Seth Rich Investigator Files Lawsuit Against Fox News, Claims President Trump Had a Hand in Forging Fake News Report

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Back on May 16th, private investigator Rod Wheeler said in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity that he 'had very little communication with' the secret third party who helped finance his investigation into the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. In that same interview, he also said that he knew of someone, that was very credible, who claimed he saw Seth Rich's email(s) to Wikileaks. Watch, in his own words -- claiming that the DC police shut him down each time he asked about the Wikileaks.

"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."

  Now, all of a sudden, Mr. Wheeler is having a change of heart. He's claiming that, Malia Zimmerman, author of the fake Fox News article that wrongly attributed two quotes to Wheeler that had not been said, which has since been retracted, wanted to 'shift the blame from Russia and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to influence the outcome of the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." Named in Wheeler's suit are Zimmerman and Fox News contributor Ed Butowsky -- a friend to former Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Steve Bannon. According to Wheeler, Butowsky approached Wheeler in February with an offer to finance an independent investigation into the unsolved murder of Seth Rich. Bear in mind, Wheeler had said, on the record, that he was hired by the Rich family and had very little contact with the anonymous third party who was financing the whole thing. Wheeler now alleges Butowsky contacted him about investigating the Rich case, but warned him to "Make sure to play down Fox News. Don't mention you know Malia." Source: Bloomberg

"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.

  Wheeler claims that Butowsky kept Spicer, Bannon and DOJ director of public affairs, Sarah Flores, apprised on his findings. Ms. Flores flatly denied having any contact with Butowsky this year, saying “I have not communicated with Mr. Butowsky at any point this year." According to the suit, Wheeler said President Trump wanted the bogus quotes attributed to Wheeler in the Fox story, saying “that is the way the President wanted the article."

The first paragraph of Wheeler’s complaint includes a screen shot of a May 14 text message to Wheeler by Butowsky that reads: “Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article. He wants the article out immediately. It’s now all up to you. but don’t feel the pressure."

Wheeler's attorney issued the following statement:

“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.”

  NPR has confirmed that a meeting had taken place between Butowsky and Spicer at the White House.  

Spicer now confirms meeting with the two but denies claims about the president.   "Ed's been a longtime supporter of the president and asked to meet to catch up," Spicer tells NPR on Monday night.   "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."

  According to the suit, Butowsky was also responsible for informing Wheeler of the 'credible' third party who had seen Rich's emails to Wikileaks.  

On May 10, Butowsky and Zimmerman call Wheeler to say they have an FBI source confirming emails were sent from Seth Rich to WikiLeaks, though they do not share the source's identity, according to the investigator's suit. Wheeler will later say this is the only federal law enforcement source that Fox News — or he — has related to this story.

  Moreover, the night before the Fox story ran, Butowsky coached Wheeler on what to say on tv.  

"[T]he narrative in the interviews you might use is that you and [Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman's] work prove that the Russians didn't hack into the DNC and steal the emails and impact our elections." In another text, he writes: "If you can, try to highlight this puts the Russian hacking story to rest."

  Adding insult in injury, the Fox News author of the fake news article, Malia Zimmerman, contacted the father of Seth Rich, distancing Fox and herself from Wheeler, stating: "Much of our information came from a private investigator, Rod Wheeler, who we understand was working on behalf of you." When Wheeler confronted her about the letter she had sent to Mr. Rich, Zimmerman claimed "That's the email that Fox asked me to send him. They wrote it for me." Butowsky tried to calm Wheeler by saying "One day you're going to win an award for having said those things you didn't say." The night before Wheeler was scheduled to appear on the Hannity show, Malia Zimmerman texted him "Reread the story we sent you last night [that contained the invented quotes] and stick to the script." Wheeler had recorded some of his conversations with Butowsky and had them transcribed for purposes of the suit. Before Fox retracted the story. After Fox retracted the story and Wheeler threaten to sue. Butowsky has since deleted his Twitter account. Ed is a self described wealth manager who 'for serial entrepreneurs, high-net worth and ultra-high-net worth individuals, professional athletes and celebrities.'   ............   If you thought the suit couldn't get more bizarre, think again. Wheeler is also suing for racial discrimination against Fox, claiming the network had given him less airtime than white colleagues. It's worth noting, Wheeler's attorney, Douglas Wigdor, represents several other current and former Fox staffers who've made similar claims.


