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Big Fox Names to Be Deposed in Case of Murdered DNC Staffer

Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs, plus other network staffers and execs
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2020 4:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and a number of Fox News staffers and execs will answer questions under oath next month about the network's infamous coverage of Seth Rich's death. The Democratic National Committee staffer was murdered in Washington, DC, in 2016; police believe the unsolved slaying was the result of a botched robbery. But right-wing conspiracy theorists insisted Hillary Clinton ordered Rich killed because he, and not Russian hackers, was actually the one who leaked Democratic emails to WikiLeaks. The claim has been debunked multiple times. As the Daily Beast reports, Hannity "was once his network’s most prominent booster" of such conspiracy theories, and Dobbs also promoted a story about them. Their depositions come as part of a lawsuit filed by Rich's parents. Last week, a judge cleared the way for the suit to move forward, Law360 reports.

Joel and Mary Rich are suing the network, along with one of its reporters (Malia Zimmerman) and a wealthy conservative former guest (Ed Butowsky, who paid a PI to investigate Rich's murder and spoke to Zimmerman about her story) for emotional distress and tortious interference. It was Zimmerman who wrote the FoxNews.com story, later retracted by the network, claiming the FBI found evidence that Rich had ties to WikiLeaks; Hannity and Dobbs both picked up on that story. They are scheduled to be deposed Oct. 30 and Oct. 7, respectively; top network executives are also scheduled to be deposed in the coming months. Laura Ingraham also promoted the story, but the filing claims Fox is refusing to allow her to be deposed. Rich's family also wants to depose Fox legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano and Newt Gingrich, but it's not clear whether either has agreed to be deposed. (Read more Seth Rich stories.)

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