Fox News has asked a federal court to dismiss a suit filed by a longtime commentator who alleged also a supporter of President Trump and the community embellished a story about his link and Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich to leaks and WikiLeaks of DNC emails.
Filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Fox News seeks dismissal of a case registered by Rod Wheeler, who’s appeared on Fox News as a paid law enforcement and crime analyst, arguing that he wasn’t defamed and the situation should be managed by an arbitrator.
Rich, 27, was shot to death July 10, 2016 at a random robbery attempt, based on Washington authorities. No arrests have been made in the case.
Conspiracy theories arose WikiLeaks creator Julian Assange’s suggested Rich could have become the origin of the information, not the Russians and when a month WikiLeaks published a trove of DNC emails.
But Fox News, in its most recent filing, challenges Wheeler’s debate, alleging he left “substantially the very same statements” in interviews before and after the report, also said “the post he says is false ‘was essentially right and worthy of further investigation’. ”
Wheeler “was misquoted nor defamed,” Fox News stated in its movement. And it argues that his employment discrimination claim falls short because it alleges “in only vague and conclusory terms that Fox News did not give him the same job opportunities as other contributors. Wheeler fails to plead the details necessary to support such a charge, since there are no such facts.claim,” the motion says.
Wheeler’s case should also not proceed, Fox News states, because any promises he’s should be handled by arbitration, according to his own arrangement with the network.
Douglas Wigdor, a New York attorney representing Wheeler stated Fox would like to keep “individuals in the dark on that which today is a matter of serious public concern,” he explained in an announcement to USA TODAY. “We’re confident that our client will be vindicated at a public court of law which can expose how Fox and the individually named defendants generated fake news in an attempt at deflecting attention away from the Russian hacking scandal.”
Ed Butowsky, a Dallas financial adviser and outstanding Fox News and Fox Business Network guest, also filed a motion. Butowsky had hired Wheeler on behalf of the Rich family to investigate their son’s departure.
Wheeler had alleged that Butowsky and Fox News investigative journalist Malia Zimmerman had helped in the embellishment of the story to progress “a political agenda for the Trump Administration.”
In his filing, Butowsky claims despite all of these “attention-grabbing details” in Wheeler’s lawsuit, “the complaint fails to plausibly allege even the most basic elements of defamation. … While (Wheeler) may regret his decision to participate with the investigation and networking discussion surrounding the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich due to the resulting negative media focus, his case is one in search of a viable legal theory”