The White House gets served with a lawsuit, alleging that President Trump collaborated with Fox News to fabricate a story about murdered Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer, Seth Rich.
The lawsuit was filed by private investigator Rod Wheeler, claiming that, “Fox News was working with the Trump administration to disseminate fake news in order to distract the public from Russia’s alleged attempts to influence our Country’s presidential election.”
Seth Rich has been the subject of many interesting theories, with many saying that he was the staffer that leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks – leaks which ultimately culminated in the defeat of Hillary Clinton.
CNN recounted how Fox News originally pushed the Wikileaks theory, but suddenly pulled down all stories relating to Seth Rich, “The theory, however, resurfaced in May when Fox News published a story that quoted Rod Wheeler, a Fox News contributor and former homicide detective hired on the Rich family’s behalf by wealthy Republican businessman Ed Butowsky to investigate Rich’s death. According to the story, Wheeler said there was in fact evidence showing Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks. The story quickly fell apart when Wheeler contradicted aspects of it in an interview with CNN. Fox News eventually deleted it from its website, saying in a note left in its place that it failed to meet the network’s editorial standards.”
Wheeler, the man hired to investigate the murder, earlier argued that his evidence “shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks” and that “someone within the D.C. government, Democratic National Committee or Clinton team is blocking the investigation from going forward.” Wheeler’s interesting turn to sue the White House is quite confusing in light of this admission.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sander argued that, “The president had no knowledge of the story and its completely untrue that he or the White House [had] involvement in the story.” And that, “Beyond that, this is ongoing litigation and I’d refer you to the actual parties involved, which are not the White House.”
Fox News also denied what was claimed in the lawsuit and argued that Zimmerman – the reporter on Rich’s story—did not misquote information. “The accusation that FoxNews.com published Malia Zimmerman’s story to help detract from coverage of the Russia collusion issue is completely erroneous,” a Fox News spokesperson said in an email statement provided to The Hill.
“The retraction of this story is still being investigated internally and we have no evidence that Rod Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman,” the Fox representative claimed.
Sanders also addressed rumors that Sean Spicer helped coordinate the launch of the story with Fox and a wealthy GOP donor, “It doesn’t bother me that the press secretary would take a meeting with someone involved in the media about a story,” she said.
“You guys come to us with stories all day. I’ve taken meetings with the majority of people in this room. I don’t always know the nature of the story of which you are coming to talk to me about, but it’s my job to talk to you, “Sanders further argued.
Xochitl Hinojosa, the communications director for the DNC argued that in the event that the claims made in the lawsuit are true, “it is beyond vile that the White House — and possibly even Trump himself — would use the murder of a young man to distract the public’s attention from their chaotic administration and Trump’s ties to Russia.”
He begged for the press to change the subject, claiming , “The Rich family has begged those responsible for these conspiracies to stop. And yet, Trump’s allies have ignored their pain and their pleas, degrading the office of the president by spreading repulsive lies,” Hinojosa said. “This should outrage any decent human being. There is no excuse for the suffering that Trump’s associates and their conspirators at FOX have caused the Rich family and those closest to him. Both parties should denounce these sick and twisted tactics.”
Rich’s family expressed that hope that, “this [lawsuit] 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.”