Maltheus Tue, 08/01/2017 - 14:40 Permalink

I don't think the Awan stuff is actually going to go anywhere or result in a conviction, but this lawsuit makes me think there may be something to that Rich-Awan connection, that some have speculated about. Why else risk drawing more attention to it, by pressuring Wheeler into this lawsuit (assuming that's what's happening here)?

StaySunny3000 Maltheus Tue, 08/01/2017 - 22:19 Permalink

Well, Republicans are FINALLY starting to make some noises in that direction, but I don't blame you for being cynical.  For crying out loud, all the evidence points to the Awan brothers blackmailing Congressional staffers, as well as have access to Congressional networks (compromising national security), for YEARS, and on top of THAT, DWS keeping Iman Awan as an "advisor" after the Capitol Police barred him from those networks last February so he could CONTINUE to have access. (Trust me, you need to get up to speed on this story; it is convoluted, unprecedented in scope, and stretches out across many data points; Stephan Molyneux has a good video up on youtube, but you'll have to invest an hour there is so much there).And the damn Dems and their press lackeys have been bitching all this time about this Russia hack nonsense without a shred of evidence?  Political parties are two wings on the same bird.  Ain't a lick of difference between 'em, and they are protecting each other.  IMHO, there is no other rational explanation for the GOP not going after this story hammer and tongs 24/7.  

In reply to by Maltheus

vulcanraven Maltheus Tue, 08/01/2017 - 18:54 Permalink

It couldn't be ANY MORE obvious that they are trying to get out in front of the Seth Rich story with the "Muh Trump" meme before the real hammer drops. Ask yourself this... when Seth Rich was murdered, how much coverage did it get? Now why all the sudden a deluge of Seth Rich shit is starting to hit the airwaves after Awan was arrested? Something wicked this way comes...

In reply to by Maltheus

roadhazard Tue, 08/01/2017 - 16:27 Permalink

Sean Spicer confirmed WH coordination with the story in April on Faux Nooze which was retracted and in May. Spicer then said he din' say nuttin'.Too bad little Trumpsters you bought the fake news. Suckers. Back to your pedo pictures of little girls.and it's only Tuesday...

thebigunit Tue, 08/01/2017 - 16:24 Permalink

Very confusing and hard to follow.I don't see any "smoking gun"  here, just some wannabe swamp critters puffing up their personal narratives and trying to be "players" in Washington.Trump didn't order any "fake news" to be created and spread.  If it was "fake news", it was the same fake news that everyone else saw and believed.I think at the end of the day, Wheeler will be revealed as some petty con man who let his con get out or control.  

Chupacabra-322 Tue, 08/01/2017 - 16:37 Permalink

The Crimes, leaks & irrefutable proof of Wikileaks, the Awan brothers, election rigging, voter fraud, violence incitement, pay to play with the CF, SUPER PAC violations, arms transfers to ISIS, 6 billion USD missing from the State Department, Benghazi aren't.

Whether or not Seth Rich is a real person or the circumstances surrounding his Murder is not of significance at this point.

The obvious Crimes listed above are.

Tyrannical Lawlessness.

goober Chupacabra-322 Tue, 08/01/2017 - 19:56 Permalink

Indeed the real issues get passed over with ever more distractions and illusions being created and spoon fed to the masses.Fortunately I am convinced much of that false paradigm has collapsed and many millions more people now see it all for what it is. Propaganda, lies, distortions and manipulations of every possible flavor ! This is what we all live in, a created false reality.

