House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-MD, is targeting Fox News over its coverage of Stormy Daniels. Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, was reported to have had an affair with President Trump, years before his presidency.
What sparked Cummings’ interest?
The New Yorker reported that Fox News editor Ken LaCorte refused to report Daniels’ story in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election.
The report relied on anonymous sources, however, it cited a Fox coworker of Diana Falzone, who wrote the report on Daniels. Falzone has since left Fox and is suing the company for gender and disability discrimination.
LaCorte was not the only one to dodge the story that presented ‘scant evidence and was based largely off a gossip post,’ according to The Blaze.
Daniels’ motives were also unclear after it was revealed that she was seeking payment for the scoop. Alternatively, LaCorte said he wasn’t motivated by politics.
Chairman Cummings is now taking matters into his own hands. Moreover, he has requested Falzone submit any “documents relating to President Donald Trump’s reporting of debts and payments to silence women alleging extramarital affairs with him prior to the 2016 presidential election.” Falzone agreed to testify.
Republican Leadership’s Response
In a recent piece, LaCorte wrote, “If House Oversight can launch an investigation based on the ridiculous notion that publishing, or even more bizarrely not publishing, a story can be construed as an in-kind campaign contribution, then no journalist in America is safe from government intimidation. It’s a vast overreach of power, and I won’t have any part of it.”
In late March, House Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Subcommittee on Government Operations ranking member Mark Meadows (R-NC) sent a letter to Chairman Cummings on the matter. The two leaders wrote, “It appears instead that you seek material from Ms. Falzone solely to embarrass Fox News and to discern improper motives for its editorial decisions.” Chairman Cummings has yet to request LaCorte’s testimony.