Donald Trump personally ordered Fox News to publish a now-discredited story insinuating that DNC staffer Seth Rich was murdered for leaking the Democratic National Committee's emails last year, a new lawsuit claims.
Rich, who worked on voter registration efforts for the DNC and was set to work on Hillary Clinton's campaign, was slain last July in a shooting in his Washington, D.C., neighborhood. Investigators believed his shooting death was connected to a spate of other robberies in the area, but conspiracy theorists have posited that he may have been the source of the DNC emails leaked to WikiLeaks and was murdered for it.
Those claims appeared to be bolstered in May when Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler claimed he had evidence that Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks and that police in Washington, D.C., were covering it up. The story attracted national attention and was featured heavily on Fox News, including occupying the front page of its website and garnering many segments from Sean Hannity.
Wheeler, who was working with Rich's family as a private investigator, later walked back the claims and said he had seen no direct evidence of Seth Rich working with WikiLeaks.
But Wheeler is now claiming that he was misled by a wealthy Republican donor working directly with the White House, Mediaite noted. Wheeler has filed a lawsuit claiming he was "used as a pawn by Ed Butowsky, Fox News and the Trump administration to try and steer away the attention that was being given about the Russian hacking of the DNC e-mails."