Latest on Wayne Simmons, Frequent Fox News Guest Indicted for Faking CIA Past - iMediaEthics

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Neil Cavuto apologized last week. (Credit: Fox News, screenshot)

Some more news has surfaced about Wayne Simmons, the frequent Fox News guest the U.S. government indicted last week for fabricating his credentials and falsely boasting of a three-decade CIA career.

A federal judge, Ivan Davis, didn’t allow Simmons, 62, to be released from jail because “he has a lack of regard for the law,” ABC News reported, citing his “past brushes with the law.” ABC News reported:

“Simmons hadn’t paid his mortgage since 2010 and his car was repossessed last month, according to the prosecutor. He was also arrested 11 times for driving under the influence of alcohol, prosecutors said. The disposition of those cases was not clear.

“Two weapons were found in his home when he was arrested last week, even though he was prohibited from owning firearms because of previous weapons convictions. The details of those cases were not clear.”

Interestingly, ABC News reported that Simmons’ lawyer Whitney Minter said his client has known the government was investigating him for two years. Minter is the First Assistant Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Simmons was indicted for “charges of major fraud against the United States, wire fraud, and making false statements to the government.

Last week, Neil Cavuto issued a thorough on-air apology, which Fox News sent to iMediaEthics, in which he accepted responsibility for having Simmons on the show and promised to vet guests thoroughly to regain viewers’ trust.

Cavuto said on air:

“In the last 24 hours, it has come to our attention that a frequent guest on this show might not have been who he purported to be. Fed prosecutors now claim Wayne Simmons was not a former CIA operative, or for that matter ever worked at the CIA at all.

“If it’s true that all our due diligence and vetting on Mr. Simmons missed this, that’s big and that’s on me and only me. And you as viewers have little reason to be comforted by the excuse that Mr. Simmons might, and I stress might, have fooled many others including no less than former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

“But the responsibility to check out who comes on this show ultimately lies with me. After all its my … name on it. I’m in charge of it. I decide who comes on it. If in so doing, I wasn’t thorough enough, or followed up enough, it’s on me and I apologize. You have a right to expect guests who appear here to be who they say they are here.

“Now it’s a very rare slip up but it’s a very big slip up and i will make doubly sure something like this never ever happens again. I value your trust and I promise, I promise to work very hard to regain it.”

At the Washington Post, Erik Wemple collected a handful of Simmons’ “tough-guy claims” on Fox News.


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