A lawsuit filed today against Fox alleges that Fox News fabricated parts of a story about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, the AP reports.
The defamation suit was filed in New York by Rod Wheeler, an investigator who worked on the case. Wheeler reportedly claims Fox News made up quotes implicating Rich in the WikiLeaks scandal.
Wheeler also says President Trump pressured Fox to publish the story, the AP reports.
“The lawsuit tells an explosive story of Trump allies conspiring to push a false story to take the pressure of the Russian collusion investigation off the president, and a news organization willing to work with Trump and show him their story before it was published,” the AP reports.
Neither the White House nor Fox News had commented for the story.
“Wheeler, a Fox contributor who looked into Rich’s July 2016 murder for the family, was brought into the case by Ed Butowsky, a Texas man and Trump supporter who appeared frequently on Fox, the lawsuit said. Butowsky was intent on establishing a link between Rich, who was killed in July 2016 in what Washington police believe was a botched robbery, and the WikiLeaks scandal,” the AP reports.
The story ran May 16 on the Fox website. In it Wheeler is quoted saying there had been contact between Rich and WikiLeaks, the AP reports, adding: “He also said he was quoted falsely saying that someone — possibly Democrats or Clinton campaign officials — was blocking an investigation into Rich’s murder.”
Fox pulled the story from the website about a week after it was published, and Sean Hannity, who had made the story a focal point of his on-air coverage, had to back away from it.
Here’s an appearance by Wheeler on “Hannity” discussing the case, posted by Fox News on May 16, 2017 …