A former student was arrested Saturday for an alleged violent attack on the man who hired him to investigate the murder of a former Democratic National Committee employee.
Kevin Doherty, an alumnus and ex-Marine, volunteered – along with several other graduate students – last year to take part in a project investigating the murder of Seth Rich, a former DNC staffer killed in the summer of 2016. Police have suspected Rich’s death to be the result of a robbery gone wrong, but his killing has spurred political conspiracy theories among far-right outlets.
Jack Burkman, a conservative, anti-Trump lobbyist, launched the Profiling Project last year to look into the death. He took on 12 graduate students in GW’s forensic psychology program to help conduct research out of his lab in Arlington, Va.
Burkman alleged that Doherty attempted to kill him earlier this month while Burkman was on the hunt for supposed documents about misconduct in the FBI, The Washington Post reported.
Burkman was shot multiple times and run over by an SUV March 13, according to The Post. Burkman said police tracked down Doherty, 46, through the SUV and arrested him Saturday on charges of malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Burkman told The Post that Doherty, who graduated from GW last year, was cut from the Profiling Project in July after attempting to lead the investigation and speaking to reporters without permission. The project produced a report, disputed by both the police and the Rich family, which found that a hit man or serial killer was likely responsible for the Rich murder.
“I just figured the matter was closed,” Burkman said in an interview with The Post. “But what happened is, I guess, he was simmering and simmering and simmering.”
Burkman was allegedly attacked March 13 as he attempted to uncover information about wrongdoing in the 2016 presidential elections.
In February, Burkman had offered a $25,000 reward for FBI whistleblowers who could provide damaging information, and shortly thereafter, a man claiming to be a senior FBI official reached out with supposed information about then-agency deputy director Andrew McCabe. McCabe was fired last week after an internal investigation revealed that he had lied about his interactions with the news media, allegations McCabe denies and claims are politically motivated.
The source gave Burkman two packets of emails under a cone in a Rosslyn, Va. hotel garage, which he said “looked super real,” according to The Post.
As Burkman went to the garage to retrieve more supposed documents on McCabe, he said he was shot in the thigh and buttocks and ran over twice by an SUV.
Burkman was also assaulted in January when a masked man came to his house in an SUV and attacked him with pepper spray, according to The Post. He said he never suspected Doherty of the attack.
“We went through a thousand possibilities,” Burkman told the Post. “Kevin was not on the list.”