A private detective who investigated the slaying of a Democratic National Committee staffer alleged in a lawsuit Tuesday that Fox News Channel worked with White House officials to push a discredited theory about the case to undermine allegations of Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The investigator, Rod Wheeler, further claims in the suit that President Trump was aware of the bogus story and urged Fox to publish it on its website.
Wheeler’s defamation lawsuit – which names Fox News, a Fox reporter and a wealthy businessman as defendants – is an outgrowth of the slaying last summer of Seth Rich, a young data specialist at the DNC.
Rich was killed in his D.C. neighborhood in July 2016 in what police said was a botched robbery attempt. But the timing set off a conspiracy theory among Trump supporters and those on the far right: that Rich’s death was somehow arranged by Democratic officials as payback for his leak of thousands of DNC emails and electronic files to WikiLeaks, which published them.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · David Weigel, Paul Farhi