Right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi on Monday officially retracted and apologized for an InfoWars article he wrote in 2018 claiming that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich (and his brother Aaron Rich) leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks during the 2016 election.
“Dr. Corsi acknowledges that his allegations were not based upon any independent factual knowledge regarding Seth or Aaron Rich,” a statement on InfoWars read. The website claimed that Corsi based his false claims off a Washington Times column by retired Adm. James Lyons, which was also retracted late last year.
“It was not Dr. Corsi’s intent to rely upon inaccurate information, or to cause any suffering to Mr. Rich’s family,” the statement read. “To that end, Dr. Corsi retracts the article and apologizes to the Rich family.”
Corsi also echoed the apology to the Rich family on his personal Twitter account. “As Christians gentleman [sic], I have sympathy for the suffering the Seth Rich family has gone through. I hope all will understand that. God Bless,” he wrote, while going out of his way to note for his more conspiracy-minded followers that he was not “threatened” into retracting.
A lawyer for Aaron Rich told CNN the retraction was an "important step toward obtaining justice” for the family. “We will continue to litigate our defamation claims against conspiracy theorists who refuse to retract & apologize for similar false statements,” the statement read.
The article was one of many featured on Alex Jones’ far-right conspiratorial website describing Seth Rich as a Bernie Sanders supporter who leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks as revenge against the committee backing Hillary Clinton as the party’s candidate. Corsi wrote that Rich was the “likely perpetrator” in the leak because he was “implicated in breaches of email systems,” and he was killed for providing the dump to the website.
The Daily Beast previously reported Corsi did acknowledge the fact that hackers—not Rich—were behind the DNC leak in August 2016 emails to his friend and long-time Trump confidant Roger Stone, who has been accused of obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his communications between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign.
Corsi’s original article, titled “Anti-Trump Left Tries to Revive Dying ‘Russia’ Narrative by Blaming Roger Stone,” now redirects to InfoWars retraction and apology. However, and despite the seeming contrition, all three parts of Corsi’s “investigative series” into the right-wing conspiracy theory—including articles titled “Seth Rich Mystery: DNC Leaks Came from Inside, Not Russian Hackers” and “New Evidence Suggests Seth Rich Was DNC Leaker”—remain on the InfoWars website.