Fox News chairman Roger Ailes has been accused of many things, including but not limited to rigging the news. But you may get into trouble when you try to rig a federal investigation: Russ Buettner at the New York Times reports that new documents reveal that the senior executive at News Corporation that former HarperCollins publisher Judith Regan claimed had urged her to lie to federal investigators was actually Roger Ailes.
Regan settled with News Corp for a $10.75 million confidential settlement over a wrongful termination suit, and never revealed the identity of the executive, according to the Times. But the new information says that Regan had taped a call with Ailes, where they discussed her relationship with Bernard Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner who had an affair with Regan--and the alleged reason behind Ailes' attempted intervention. Kerik had been nominated to be secretary of Homeland Security and had close ties to Rudy Giuliani.
The response from News Corporation? From the Times:
"In a statement released on Wednesday, a News Corporation spokeswoman did not deny that Mr. Ailes was the executive on the recording. But the spokeswoman, Teri Everett, said News Corporation had a letter from Ms. Regan 'stating that Mr. Ailes did not intend to influence her with respect to a government investigation.' Ms. Everett added, 'The matter is closed.'"
"It is unclear whether the existence of the tape played a role in News Corporation’s decision to move quickly to settle Ms. Regan’s lawsuit," the Times adds. And the case is closed. But as the Times notes, the revelation of the tape could still prove to be "highly embarrassing" to Ailes.