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Rod Wheeler: ‘Why Is the President Even Involved in a Murder Investigation?’

Rod Wheeler, who filed the news-cycle-shattering lawsuit alleging Fox News conspired with a wealthy Trump-donor to fabricate the now-retracted report claiming contact between Seth Rich and Wikileaks, appeared on MSNBC Wednesday to question President Donald Trump’s involvement in the controversy. MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle asked Wheeler why, after claiming to have called Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman to demand a retraction of quotes he alleged she fabricated, he then appeared on Fox News to tout the story. Wheeler said he thought at the time that someone at the DNC was hindering the investigation, and that information led him to believe that “more investigation was warranted in [Rich’s] death.” The private investigator and Fox News commentator also claimed that Zimmerman never called him before the publication of the story to approve the fabricated quotes — but that she sent a draft of the report which didn’t include them. After the publication of the report, Wheeler said he immediately called Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky — the Trump donor who had orchestrated the story — to “push back on it.” Zimmerman reassured Wheeler that she would remove the quotes, though she never did. “And then, when I confronted Butowsky about it, he said ‘the quotes were left in there because that’s the way the president wanted them.'” “And I said, wait a minute, why is the president even involved in a murder investigation from a guy that was killed in northwest D.C.?” Wheeler said. Wheeler’s lawyer, Doug Wigdor, added that they intend to “follow the paper trail”: “We’re going to issue subpoenas, we’re going to take depositions.” Wigdor also noted that while Butowsky claims to have tried to help the Rich family “out of the kindness of his heart,” his real intentions were political. “If you read the texts and listen to the voicemails and recordings, it’s very obvious that the real reason was to try to help the Trump administration get away from the Russia narrative, the Russian hacking of the DNC, and shift that to Seth Rich to avoid the ‘cloud,'” Wigdor said. Watch above, via MSNBC. [image via screengrab] — Follow Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) on Twitter

Rod Wheeler, who filed the news-cycle-shattering lawsuit alleging Fox News conspired with a wealthy Trump-donor to fabricate the now-retracted report claiming contact between Seth Rich and Wikileaks, appeared on MSNBC Wednesday to question President Donald Trump’s involvement in the controversy.

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle asked Wheeler why, after claiming to have called Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman to demand a retraction of quotes he alleged she fabricated, he then appeared on Fox News to tout the story.

Wheeler said he thought at the time that someone at the DNC was hindering the investigation, and that information led him to believe that “more investigation was warranted in [Rich’s] death.”

The private investigator and Fox News commentator also claimed that Zimmerman never called him before the publication of the story to approve the fabricated quotes — but that she sent a draft of the report which didn’t include them.

After the publication of the report, Wheeler said he immediately called Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky — the Trump donor who had orchestrated the story — to “push back on it.” Zimmerman reassured Wheeler that she would remove the quotes, though she never did.

“And then, when I confronted Butowsky about it, he said ‘the quotes were left in there because that’s the way the president wanted them.’”

“And I said, wait a minute, why is the president even involved in a murder investigation from a guy that was killed in northwest D.C.?” Wheeler said.

Wheeler’s lawyer, Doug Wigdor, added that they intend to “follow the paper trail”: “We’re going to issue subpoenas, we’re going to take depositions.”

Wigdor also noted that while Butowsky claims to have tried to help the Rich family “out of the kindness of his heart,” his real intentions were political.

“If you read the texts and listen to the voicemails and recordings, it’s very obvious that the real reason was to try to help the Trump administration get away from the Russia narrative, the Russian hacking of the DNC, and shift that to Seth Rich to avoid the ‘cloud,’” Wigdor said.

Watch above, via MSNBC.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) on Twitter

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Rod Wheeler: ‘Why Is the President Even Involved in a Murder Investigation?’

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