Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, revived the baseless Seth Rich conspiracy theory on Twitter by citing a well-known conspiracy theorist. Giuliani also continues to boost Twitter accounts that have pushed another conspiracy theory, QAnon.
On August 26, Giuliani amplified a tweet by Matt Couch, a far-right conspiracy theorist, that had pushed a conspiracy theory about the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. According to the conspiracy theory, Rich was murdered as part of a cover-up because he was the source behind the leaked DNC emails published by WikiLeaks in 2016. Russian intelligence agents were reportedly partly responsible for planting the story. Authorities have said Rich’s death was the result of a botched robbery, and special counsel Robert Mueller directly debunked the conspiracy theory in the his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Right-wing media figures and outlets harassed Rich’s family over the conspiracy theory, and eventually Rich’s brother sued Couch and others for defamation.
Couch again tweeted about the conspiracy theory on August 25, questioning why “they called it a botched robbery and sue anyone who investigates it.” On Monday, Giuliani quote tweeted Couch and wrote, “I’d like to know.”
In text messages to The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer, Giuliani later claimed that he “didn’t support any conspiracy theory” but had “raised several nagging coincidences” about the case. He added, “Another new area of suspicion beyond a possible murder of convenience is the overreaction you all have to anyone raising any question about this unsolved murder.”
Giuliani has also repeatedly amplified Twitter accounts that have pushed the QAnon conspiracy theory. That conspiracy theory -- which started when an account titled “Q” claimed on a message board that Trump was working with Mueller to take down the president’s perceived enemies and the “deep state” -- has been tied to multiple acts of violence, including murders. In May, an FBI field office listed it as a potential domestic terrorism threat. (Giuliani is one of several figures in Trump’s orbit who have amplified or flirted with the conspiracy theory, including Trump himself.) Giuliani has retweeted and quote tweeted accounts that have supported the conspiracy theory at least eight times so far, including quote tweeting accounts that featured the QAnon slogan “Where we go one, we go all,” often abbreviated as “WWG1WGA,” in the text or their profile. He’s also retweeted Bill Mitchell, a conservative radio host who has previously boosted the conspiracy theory.
This is also not the first time Giuliani shared a tweet from Couch, who has also boosted material from the QAnon community. On August 16, Giuliani quote tweeted Couch, who had linked to a piece on his site hyping the supposed crowd size at a recent Trump rally.
In addition to being the president’s personal attorney, Giuliani is also a frequent guest on Fox News. According to Media Matters’ internal database, he has appeared on the network at least 37 times since the beginning of the year, including 12 times on Hannity and 11 times on The Ingraham Angle.