Republican lobbyist says murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich linked to Russian operatives

A Republican lobbyist says he has new evidence that links the murder of a Democratic National Committee staffer to Russian operatives.

Jack Burkman, who has put up reward money in the case of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, says a former U.S. intelligence officer came to him with the new lead.

"I was approached by a guy who styles himself as a former U.S. intel officer," Burkman said. "I quizzed him. I think he's credible - you never know the motive of people. But what he said is basically this - that Seth discovered that the Russians had been hacking and therefore the Russian government did away with Seth."

Burkman's commitment to help solve the murder case, he said, comes from his empathy for the family especially Rich's mother.

Burkman said he has asked Congress to investigate Russian ties to Rich's murder but has not received a response. "It's the media that can really solve this, not me, not the police, not the FBI, not anybody. It's the powerful spotlight that can bring information to us," he said.

"My job is simply to help the family, to represent the family, to get them what they want which is closure," Burkman continued.

He said that since becoming involved with the investigation he is fearful and he has hired private security for his family. "But once you get into these things you just have to keep going," he said. "I'm not a quitter. So we'll pursue it to the end wherever the evidence leads. I will get it done."

Burkman said that he has received numerous 'prank' tips and added that this new information is, what he believes, to be the first credible information in this case. "We are getting close to independent corroboration of what this guy has told us - because he didn't give us a lot," Burkman said.

$150,000 is being offered as a reward in the Rich murder case with $105,000 being contributed by Burkman. "If somebody comes forth they'll have to probably get out of town," he said. "I don't know much about the business of 'murder incorporated,' but if 'A' reports on 'B' - somebody is going to want to do something to 'A'. 'A' may have to go live in Seattle, Washington or something like that - or God knows where, China. So 'A' is going to need some money. So that's why I did it."

Burkman said any and all tip into the case are welcome. He asks anyone with information to call him at 703-795-5364.

Rich was gunned down on July 10th, 2016 in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Northwest D.C. Police ask anyone with information to call 202-727-9099.