and the investigation into potential collusion between President Trump’s administration and the Russian government were also met with accusations of a cover-up in Rich’s death.
Rich’s family has since asked members of the conservative media to stop touting the conspiracy theory.
On Tuesday, Fox News retracted one of their stories regarding Rich.
The network published the following in a statement on their website:
On May 16, a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich. The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed.
We will continue to investigate this story and will provide updates as warranted.
There are questions wondering what the announcement means for media figures like Fox News anchor Sean Hannity, who has dedicated much time to the theory:
Rich’s brother, Aaron, addressed a letter to Hannity, asking him to think about how the family felt after their loved one became the subject of “baseless accusations” in “a vast conspiracy.”
“It is a travesty that you would prompt false conspiracy theories and other people’s agendas rather than work with the family to learn the truth,” he criticized.