A new conspiracy theory from the Q-Anon corners of the internet revives old false claims about the death of Seth Rich, and expands to include Vice President Mike Pence. Believers are calling for Pence to be arrested and charged, as it becomes clear that he will not be coming to Donald Trump’s rescue by somehow rejecting the electoral vote.
Okay, quick background on the Seth Rich conspiracy theories via NPR. Rich was working at the DNC in the summer of 2016, and was walking home late one night when he was attacked and murdered. However, Russian disinformation sources offered an alternative that conspiracy theorists quickly adopted: the idea that Rich had some kind of compromising information about Hillary Clinton, and she’d had him killed.
This conspiracy theory went so far, and did so much harm, that Rich’s parents ended up suing Fox News for some of the coverage, and according to Washington Post, finally resulted in the network paying a settlement over the emotional distress inflicted on the family.
Now, Donald Trump is telling his supporters that Mike Pence has the power to keep him in office after his election loss — a blatant lie. As some shift blame to the VP, there’s a new Q-Anon conspiracy theory.
Ron Watkins, a former 8kun/8chan admin, made a three part drop via a QAnon blog. Last part of the text is archived here: https://t.co/mvFrGq3Xk6
They refreshed the old Seth Rich conspiracy theory and by using a very Qish/flawed logic, concluded that Mike Pence is to blame pic.twitter.com/i5vZTBTxCs
— HoaxEye (@hoaxeye) January 6, 2021
The archived post is exactly the convoluted twisted mess you’d expect — but the central claim is that Pence helped engineer the Russian collusion investigation (which, in case anyone has forgotten, found ample evidence of collusion) so that Trump would be removed, making him President.
The author (Ron Watkins) goes on to say that he wrote a recent article instructing Pence on how to “choose from among competing slates of electors.” In real life, this isn’t a power the Vice President has and there are not competing slates of electors. There are the electors each state selected, certified and sent, and there are a bunch of people who claim to be electors but are not. Watkins claims Pence saw this article, agreed and planned to comply, and then changed his mind and backed off.
For this reason, Watkins is demanding (without any power or authority to do so) the arrest of Pence — for treason. He’s also issued a call to the Trump supporters in D.C. in case legal authorities don’t act: “Patriots – you are all in DC today for a reason.”
What's Your Reaction?
Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com