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

343 Guilty Spark me123me Tue, 08/01/2017 - 17:20 Permalink

A bit odd that this just came out at the same time we find out that Awan was at the same party as Seth Rich on the night of Seth Rich's murder.  And to add to that, this came out right after we find out that the hard drives that Awan smashed are recoverable.I think the DNC got to him to try to discredit this whole thing.…

In reply to by me123me

goober 343 Guilty Spark Tue, 08/01/2017 - 19:37 Permalink

That sounds more plausible than his new claims and very different story ? And with the help of PRAVDA/MSM they can make nearly any story fly, at least for a while. Simply repeat it enough and the zombies will eat it up as fact and truth. They can create any false narrative or false paradigm they deem necessary or ignore any they deem necessary, so they do !

In reply to by 343 Guilty Spark

Rellorellin Tue, 08/01/2017 - 17:54 Permalink

This whole backtracking smells funny. Wheeler was all over the networks pointing to the laptop that mysteriously vanished (True). He pointed to stonewalling by the FBI and DC police (True). He pointed to the possibility that this was NOT a robbery (True). He pointed to the family hiring him to investigate (True). All of the sudden, this guy does a 360 and pretends that he was misquoted? He suddenly turns against FOX and sues them for discrimination?He claims that this has ruined him? Does this make sense to anyone here? What happened between then and now that has this guy falling off the edge?

goober anarchitect Tue, 08/01/2017 - 19:28 Permalink

Seems the truth lies with who is paying for this lawyer and why ? And did Wheeler create these circumstances deliberately, as his prior words do not match what he is now claiming ? This can also be viewed as more shit being thrown on the anti Trump wall, hoping some will stick.Quite incredible to stop and realize how we now live in so many illusions, manipulations and distortions, it is always difficult to know what the truth is in many matters of anything to do with political agendas, economics and social factors. All are seriously manipulated 24/7/365. Ponder this ? If we were to have the perfect system of governance found and instituted tomorrow, would somebody or some entity deny it and do everything possible to undermine or destroy it becuase they wanted to be the control freak or entity in charge of your tax dollars as they please ? All of it is simply about controlling you and your tax dollars as someone else pleases.

In reply to by anarchitect

swmnguy Tue, 08/01/2017 - 18:18 Permalink

Wheeler seems to be finding out that it's all fun and games to make shit up and talk big, but when pressed to back it up, it isn't so much fun at all.  And everybody who gave him credence ought to be learning this too, soon enough.

goober swmnguy Tue, 08/01/2017 - 19:13 Permalink

I thought Wheeler was actually investigating the Rich murder. But this shows he was using that as a tool or lever to stay in the media spotlight and hopefully get a big pay day from deep pockets as well as push some poltiical agenda ?  Spots of a leopard , hey ? What is real and what is just another illusion created to control us ? Always a test of sorts to sort out !…

In reply to by swmnguy

steveo77 Tue, 08/01/2017 - 19:22 Permalink

This is my original work.…% increase in Shark attacks in Hawaii since FukushimaI have seen others, let's call them Shark Apologists, pretending that there is no increase in shark attacks.   Or pretending that the increase can be explained 100% by more people in the water.I would say 90% of the increase can be explained by destruction of the Pacific food chain.

gregga777 Tue, 08/01/2017 - 19:24 Permalink

On the subject of destroying the information on drive platters. I worked on Top Secret compartmented access program in the Aerospace Industry. To erase the data in magnetic drive platters the platters were removed and all of the magnetic material was sanded off using an electrically powered sander. There was no magnetic material ever left in the platter that could possibly be read by any known means. Talk about erasing files! The Awans thought that a hammer would destroy the information on hard drives. ROTFLMAO (rolling on the floor laughing my a** off).

disagreeableness Tue, 08/01/2017 - 20:54 Permalink

Via NPR... "on May 23, Fox retracted the story, saying the reporting process failed to live up to its standards. Hannity said he would take a break from talking about Rich's death out of respect for the family. And there it has largely stood — until now." Absolute bullshit. He's done at least two interviews on topic in the past couple of months... public comments to numerous to mention. Wheeler got got, period.