Fox News' legal troubles grow as federal prosecutors expand investigation

Rupert Murdoch wouldn't issue a statement of support for Fox News president Bill Shine.
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Two top aides to ousted Fox News chief Roger Ailes have been subpoenaed and met with federal prosecutors in New York, as a federal investigation into Fox News' handling of sexual abuse settlements expands into a look at alleged intimidation tactics against perceived threats, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported Thursday night. Both men — former CFO Mark Kranz, who resigned last year, and former public relations chief Brian Lewis, fired in 2013 — have reportedly been granted immunity from prosecution. The investigation is being conducted by two prosecutors in the securities fraud unit at the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan and criminal investigators from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, a federal law enforcement agency that helps tackle white-collar crime.

The federal investigators have also interviewed at least two women who have accused Ailes of sexual harassment, on-air contributor Julie Roginsky and former director of corporate events Lauri Lunh, The Wall Street Journal reports. Along with investigating whether the settlements paid to accusers violated securities laws, the feds are looking into Ailes' use of a private investigator, Bo Dietl, to dig into the background of women accusing Ailes and ousted Fox News star Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment. Ailes and O'Reilly deny the harassment accusations.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.