Lawsuit Attacks Fox News and Trump: Claims Seth Rich Conspiracy Manufactured to Distract from Fake Russian Investigation
A lawsuit has been filed by an investigator hired by murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich’s family claiming that Fox News and President Donald Trump collaborated to put out a fake story to divert attention from the fake news of Russian collusion by the Trump administration.
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First, let’s put to bed the idea that the Trump administration was colluding with the Russians. It’s been admitted by fake news giant CNN that the entire coverage of Russian collusion is fake news.
We reported on the story of Washington police detective Rod Wheeler alleged statements, but it wasn’t only his statements, but those of a federal investigator, as well.
According to the plaintiff’s claims, the motive behind the report was “to shift the blame from Russia and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to influence the outcome of the Presidential election.”
Wheeler claims that Fox News’ report amounts to defamation.
Yet, on May 16, Wheeler spoke to Sean Hannity and listen to what he reveals in his own words.
Wheeler said that someone he knows, who is “very credible,” claimed to have viewed Seth Rich’s emails to Wikileaks. He also said he “has very little communication with” those who secretly financed his investigation.
“Maybe it is related to the DNC…a high ranking member of the DNC called the Rich family and wanted to know why was I snooping around,” he said.
Now, why would he do this? And furthermore, why would he now file a lawsuit over this matter? Something is rotten in Denmark when it comes to Rod Wheeler.
Wheeler retracted statements from a Fox News report and according to his lawsuit:
“Mr. Wheeler — who was the only named source quoted in the article — did not make these statements,” states the complaint. “According to Butowsky, the statements were falsely attributed to Mr. Wheeler because that is the way the President wanted the article. Zimmerman, Butowsky and Fox had created fake news to advance President Trump’s agenda. Mr. Wheeler was subsequently forced to correct the false record and, as a result, lost all credibility in the eyes of the public. Mr. Wheeler has suffered irreparable damage to his reputation and his career will likely never recover.”
Zero Hedge adds:
According to Wheeler’s lawsuit, Butowsky reportedly approached the private investigator in February and offered to finance an investigation into Rich’s murder for Zimmerman’s story, but it was all just an elaborate setup.
“Butowsky and Zimmerman were not simply Good Samaritans attempting to solve a murder,” Wheeler said in the suit. They “hoped that, if they could confirm that Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, that would debunk reports the Russians were responsible for the DNC hacks.”
The allegedly faked quotes used in the story, attributed to Wheeler, include, “My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and Wikileaks.” Wheeler was also falsely quoted saying the Democratic National Committee or Clinton’s team were blocking the murder investigation, according to Bloomberg.
The first paragraph of the lawsuit includes a screen shot of a May 14 text message, which Wheeler claims was sent by Butowsky, which indicates the president had reviewed the article before it was published:
“Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article,” the text message reads. “He wants the article out immediately. It’s now all up to you. But don’t feel the pressure.”
“The first page of the lawsuit quotes a voicemail and text from Butowsky boasting that President Trump himself had reviewed drafts of the Fox News story just before it went to air and was published,” NPR writes.
While Fox News did retract their story, claiming that it wasn’t “subjected” to a “high degree of editorial scrutiny,” the President of Fox News, Jay Wallace issued a statement saying that the idea that they published a story to detract from the Russian collusion story is “completely erroneous.”
First, “Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed,” the Fox News statement read.
“The accusation that FoxNews.com published Malia Zimmerman’s story to help detract from coverage of the Russia collusion issue is completely erroneous,” Wallace’s statement read.
“The retraction of this story is still being investigated internally and we have no evidence that Rod Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman,” he added.
“Additionally, 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 concluded.
Statement from Jay Wallace, president of news at Fox News pic.twitter.com/Bohlw5snSU
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) August 1, 2017
According to Wheeler’s attorney, “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. Rod Wheeler, unfortunately, was used as a pawn by Ed Butowsky, Fox News and the Trump administration to try and steer away the attention that was being given about the Russian hacking of the DNC e-mails.”
Now, why the sudden change of heart here? Furthermore, isn’t this kind of statement lacking credible evidence?
Doesn’t this sound like something that would come out of CNN?
Isn’t this a “he said, she said” scenario? If not, where is the evidence?
Additionally, far from the Trump administration admitting to anything that Wheeler is claiming, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said of Ed Butowsky,
“Ed’s been a longtime supporter of the president and asked to meet to catch up.”
“I didn’t know who Rod Wheeler was. Once we got into my office, [Butowsky] said, ‘I’m sure you recognize Rod Wheeler from Fox News.’ ”
Spicer says Butowsky laid out what they had found about the case. “It had nothing to do with advancing the president’s domestic agenda — and there was no agenda,” Spicer says now. “They were just informing me of the [Fox] story.”
After the retraction, Butowsky tweeted, “This shows Rod Wheeler has a major battle with the truth. Everyone needs to hear this. He says the precise words he swears he didn’t say???”
Why the racial charge made it into the lawsuit is anyone’s guess, but Wheeler’s attorney also represents several other current and former Fox staffers who’ve claimed similar things.
Let this be a lesson to any reporter. When quoting someone, always record the entire conversation.