NPR Sued for $57MM in Defamation Lawsuit Over Seth Rich Coverage
A $57 million defamation lawsuit has been filed against National Public Radio over their 2017 report that accused Texas-based financial advisor Ed Butowsky of colluding with President Donald Trump and Fox News to plant stories about slain DNC staffer Seth Rich.
Butowsky is the man who offered to assist the family of Rich with the cost of hiring a private investigator. The family is now suing him for alleged conspiracy theories over the murder of their son.
In addition to NPR, Butowsky’s lawsuit also names their media correspondent David Folkenflik, and is said to be the first of several defamation suits Butowsky plans to file over the coverage.
The court documents in the case allege that Folkenflik and NPR “deliberately ignored known facts and evidence to publicize on six occasions a fake story being promoted by serial litigator and FOX News arch-opponent, Douglas Wigdor.” The fake story, according to the lawsuit, was that Butowsky was working with the president, Fox News, and Russia to falsely paint Rich as the WikiLeaks source.
“Folkenflik and NPR acted with actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth. Hungry to publish a scandalous story about the President of the United States and Fox and to aid and abet Wigdor’s effort to extort money from Fox, Folkenflik failed to verify the information Wigdor secretly provided before releasing it on NPR.org, to NPR’s radio listeners via Morning Edition, and to millions upon millions via Twitter. In spite of serious doubts as to the veracity of his source, Folkenflik blindly accepted Wigdor’s false statements without ever once questioning Wigdor’s (and his client, Rod Wheeler’s), motive to lie. Folkenflik disregarded known sources of information that flatly contradicted the false narrative peddled by Wigdor,” the lawsuit claims.
Wigdor is currently representing dozens of people in lawsuits against Fox News. Butowsky’s lawsuit claims that Wigdor concocted the story about collusion in order to extort a $60 million settlement from the network. The complaint claims that the plot to obtain the settlement came while Fox News was in negotiations to buy Sky News so that there would be maximum pressure for them to cave in.
“I am doing this to stand up for every person who has been a victim of fake news and the willing political operatives who masquerade as journalists and push those stories in the media. The press has become perverted. Someone has to stand up for the truth,” said Butowsky. “Make no mistake, in the coming months in order to clear my name, re-establish my reputation that was assaulted by Wigdor and his confederates, and stop the proliferation of fake news that is corrupting our society, I will take legal action against every single person and outlet that defamed me.”
Butowsky has previously sat down with the Gateway Pundit for an extensive interview about how he became involved with the Rich family and why he believes that their son was the source of WikiLeaks’ DNC leak.
“The evidence in this case demonstrates that Folkenflik – a journalist renowned for his bias against the Fox News Network – knowingly, intentionally and recklessly violated every principle of ethical journalism when, acting in concert and conspiracy with Douglas H. Wigdor, he published and republished false and defamatory statements that harmed an innocent citizen, Plaintiff, Ed Butowsky,” said Butowsky’s lawyer Steven Biss.
It has long been speculated by many that the murdered data analyst was behind the 44,053 DNC emails and 17,761 email attachments published by WikiLeaks during the 2016 election, which exposed a massive plot to undermine the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders. The liberal media has repeatedly claimed this theory is “debunked,” yet nobody has been prosecuted for the leak to prove or disprove anything, at all. Additionally, no suspects have ever been named in his murder and no surveillance footage showing the killer has ever been shared with the public for help identifying one.
Rich was shot in the back in the early morning hours of July 10, 2016, near his home while he was on the phone with his girlfriend — 12 days before the publication of the DNC emails by WikiLeaks. The police initially ruled that it was a botched robbery — but his wallet, watch, and necklace were still on his person when he was discovered by police.
WikiLeaks has never disclosed a source. Sources sometimes talk to other parties but identities never emerge from WikiLeaks. #SethRich
— #FreeAssange! (tweets by campaign)⌛ (@JulianAssange) May 22, 2017
Assange has infamously expressed interest in Rich, but he has always maintained that WikiLeaks will never name a source — even after death. WikiLeaks has offered a $20,000 reward for Rich’s murderer however, and has retweeted articles that asserted he was their source without providing any additional comment.