NEW YORK (CBS/AP) — 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 that President Donald Trump pressured Fox to publish the story.
The investigator who looked into Rich's July 2016 murder for the family, Rod Wheeler, sued Fox for defamation on Tuesday. Wheeler's suit alleges that Fox News defamed him by manufacturing two false quotations and attributing them to him, thus damaging his reputation by blaming him as the deceptive story fell apart. Wheeler, an African American, is also currently suing the network for racial discrimination.
Wheeler, a Fox contributor, said the network made up the quotes attributed to him, saying there was contact between Rich and WikiLeaks, and that someone — possibly Democrats or Hillary Clinton's campaign — was blocking the murder investigation. Rich was killed in what Washington police believe was a botched robbery.
Wheeler alleges that the story about Rich's death was orchestrated by Ed Butowsky, a Dallas based weather management consultant and FNC commentator who hired him for the Rich family.