Congress requests former Fox News reporter's notebooks regarding Trump's hush money

Congress requests former Fox News reporter's notebooks regarding Trump's hush money
Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels in the adult film industry, leaves Manhattan Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in New York. (Jefferson Siegel / TNS)

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, chairman of the Congressional Committee on Oversight and Reform, on Wednesday requested former Fox News reporter Diana Falzone turn over all documents relating to her reporting on President Trump’s “debts and payments to silence women alleging extramarital affairs with him prior to the 2016 presidential election.”

The request comes a week after the New Yorker published an investigation on Fox News that disclosed Falzone had reported an article about Trump making hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 presidential election in order to keep her quiet about their alleged affair. According to the New Yorker, Fox killed the story because Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Twenty-First Century Fox, wanted Trump to win the election.

Ken LaCorte, Falzone’s editor at Fox, published a response in Mediate disputing her version of events, saying the piece didn’t meet journalistic standards and was not killed because of any political agenda.

Falzone, who has since left Fox, sued the company for gender and disability discrimination in May 2017. However, as part of her settlement, she signed a nondisclosure agreement and has not been able to rebut LaCorte’s claims or any matter arising out of her time at Fox.

Cummings (D-Md.) has also requested that Falzone appear before the committee by March 21. Falzone’s lawyer Nancy Erika Smith, a partner at Smith Mullin in Montclair, N.J., says her client will comply. “When the New Yorker story came out, Ken LaCorte started lying about my client’s reporting and what happened,” she said. “It’s a relief to her as a journalist that the truth will come out.”

A Fox News representative could not be immediately reached for comment.

Congress’ request for a reporter’s notebook adds a new wrinkle to the many ongoing investigations into Trump. It may also shed further light on the relationship between the president and Fox News.

This is “about obstructing justice and a news organization that’s become an arm of a campaign,” Smith said. “If Fox makes this an attack on journalism, that’s ridiculous. Real journalists don’t kill stories because of political preferences and certainly not two weeks before a presidential election.”

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