White House-Fox-Seth Rich timeline alleged in suit

Rod Wheeler

The now-retracted story, written by reporter Malia Zimmerman, had suggested Rich was in communication with Wikileaks, implying that he-not Russian hackers-was the source of DNC emails published by the site.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday by former homicide detective Rod Wheeler claims Fox News distorted his findings alleges that President Donald Trump personally reviewed the report before it aired May 15.

In response to Wheeler's lawsuit, Fox News' Jay Wallace told Deadline in a statement, "The accusation that FoxNews.com published Malia Zimmerman's story to help detract from coverage of the Russian Federation collusion issue is completely erroneous". The story quoted an unnamed source with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who said Rich had sent more than 44,000 internal DNC emails to WikiLeaks. Wheeler's suit claims "Fox News defamed him by manufacturing two false quotations and attributing them to him and ruining his reputation by blaming him as the deceptive story fell apart", NPR writes.

The lawsuit is from Rod Wheeler, a former Washington, D.C., detective who was investigating the killing of DNC staffer Seth Rich.

21st Century Fox, reporter Malia Zimmerman and wealthy Trump supporter Butowsky are named as defendants in the suit.

April 18 - According to the lawsuit, Butowsky allegedly texts Wheeler to ask him to join a meeting with White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Rich was shot and killed near his Washington, D.C. apartment last June, less than two weeks before 19,000 DNC emails were published on WikiLeaks. He wants the article out immediately.

An investigator who worked on the Seth Rich case claims Fox News fabricated quotes implicating the murdered Democratic National Committee staffer in the WikiLeaks scandal and co-ordinated with the Trump administration as it worked on the story. "Notwithstanding Ofcom's inquiries into Fox's ability to convey news in a nonpartisan manner, the collaboration appears only to have deepened since President Trump's Administration took over the White House".

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The White House had no immediate comment.

To NPR, both Spicer and Butowsky deny that the president reviewed the story. His lawsuit, filed Tuesday in NY, lays out an explosive tale 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 show the president its story before it was published.

This article and these quotes became the basis of Fox News' reporting on the story.

Although the claims that the White House collaborated on the Rich story are explosive if true, many news organizations have focused in on Fox News as the villain here.

As this is all happening, Wheeler and Butowsky meet with Sean Spicer at the White House to go over Butowsky's claims. The suit alleges that he met with Sean Spicer at the White House, and that in May, before the story ran, President Trump saw the article.

So, no, you can't believe everything his suit says. Wheeler has been contributing to Fox News for more than a decade, even through this weekend.

The essence of the real scandal here (the details of which are unfortunately too involved for most people to really understand) is that the insane Seth Rich conspiracy was launched on Fox News with direct involvement from Trump for the expressed goal of muddying the waters on, and distracting from, the Russian Federation investigation. Asked by CNN for confirmation that Rich had been discussed during that meeting, Spicer responded, "They told me they were working on a story about him and wanted me to be aware of it - that was it". In a segment, Wheeler backed up a claim by Bill O'Reilly that there were roving gangs of pistol-packing lesbians terrorizing and raping women. "The retraction of this story is being investigated internally and we have no evidence that Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman".

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