Seth Rich family responds to lawsuit claiming White House helped FOX News push conspiracy about their son's death

The family of Seth Rich, a slain former Democratic National Committee staffer, responded to a new lawsuit that may shed light on the source of conspiracy theories about Rich's death.

On Tuesday, former FOX News contributor Rod Wheeler sued the network, alleging that it and a well-connected supporter of President Donald Trump knowingly pushed a thinly-sourced conspiracy theory about Rich's death to deflect from growing concerns about Trump's potential ties to Russia.

In a statement to Business Insider, Rich's family said it hoped the lawsuit puts an end to the various conspiracy theories swirling around Rich's death last year.

Slain DNC staffer Seth Rich and his family

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Slain DNC staffer Seth Rich and his family
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Slain DNC staffer Seth Rich and his family
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 4: Mary Rich, the mother of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich, gives a press conference in Bloomingdale on August 1, 2016. Seth Rich was gunned down in the DC neighborhood a month ago and the Rich's were imploring people for any information they may have about his killer. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
OMAHA, UNITED STATES - JANUARY 11: (L-R) Mary Rich and her husband, Joel Rich talk about the loss of their son in their home in Omaha, Nebraska, on January 11, 2017. Seth Rich, a 27-year-old staffer for the Democratic National Committee, was killed in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016. (Photo by Matt Miller for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
OMAHA, UNITED STATES - JANUARY 11: (L-R) Mary Rich and her husband, Joel Rich hold a photo of their son in their home in Omaha, Nebraska, on January 11, 2017. Seth Rich, a 27-year-old staffer for the Democratic National Committee, was killed in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on July 10, 2016. (Photo by Matt Miller for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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"While we can't speak to the evidence that you now have, we are hopeful that this brings an end to what has been the most emotionally difficult time in our lives and an end to conspiracy theories surrounding our beloved Seth," the family said in a statement.

Wheeler, a former Metropolitan Police Department officer, was a key figure in a series of debunked stories claiming that Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks before his death. FOX News, which reported the story online and on television, retracted it in June.

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States with the highest and lowest Trump job approval ratings
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States with the highest and lowest Trump job approval ratings

Idaho

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Utah

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Montana

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Wyoming

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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North Dakota

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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South Dakota

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Nebraska

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Kansas

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Oklahoma

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Arkansas

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Louisiana

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Alabama

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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South Carolina

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Tennessee 

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Kentucky

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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West Virginia

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Alaska

Approval rating: 50% or higher

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Massachusetts

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Vermont

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Rhode Island

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Connecticut

Approval rating: Below 40%

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New Jersey

Approval rating: Below 40%

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New York

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Delaware

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Maryland

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Virginia

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Illinois

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Minnesota

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Colorado

Approval rating: Below 40%

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New Mexico

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Washington

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Oregon

Approval rating: Below 40%

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California

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Hawaii

Approval rating: Below 40%

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Rich's family has repeatedly called for an end to the bizarre saga, criticizing right-wing media figures like Sean Hannity for perpetuating unfounded theories about Rich's death.

Police have said repeatedly that Rich was shot during an attempted robbery while he was walking home from a bar in Washington, DC.

SEE ALSO: World leader taunts Trump over popular vote lose

Yet the staffer's death has become the source of wild speculation, as right-wing media figures fanned unproven speculation that Rich was killed for leaking embarrassing internal emails of DNC staffers during the 2016 election. Numerous US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian intelligence hacked and leaked internal DNC communications.

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