The case has been seized upon by conspiracy fabulists, resulting in unsupported claims that Rich - rather than the perp fingered by the USA intelligence community, Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU - leaked the DNC emails that contributed to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's election loss past year.
"The motivation behind the article: Establish that Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks with the DNC e-mails to shift the blame from Russian Federation and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russian Federation in an attempt to influence the outcome (of the 2016 election)", the court papers allege.
Butowsky also allegedly left Wheeler a voicemail that same day, saying, "We have the full, uh, attention of the White House on this". In May, Fox published stories based on unfounded allegations that Rich was targeted because he was leaking information to WikiLeaks that would damage the DNC.
The investigator, Rod Wheeler, filed a 33-page defamation lawsuit against the news network on Tuesday.
Chelsea dealt blow as Inter Milan manager refuses Antonio Candreva sale
With time fast running out, Michy Batshuayi thought he had restored parity for Chelsea but his goal was disallowed for offside. Chelsea's next game is the Community Shield against London rivals Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, August 6.
Meanwhile, Spicer's replacement as press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that the president had absolutely no knowledge of the Fox News story. The lawsuit included a photo of what Wheeler says is the text message. Butowsky told the outlet that he did not share a draft with Trump and he was "joking" about the president's involvement.
Police in Washington, D.C. maintain Rich died during a botched robbery attempt. "I'm actually the one who's been putting this together but as you know I keep my name out of things because I have no credibility", the May 15 emails says. Not to mention a national news network willing to let the president read a story before it was published.
Later, when Cuomo asked Butowsky about his and Wheeler's meeting with Sean Spicer, Butowsky said Wheeler was just "a tag along", and the part about the Rich case only lasted a minute. "He wants the article out immediately". Butowsky said that Wheeler complained to him that he was misquoted, but that he has emails showing him approving the quotes. He said if I wanted to, he could put me in touch with the white house general counsel. NPR, which broke the story of the lawsuit, describes Butowsky as a "silver-haired brash investor who became known for helping newly rich athletes figure out how to manage their money".
Wheeler, who is suing Zimmerman, Butowsky and Fox News' parent company, says that Zimmerman and Butsowksy both admitted to him that the quotes attributed to him in the article were fabricated. He said he is not aware of any contact with the president. The lawsuit alleges these quotes were made up to the pleasure of the president, something the White House called "completely untrue" Monday.
Spicer admits to taking the meeting, saying he did so as a favor to Butowsky.