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Fox News Finally Retracted Their Debunked Seth Rich Story. Will Sean Hannity?

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Will Anyone at Fox News Hold Hannity and Others to Account?

A week after publishing a flawed story claiming that evidence exists linking Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, who was killed last year in a shooting in his neighborhood, and the group WikiLeaks, the Fox News Channel today published a statement announcing the removal of the article from its website.

Fox pundits such as Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, Geraldo Rivera, and the hosts of Fox & Friends all jumped on reports that a “private investigator” named Rod Wheeler, who just so happened to be a Fox News regular who was being paid for his work by a Fox News contributor, claimed that a federal source had found proof on Rich’s laptop that the late staffer had transferred tens of thousands of emails to WikiLeaks. This connection, according to Hannity and others, proved that Russia did not have a role in the hacking of the DNC.

However, Wheeler later said that not only had he never seen the emails or the laptop himself, but that he also never once communicated with the purported source who allegedly found the WikiLeaks connection.

Wheeler, who made his first statements on Fox’s local Washington, D.C., affiliate, said that the network had inaccurately portrayed his remarks and that the whole story was based on a “miscommunication.”

Despite the fact that Wheeler’s entire case completely collapsed—he later stopped speaking about it—Hannity and others continued to run with the discredited story.

Newt Gingrich told Fox & Friends that Rich was “assassinated” and that the Russians had been absolved. Trump confidant Roger Stone and InfoWars host Alex Jones touted Wheeler’s since-retracted findings. Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice made repeated appearances on Hannity to push the hoax, despite the fact that Rich’s family had repeatedly asked that people stop pushing baseless conspiracy theories.

Hannity dedicated several segments to pushing the hoax, including an interview with Wheeler, who has since stopped speaking about the matter, and recently pounced on Kim DotCom’s evidence-free allegation that he too was in touch with Rich.

He even continued to peddle the conspiracy theory after his network retracted their story:

Will anyone at the network hold Hannity and others to account?

Rich’s brother recently wrote a letter to Hannity’s producer, appealing to his “decency to not cause a grieving family more pain and suffering” by continuing to push baseless conspiracy theories:

This article was originally published at Right Wing Watch and is re-published here by permission.

To comment on this article and other NCRM content, visit our Facebook page.

Image: Screenshot via Fox News/YouTube

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ONLY COLLUSION ONLY OBSTRUCTION

‘Jurors Meet With Defendant’: Anger Grows Over Report GOP Senators Met With Trump to Map Out ‘Rigged’ Impeachment Trial

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News from The Washington Post that top White House officials held a clandestine meeting Thursday with Republican Senators to map out a plan to limit the Senate impeachment trial while President Trump has been secretly “courting” Senate Republicans in an effort to gauge and gain their loyalty has many angered and alarmed.

The House is expected to pass articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, which would require the Senate to hold an impartial trial, over which the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would preside. It very much is a legal proceeding with historic consequences for the future of America’s democracy.

Republicans appear to not have grasped this fact, not the gravity of their constitutional duties.

Many Americans are growing angered as a result. Some are calling the Senate impeachment trial “rigged” before it has even begun. Others are pointing out that this is akin to jurors meeting with the “defendant to discuss how long they think they have to let the trial go on.”

“Juries don’t collude with the accused criminals they’re judging,” one person on Twitter said. “Only collusion, only obstruction,” said another.

Take a look at the responses:

Meanwhile, the fact that the target of an investigation is conspiring with the very public servants who will serve as jurors on his trial is shocking to some.


 
Image by The White House via Flickr 

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YOU CAN'T DO THAT

White House Secretly Meeting With Republicans to Limit Impeachment Trial as President Courts GOP Senators

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The Trump White House is in secret  talks with top Senate Republicans to draft a strategy on how the impeachment trial will be conducted after the House passes what are expected to be damning articles of impeachment. The president has been focused the past few weeks on sitting down with Senate Republicans individually or in small groups to take the temperature of the caucus and to woo those who have occasionally suggested they might be uncomfortable with the actions he has taken that have led to the current impeachment inquiry.

“A group of Republican senators and senior White House officials met privately Thursday to map out a strategy for a potential impeachment trial of President Trump, including proceedings in the Senate that could be limited to about two weeks,” The Washington Post reports late Thursday afternoon.

Among the Republican Senators who clandestinely met with top Trump White House advisors are: Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wis.), John Neely Kennedy (La.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Tom Cotton (Ark.). The six strong Trump supporters met, according to the Post, “with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior adviser Jared Kushner, and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway.”

Earlier Thursday Politico reported “Trump cozies up to GOP during impeachment,”noting the President has been “aggressively courting Senate Republicans” including Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, both seen as potentially dangerous to Trump should the Senate hold an impeachment trial.

In a separate Politico article Politico suggests the White House attempted to convince the majority-Republican Senate to immediately dismiss any articles of impeachment and hold no trial.

Senators “informed the White House that there simply aren’t the votes to approve a motion to dismiss the trial; it would take just three Republicans to block any impeachment vote on the Senate floor.”

The Washington Post echoed that reporting, explaining that “even a two-week trial could run counter to what Trump has expressed privately. The president is ‘miserable’ about the ongoing impeachment inquiry and has pushed to dismiss the proceedings right away.”

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CONSPIRACY THEORISTS

Watch: Nunes Stunned When State Dept. Official Knocks Down His ‘Black Ledger Isn’t Real’ Conspiracy Theory

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Intelligence Committee Ranking Republican Member Devin Nunes Thursday afternoon appeared stunned when he questioned a U.S. State Dept. official during the impeachment hearings and did not get the answer he anticipated.

Rep. Nunes has been spewing far right wing conspiracy theories during each impeachment hearing over the past two weeks, including the thoroughly debunked lie that Ukraine – not Russia – attacked the U.S. 2016 election.

(Earlier one of today’s witnesses, Dr. Fiona Hill, publicly lambasted the spreading of the false Ukraine conspiracy theory as she sat just feet away from Nunes. The video is here.)

Nunes asked David Holmes, who is the State Dept.’s counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine about the “black ledger.”

That line of questioning did not go well for Nunes.

Nunes asked if Holmes had “ever heard of the black ledger.”

“I have,” Holmes replied.

“The black ledger – is that seen as ‘credible’ information?” Nunes asked.

“Yes,” Holmes responded without hesitation.

Surprised, Nunes repeated his question.

“The black ledger is credible?”

“Yes,” Holmes again replied.

Nunes did not look pleased.

“Bob Mueller did not find it credible. Do you dispute what Bob Mueller’s findings were? – They didn’t use it in the prosecution or in the report.”

“I’m not aware that Bob Mueller did not find it credible. I think it was evidence in other criminal proceedings. Its credibility was not questioned in those proceedings, but I’m not an expert on that.”

Holmes is correct – it was used as evidence in prosecutions (see below).

The black ledger is a register of off-the-book payments made by the corrupt now-former ruling party of Ukraine – not today’s ruling party.

It contains details of 22 payments allegedly made to Paul Manafort, totaling $12.7 million, by his former client, the ex-President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort later became Donald Trump’s election campaign chairman. When the ledger was exposed Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign. He is now in prison, serving a 90-month federal sentence.

Mueller actually did find the black ledger credible, as The Washington Post reported one week ago. It was used as evidence in Mueller’s indictment against Manafort.

Rep. Nunes appears to believe the existence of the black ledger and its authenticity are conspiracy theories. He is the one spreading conspiracy theories. The black ledger is real.

 

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