Lawsuit alleges White House was complicit in Fox News conspiracy peddling

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Earlier, a new lawsuit had alleged that the White House worked with Fox News to concoct a baseless story about the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

It quoted one of the defendants, wealthy Trump supporter Ed Butowsky, as claiming that the president reviewed the article "prior to its publication and sought to get the article published 'immediately'".

The complaint's first paragraph includes a screen shot of a May 14 text message to Wheeler from another Fox News contributor that reads: "Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article". In reality, the young man was gunned down in Washington D.C.in July of a year ago, and his murder is still being investigated. The crime remains unsolved.

According to the suit, the story was meant to undermine the public's belief in the US intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation hacked the DNC and obtained the emails ultimately released by Wikileaks.

However, Wheeler's lawsuit alleges that the Fox reporter behind the story, Malia Zimmerman, fabricated these quotes in her story.

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Wheeler alleges that Fox created this misinformation in favor of Trump to take the attention away from the ongoing Russian Federation investigation, which is speculated to have had a role in Trump's winning the presidency.

Conspiracy theories, which continue to circulate online, hold that Rich was murdered after he supposedly leaked damaging emails from the DNC to WikiLeaks - either in retribution or to cover the tracks of the intermediaries who received the emails on behalf of WikiLeaks. Wheeler, who is paid a set amount for each appearance he makes on the network, says that he has received less airtime, money and fame than his white colleagues.

Wheeler also says Butowski left him a voicemail that day, saying, "You can feel free to say that the White House is onto this now". However, Zimmerman's article was published, which said that Wheeler believes there was evidence that connects Rich to Wikileaks before he was murdered, prompting a quick rebuke from Rich's family.

The investigator says they went to the white house in April to discuss the Seth rich story fox News was working on.

The latest? Former Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta who wasted absolutely no time in simply calling Fox News "despicable" for peddling this story. "He requested a 10-minute meeting to catch up".

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At Tuesday's White House briefing, incoming press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president "had no knowledge of the story" despite Butowsky's claim in emails to Wheeler that he had kept Trump in the loop.

Wheeler, who is a former Washington D.C. Police homicide detective also charges Fox with racial discrimination saying he has been denied air time and full-time employment.

As for the quotes that Zimmerman used, it is unclear if Wheeler actually told her these.

"While we can't speak to the evidence that you now have, we are hopeful that this brings an end to what has been the most emotionally hard time in our lives and an end to conspiracy theories surrounding our beloved Seth", the family said.

Reached by phone Tuesday morning, Butowsky said he was still reading through the allegations.

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