Tags: peter w. smith | suicide | hillary clinton | emails

WSJ: GOP Operative Searching For Missing Clinton Emails Killed Himself With Helium

Image: WSJ: GOP Operative Searching For Missing Clinton Emails Killed Himself With Helium
(AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 14 Jul 2017 03:37 PM

The GOP operative who was searching for the 33,000 emails missing from Democrat Hillary Clinton's private server allegedly committed suicide by pumping helium into a plastic bag over his head, according to police.

Peter W. Smith, 81, was discovered in a hotel room in Rochester, Minn. on May 14. Roughly 10 days prior, The Wall Street Journal interviewed him about his efforts to find Clinton's lost emails.

On Friday, the Journal reported that police found several items in Smith's hotel room that led them to believe he killed himself.

The Journal cites the police report, which said the note left behind claimed "there was no foul play, no one assisted him, he had a recent bad turn of health and that his life insurance policy would soon expire."

Authorities also found a receipt from a local Walmart for a helium tank and pliers. Police said Smith left financial information and his written obituary.

The hotel in which he was found was across the street from the Mayo Clinic, which he reportedly had visited recently.

Smith's efforts to locate the thousands of missing emails from Clinton's home-based server, which she said were deleted after they were deemed personal in nature, began last September. During his search, he contacted several hacking groups — including two from Russia — who all claimed to have found the emails.

Smith ultimately urged the groups to pass the messages along to WikiLeaks because he was not sure of their authenticity.

According to the Journal, Smith had sent out communications as he searched for the emails and mentioned that retired Gen. Michael Flynn, who was a member of President Donald Trump's campaign team, and Flynn's son knew about his efforts.

Smith also mentioned Kellyanne Conway, Trump's campaign manager who is now White House counselor, Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist, and Sam Clovis, who advised Trump's campaign and who now works at the Department of Agriculture.

The FBI investigated Clinton, who unsuccessfully ran for president last year, because of her use of a private email server, several email addresses, and multiple personal mobile devices while she worked as secretary of state from 2009-2013. She was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, a still controversial decision.

Clinton turned over roughly 30,000 emails she said were work related to the State Department, but deleted about 33,000 others she said were personal.

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The GOP operative who was searching for the 33,000 emails missing from Democrat Hillary Clinton's private server allegedly committed suicide by pumping helium into a plastic bag over his head, according to police.
peter w. smith, suicide, hillary clinton, emails
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2017-37-14
Friday, 14 Jul 2017 03:37 PM
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