Tags: fox | investigation | ailes | bharara | trump

Grand Jury Probe of Fox News Continues Despite Preet

Image: Grand Jury Probe of Fox News Continues Despite Preet
Preet Bharara (AP)

By    |   Monday, 13 Mar 2017 11:32 PM

A federal grand jury criminal probe of Fox News Channel's business practices is set to begin soon despite the firing over the weekend of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara by President Donald Trump.

The investigation by the Southern District of New York, formerly headed by Bharara, is looking into millions of dollars in settlement payments paid out by Fox News to sexual harassment accusers, The New York Times reports.

New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported that Bharara’s firing could “blunt” the investigation into Fox.

Sherman reported the probe was “looking at a number of potential crimes, including whether Fox News executives broke laws by allegedly obtaining journalists’ phone records or committed mail and wire fraud by hiding financial settlements paid to women who accused Roger Ailes of sexual harassment.”

Among those subpoenaed to testify is Mark Kranz, Fox News' chief financial officer when the payments were made. He resigned one week after Ailes.

"The firing of Preet, who did an extraordinarily evenhanded job is not remarkable — it's just more the way it happened after he was told that he would stay on," lawyer Judd Burstein told the Times. Burstein represents a former Fox employee who has been subpoenaed before the grand jury.

But, Judd added, "The timing with respect to the Ailes stuff is troubling. Stopping this investigation would destroy the credibility of the U.S. attorney's office, which has always been the crown jewel of federal prosecutors' offices."

But one name widely circulated as a possible nominee to replace Bharara might need to recuse himself due to ties to former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, a target of the probe, the Times reports.

Marc Mukasey, a former prosecutor currently working as a white collar criminal defense lawyer, has represented Ailes.

Both Fox News and Mukasey declined to comment for the Times' story, but Mukasey, son of George W. Bush-era Attorney General Michael Mukasey, told the New York Law Journal last month, "If asked to serve my country, that is something I take very seriously."

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A federal grand jury criminal probe of Fox News Channel's business practices is set to begin soon despite the firing over the weekend of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara by President Donald Trump.
fox, investigation, ailes, bharara, trump
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2017-32-13
Monday, 13 Mar 2017 11:32 PM
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