High-profile and outspoken financial adviser Ed Butowsky took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to make an apology to the brother of Seth Rich, a former employee of the Democratic National Committee whose murder in the summer of 2016 gave life to right-wing conspiracy theories involving leaked Democratic National Committee emails.
In a curious development to a strange, twisting tale, Butowsky, managing director of Chapwood Capital Investment Management, then deleted the three Tweets later Tuesday, but not before they were saved by Will Sommer, a reporter at the Daily Beast. Aaron is Seth Rich’s brother, and Butowsky admitted in the Tweets he had made serious mistakes in past assertions about Aaron.
“During 2017 and 2018 I made a number of comments stating or implying that Aaron Rich, the brother of Seth Rich who was tragically murdered in July 2016, had been involved in downloading and transferring emails from the DNC to WikiLeaks and receiving payment in exchange,” Butowsky wrote in his first Tweet.
He then wrote: “I never had physical proof to back up any such statements or suggestions, which I now acknowledge I should not have made. Accordingly, I now retract and apologize for any statement I have made asserting or implying that Aaron Rich downloaded or transferred DNC emails to WikiLeaks or received payment in exchange.”
“Ed Butowsky, the wealthy conservative who was involved in Fox News’s fallacious story on murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, is apologizing to Rich’s brother Aaron for suggesting he stole Democratic emails,” Sommer wrote on Twitter. “The retraction is presumably part of an upcoming legal settlement.”
Butowsky declined to comment to InvestmentNews but forwarded a message that matched the apology to Aaron Rich on Twitter.
In August 2017, Butowsky was named in two high-profile lawsuits related to a later retracted Fox News story about Seth Rich. The two lawsuits also named Fox News and a Fox News reporter, Malia Zimmerman. One suit was brought by Mr. Rich’s parents and the other by Rod Wheeler, an investigator looking into Mr. Rich’s death for his parents.
The defamation lawsuits were dismissed by a federal judge in New York a year later.
“Anybody who did anything negative to me as a result of the lawsuit will pay,” Butowsky told InvestmentNews after the lawsuits were dismissed. “I’m going to sue the hell out of a lot of firms. I want to see these people choke on their nerves and go through the same crap I had to go through.”
Charles Schwab, the largest custodians for registered investment advisers like Chapwood, in 2018 kicked the firm off the platform. He later sued the company for $100 million claiming defamation, with that complaint winding up in arbitration.
Seth Rich’s killer has not been found.
“I take full responsibility for my comments and I apologize for any pain I have caused,” Bukowsky wrote in the since deleted Tweet. “I sincerely hope the Rich family is able to find out who murdered their son and bring this tragic chapter in their lives to a close.”
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