Washington Post Self-Reports on Its Incoming Top Editor’s Involvement With Admitted Information ‘Thief’

The Washington Post has uncovered that Robert Winnett, the paper’s own soon-to-be executive editor, has ties to a man who admitted to using illegal tactics to obtain confidential information for another outlet.

John Ford, once an aspiring actor, has admitted to using deceptive and unethical means to obtain information for Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper. When Ford was arrested by London police in 2010, he called Winnett to help him, after working together throughout the years, according to a Monday report in the Post.

While in legal trouble, Winnett connected Ford with a lawyer, assuring him that his efforts to obtain confidential information would not be uncovered, Ford wrote in draft book chapters shared with the Post.

Winnett, who is currently a deputy editor of the Telegraph, is poised to take over the executive editor role at the Post after the 2024 presidential election in November. He was appointed by CEO Will Lewis, who is also mentioned in Ford’s draft chapters.

Winnett did not respond to the Post’s request for comment which included a detailed list of questions about his connection to Ford.

In one chapter, Ford details working with Winnett on many stories about business affairs, which was part of a broader arrangement with the Sunday Times.

Ford was engaged in uncovering confidential information about the U.K. elite, including tactics like changing their bank passwords and calling government agencies with false personas to gain information.

According to the Post, which reviewed Winnett’s reporting for the Times, there is an apparent overlap between Ford’s book chapters and Winnett’s work at the outlet.

The Post has been embroiled in scandal since Will Lewis announced he would be bringing on Winnett as executive editor. Lewis was accused of using stolen phone records to assign stories as business editor at The Sunday Times.

The continued turmoil at The Post came as Lewis works to course-correct recent losses — $77 million in a year.

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