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Newsmax White House Correspondent Sends Full Article to GOP Official for Review, Documents Show

”This is a fireable offense at every single news organization I have worked for or with,“ says ProPublica’s Jessica Huseman

A White House correspondent for Newsmax sent a full article he planned to publish about President Trump’s voter fraud commission to the head of that commission for review, according to new documents released on Friday.

John Gizzi emailed commission chief Kris Kobach, the full text of his article, including Kobach’s own quotes, and asked him to review it and make sure it checked out.

The article, ultimately published as “States Cooperating With Election Fraud Investigation” appeared on Newsmax on July 25, 2017 — the same day as his email to Kobach.

The issue was first brought to wide public attention by ProPublica reporter Jessica Huseman, who noted that the move would be “a fireable offense at every single news organization I have worked for or with.”

Gizzi, one of the most visible employees at the conservative media company Newsmax, has become a staple at White House press conferences and is known for his distinctive drawl and old-fashion style. He is one of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders’ favorite journalists and will routinely call on him for questions during briefings.

In a statement to TheWrap, Newsmax chief Chris Ruddy said Gizzi’s behavior did not follow “standard practice” at the company and insisted that sources like Kobach were never allowed any editorial oversight over content.

“In the past some reporters have felt comfortable sending a full article to a source (or expert) as John Gizzi did in this case, however this is not our standard practice and we do not promise these sources or experts editorial control,” said Ruddy. “Newsmax strives for accuracy and retains full editorial control over its material.”

Ruddy did not say if Newsmax was aware of Gizzi’s activity beforehand or whether the veteran newsman will face any consequences.

Gizzi did not respond to inquiries from TheWrap, but he did get into it with Huseman on Twitter.

“If a reporter doesn’t record, it is a good policy to run quotes past subject & thus avoid “corrections” & “retractions” from subbject later,” said Gizzi. “Along w. sending to the subject to check his quotes, I sent WHOLE ARTICLE to election law experts Jay O’Callaghan & Hans von Soakovsky to double check complex terms he used on voter I’D.”

Gizzi mostly sidestepped the issue of sending his full article, focusing instead on sending the quotes, which is a practice some news organizations, particularly the New York Times, prohibit.

You can read the full argument below.