Trump Fake News Suit: Lawyer Wants President and Sean Spicer to Give Evidence in Seth Rich Case Against Fox

A lawyer for a Washington private investigator will seek to have President Donald Trump and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer give evidence in his case against Fox News over the cable network’s alleged use of bogus quotes in a fake news story.

“We’re going to litigate this case as we would any other,” attorney Douglas Wigdor, who is acting on behalf of private investigator Rod Wheeler, told Yahoo News. “We’ll want to depose anyone who has information,” he added. Wigdor said this would include the president and Spicer.

The lawsuit against Fox claims news reporter Malia Zimmerman and financier and regular guest commentator Ed Butowsky worked together on a story about the death of former Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich. The 27-year-old Rich was shot in Washington in July 2016 in what police believe to have been a failed robbery.

Related: Seth Rich lawsuit claims White House colluded with Fox News to fake story on DNC staffer

According to the plaintiff, Zimmerman and Butowsky concocted a fake story connecting Rich to the emails leaked from the DNC and published by WikiLeaks in the same month he died. National intelligence agencies have concluded the leak was carried out by the Russian government.

Zimmerman and Butowsky, it is claimed, sought to advance the political agenda of the Trump administration by asking Wheeler to confirm that “Rich was responsible for the leak of DNC emails to WikiLeaks,” and “[he] was murdered by a Democrat operative because he leaked the emails to WikiLeaks.”

Wheeler says Fox News manufactured quotes and attributed them to him, which harmed his reputation.

sethrich Seth Rich, a 27-year-old computer-voting specialist at the DNC, was murdered in July near Bloomingdale, a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood in a once-blighted area of Washington, D.C. Seth Rich

Trump and Spicer are among the half-dozen key witnesses Wigdor said he would seek to depose. The suit alleges Zimmerman and Butowsky met with Spicer in his White House office in April to discuss the story. It also claims the president specifically reviewed drafts of the story and made changes to it.

Fox News has denied allegations that it had sought to “detract from coverage of the Russia collusion issue.”

“The accusation that FoxNews.com published Malia Zimmerman’s story to help detract from coverage of the Russia collusion issue is completely erroneous,” a Fox News said in a statement provided to The Hill.

“The retraction of this story is still being investigated internally, and we have no evidence that Rod Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman,” the statement added.  

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