Ed Butowsky Keeps Changing his Story on the Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory

Abe Gaustad
3 min readMar 20, 2018
Ed Butowsky

Republican money manager Ed Butowsky has found himself on the wrong end of a couple lawsuits recently, and his changing stories aren’t doing him any favors.

Butowsky has been at the center of the conspiracy theory that Seth Rich was responsible for delivering thousands of stolen DNC emails to Wikileaks. His involvement appears to have begun in December, 2016, when he first got into contact with the Rich family. He claims that he merely wanted to pass along information that he had heard from a source that he has never identified.

But Butowsky’s story of that first phone call has changed significantly. In July of 2017 he told the conservative media outlet World Net Daily about his conversation with Joel Rich:

“I shared with them what I knew. They said, ‘We don’t believe you.’ I said, ‘Fine, I don’t know you. I just wanted to make sure that if I could bring relief to somebody that I did.”

But in an interview with The Gateway Pundit in March of 2018, Butowsky’s story about that initial phone call changed substantially:

“I got them on the phone and I shared with them the information that this man had wanted them to know. What I told them was that I was told that your sons downloaded the emails from the DNC server and sold them to WikiLeaks,” Butowsky stated. “Mr. Rich said, and I didn’t see him — it was over the phone, ‘Ed, we already know that. That’s not new information to us.’”

In other recent interviews Butowsky has claimed that Seth Rich’s parents have confirmed that their son was Wikileaks’ source for the DNC emails. In a lawsuit filed in federal district court, the Riches strongly deny that accusation. Butowsky’s earlier description of the initial exchange appears to support their claim.

So why did Butowsky’s story change? Despite his portrayal of himself as a nice guy with no connections who merely wanted to pass along information that he had heard, Butowsky has been persistent in pushing the claim that Seth Rich was behind the hacking of the DNC emails. In an email to various Fox News personalities, Butowsky took credit for a story that Fox News later retracted:

I’m actually the one who’s been putting this together but as you know I keep my name out of things because I have no credibility.

(Source: Rich family lawsuit https://www.npr.org/documents/2018/mar/seth-rich-fox-news-lawsuit.pdf)

While Butowsky and others managed to publish an article blaming Seth Rich for the DNC email hack, that article was retracted a week later and the story began to lose steam. Given Butowsky’s desire to push the story, it seems likely that he is mischaracterizing his initial contact with the Rich family in order to keep the discredited conspiracy theory alive — at least in conservative media circles. With lawsuits pending against him, such a strategy may end up being quite costly.