Lawsuit alleges White House was complicit in Fox News conspiracy peddling

03 August, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • The lawsuit claims Donald Trump wanted the story published to divert attention from the widening investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia

The case has been seized upon by conspiracy fabulists, resulting in unsupported claims that Rich - rather than the perp fingered by the U.S. intelligence community, Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU - leaked the DNC emails that contributed to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's election loss a year ago.

Fox News published a "bombshell" story in May 2017 about the death of Rich, expounding on a claim from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that the DNC staffer's death was connected to the 2016 leak of thousands of Democratic Party emails in 2016.

Wheeler alleges that Fox News and a wealthy Trump supporter wanted the conspiracy to take attention off of the growing probe by investigators into possible connections between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

Butowsky offered to pay for Wheeler to investigate the death, and a month before the story ran the pair met at the White House with then-press secretary Sean Spicer to brief him on the developments they were supposedly uncovering.

"Fox News vehemently denies the race discrimination claims in the lawsuit - the dispute between Zimmerman and Rod Wheeler has nothing to do with race", Wallace, president of News for Fox News, said in his statement to USA TODAY. The story was published under pressure from President Donald Trump, Wheeler claims.

Right off the bat, Butowsky disputed Wheeler's allegations that he coordinated with the White House on the Fox News story, stating that Wheeler is "dead broke" and that the private investigator wanted a job with the Trump administration.

Longtime contributor Rod Wheeler filed the lawsuit against Fox News Channel on Tuesday in the Southern District of NY.

Meanwhile, Spicer's replacement as press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that the president had absolutely no knowledge of the Fox News story.

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A text message that Ed Butowsky allegedly sent to Rod Wheeler.

A new suit is alleging that Fox News is fake news - and that the President signed off on a story with false quotes.

She went on to become an investigative reporter on Fox News.

Washington's Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the July 2016 fatal shooting of 27-year-old Rich, saying there is evidence to suggest the murder took place during a botched robbery. "But don't feel the pressure", Butowsky's text to Wheeler went on, according to the suit.

Cuomo also brought up the Fox News story that was eventually retracted. The lawsuit claims Butowsky wrote: "I'm actually the one who's been putting this together but as you know, I keep my name out of things because I have no credibility".

Butowsky did not immediately comment to CNBC for this article. However, in a little-noticed statement on May 22 from Wheeler published on FetchYourNews, the former D.C. detective said, "I am of the personal opinion that the information/article reported by FoxNews Channel last Tuesday was essentially correct and worthy of further investigation". He told the outlet "it had nothing to do with advancing the president's domestic agenda" and "they were just informing" him of the Fox story.

Butowsky told CNN's Chris Cuomo that when he met with Spicer about his findings, he did not tell the press secretary the goal of the meeting beforehand.

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