It looks like the seemingly never ending drama swirling around Fox News has captured the attention of a second U.S. government agency.
According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, the U.S. Justice Department’s probe of Fox News now includes the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Apparently mail and wire fraud cases are handled by financial crimes experts at the UPIS.
Investigators from both the USPIS and the Justice Department have been conducting interviews in recent weeks — including with some former Fox staffers — to obtain more information about the network’s managers and business practices, the sources said.
The existence of a federal investigation to find out if the company broke securities laws in the way it handled payments related to harassment cases against Roger Ailes was revealed back in February. At the time Fox News and 21st Century Fox said they had not been subpoenaed, but a spokeswoman said, “we have been in communication with the U.S. Attorney’s office for months — we have and will continue to cooperate on all inquiries with any interested authorities.”
According to Stelter, Fox News sexual harassment settlement payments and whether or not the company needed to inform shareholders about said payments isn’t the only thing DOJ is investigating. Investigators have reportedly been looking at possible misconduct by Fox News employees and asking questions about the company work environment.
The investigation into FNC began under the Obama administration. Judd Burstein, an attorney for a number of Ailes’ accusers, including former Fox Newser Andrea Tantaros, said in February that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York was conducting the investigation. That office was led by U.S. attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by President Trump back in March after refusing to resign.
Pres. Trump’s firing of Bharara (who reportedly had been promised months earlier that he’d be able to keep his job in the new administration) has fueled speculation about whether the DOJ will follow through on any findings involving Fox News, Trump’s network of choice.
CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the report today. He said, “I cannot confirm or deny the existence of any investigation.”