The Latest: Slain DNC staffer's family praises lawsuit


The Latest on a lawsuit claiming 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 (all times EDT):

10 p.m.

The family of a slain Democratic National Committee staffer says they’re hoping a new lawsuit helps put an end to conspiracy theories shadowing their son’s death.

The suit alleges that the White House and Fox News Channel conspired to push a false story about Democratic leaks and the unsolved killing of 27-year-old Seth Rich in order to distract attention from the Russia investigation swirling around President Donald Trump.

“While we can’t speak to the evidence that you now have, we are hopeful that (the 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,” the family says in a statement.

Fox removed the story from its website a week after it was published.

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5:00 p.m.

A Trump supporter says he was not involved as a go-between with the White House in crafting a Fox News story that implicated a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer in the WikiLeaks scandal.

Ed Butowsky, who is a named defendant in a suit filed Tuesday by investigator and Fox contributor Rod Wheeler, says he’s never met Trump.

He says Wheeler “just wants money … (it’s) extortion.”

He says he met with Sean Spicer for 15 minutes earlier this spring and discussed Seth Rich.

The White House said earlier in the day that it was not involved in crafting the story that Fox later removed from its website. Fox says it’s continuing to investigate the story and that claims laid out in the lawsuit alleging that it published the in an attempt to detract from the Russian investigation are “completely erroneous.”

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3:00 p.m.

The White House says it was not involved in crafting a Fox News story that implicated a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer in the WikiLeaks scandal.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says at a White House briefing Tuesday that, “The president had no knowledge of the story.” And she says that “it’s completely untrue” that he or anyone at the White House was involved with the story.

A lawsuit filed by an investigator who worked on the Seth Rich case claims Fox News fabricated quotes and coordinated with the Trump administration on its later-redacted story.

The investigator, a Fox contributor, also alleged meeting with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Sanders says she sees nothing wrong with Spicer meeting with members of the press.

She’s referring questions to the parties involved in the suit.

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12:40 p.m.

Fox News says claims laid out in a lawsuit alleging that it published a story about a murdered DNC staffer in an attempt to detract from the Russian investigation are “completely erroneous.”

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, Rod Wheeler, sued Fox for defamation on Tuesday. Wheeler, a Fox contributor who looked into Rich’s July 2016 murder for the family, said Fox made up 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.

The lawsuit said Trump pushed to get the story out

Jay Wallace, Fox’s news president, said the story is still being investigated and that Fox has no evidence that Wheeler was misquoted.

The White House had no immediate comment.

10:31 a.m.

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, Rod Wheeler, sued Fox for defamation on Tuesday.

Wheeler, a Fox contributor who looked into Rich’s July 2016 murder for the family, said Fox made up 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.

The lawsuit said Trump pushed to get the story out. There was no immediate response from Fox or the White House.



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