by Sharon Rondeau

(Aug. 2, 2018) — On Thursday afternoon an order was released from U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge George B. Daniels dismissing a lawsuit filed by Joel and Mary Rich of Omaha, NE alleging that Fox News and related parties caused them “severe emotional distress.”

By early evening many mainstream sources had reported the development, while few, as of this writing, noted that a second suit filed by former Fox News contributor and private investigator Rod Wheeler against Fox and related parties was also dismissed by the same judge.

Politico appears to have been the first, and perhaps sole, source reporting on the dismissal of the Wheeler lawsuit, to which Daniels referred in a footnote on pages 1 and 2 of his opinion on the Joel and Mary Rich case.

Both suits stemmed from Fox’s reportage of alleged developments related to the murder of the Riches’ son, Seth, near his apartment in Washington, DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood in the early-morning hours of July 10, 2016.

As Daniels noted, the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) indicated that Seth Rich was killed as a result of a “botched robbery,” although no evidence has been made public to support the theory.  Despite over $300,000 offered in reward money for information leading to an arrest, no one has come forward and the MPD reportedly has no viable leads.

Joel and Mary Rich alleged that Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman, Wheeler and a Fox News contributor, Ed Butowsky, conspired to put forth an allegedly false narrative that their son was the source of thousands of emails provided to WikiLeaks, which released them just prior to the Democratic National Convention in July 2016.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has blamed her loss to Donald Trump partially on WikiLeaks.

Wheeler alleged that a May 16, 2017 article Zimmerman wrote, after collaborating with Butowsky and him, defamed him by misquoting information he had reportedly provided to her.  Daniels’s opinion references an interview Wheeler did with a Fox News affiliate, Fox 5 in Washington, DC days before the Zimmerman article was published, wherein he claimed to have a “source” tying Rich to WikiLeaks.

Although Fox News retracted the Zimmerman article on May 23, 2017 to much mainstream-media fanfare and condemnation, Fox 5’s interview with Wheeler, albeit with a “clarification” issued after Wheeler changed his story, remains online.

The respective opinions, which contain details not previously made public of the parties’ interactions, can be read here:  https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4630665-Rich-Order.html

and here:  https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000164-fc2a-d734-a1e7-fe7f49750000





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