Newsweek deleted the stories smearing William Moran and claiming that Sputnik News colluded with the Trump campaign.
Eichenwald, a senior writer for Newsweek, has been repeatedly caught lying, falsifying sources and making up stories, but because he remained dedicated to the mainstream media narrative, his transgressions never hurt his career, but rather have propelled it. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Eichenwald found a new bandwagon and decided to become the smearer-in-chief of then-candidate Donald Trump. He falsely claimed that The Donald had been admitted to a psychiatric clinic, but when asked to prove his allegations was unable to produce any evidence. He was one of the first to quote the quickly discredited "Golden Showers" dossier as proof that Trump was a Russian spy and, of course, accused Sputnik of being in cahoots with WikiLeaks and its staff of being not journalists but spies.
It was the final claim that finally got Eichenwald in trouble, taken down by a young journalist and lawyer who refused to be bought off or intimidated.
Now, two of the publication’s most popular stories of 2016, “Dear Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, I am not Sidney Blumenthal” and “How I Got Slimed by Russian Propaganda Site Sputnik,” have gone dark following a settlement reached with former Sputnik writer William Moran. Those unfamiliar with the background of the story can read about it here, but in short, Moran, in reading a release of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s emails by WikiLeaks, mistakenly attributed an article by Eichenwald to Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal and wrote a piece based on this erroneous attribution. Moran realized his mistake within 20 minutes and deleted the article, but its brief online life was enough for Eichenwald to come up with a wild conspiracy theory connecting Sputnik, WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign, as Trump gave a speech at a rally the same day, quoting the same tweet that had confused Moran and led to the story mistake.
After Moran reached out to Eichenwald, trying to explain what really happened and request a retraction, Eichenwald instead offered him a job as a political reporter with The New Republic in exchange for silence. When the young journalist refused and went public with his explanation of events and Eichenwald’s bullying, the Newsweek writer doubled down on his claims.
Smearing Trump as a Putin puppet and Sputnik journalists as Russian spies earned Eichenwald top slots on cable news channels: he was greeted as an American hero. The real story behind the scandal remained largely uncovered by the mainstream press.
Moran left Sputnik after the scandal. A recent Georgetown law graduate, he decided to pursue legal action against Newsweek and despite facing a team of high-paid lawyers, managed to bring the online publication to a humiliating settlement.
In a statement, Moran said, "The lawsuit has been settled amicably and to my satisfaction. After the settlement, Newsweek removed Eichenwald's two stories ‘Dear Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, I am not Sidney Blumenthal’ and ‘How I Got Slimed by Russian Propagandist Site Sputnik.’"
“I brought this case before I was admitted to the bar and was up against the talented attorneys at mega law firm Pepper Hamilton. In recent weeks, I was admitted to the bar and anybody in need of a good libel attorney should contact me through my website www.moranmedialaw.com,” he continued.
“As for any possible questions regarding the terms, I have no comment as the parties to the agreement have agreed to keep the terms confidential."