A judge ruled Wednesday that an investment adviser and former Fox Business commentator who sued NPR over stories about his role in funding a private investigator to probe the death of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich can go forward.
Politico reported that Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas ruled that Ed Butowsky’s claims of defamation against NPR for revealing his role in funding the investigation into Rich’s death that was publicly condemned by Rich’s parents could go forward.
Conspiracy theories alleged Rich had been murdered as part of a broader political plot.
In his ruling, Mazzant wrote that “speculatory comments” written by NPR’s reporter concerning Butowsky’s involvement in the probe “implied wrongdoing” where none could be proven.
“Plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts which plausibly show the Reports were not fair, true, and impartial accounts of the Wheeler complaint,” Mazzant wrote, according to Politico. “Additionally, even if the statements are considered a true report of the Wheeler complaint, as Defendants argue, the organization of the comments combined with the speculative commentary imply wrongdoing.”