HILLARY CLINTON’S EMAILS: PETER SMITH, GOP OPERATIVE WHO TRIED TO GET THEM FROM RUSSIAN HACKERS, KILLED HIMSELF
A Republican operative who reportedly sought to obtain emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server from people he thought were Russian hackers killed himself in a hotel room in May.
Peter W. Smith, 81, left a file of documents in the Rochester, Minnesota room where he died, including what police described as a suicide note, according to The Chicago Tribune.
Days before his death Smith, gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal about his attempts to obtain the emails and his relationship to former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Smith denied to the Journal that he was working with the Trump campaign. But in one recruitment document obtained by the Journal, Smith claimed links to Flynn, along with then-Trump campaign staff Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, and Sam Clovis.
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A Republican Party operative who said he tried to obtain Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers committed suicide days after speaking to The Wall Street Journal, records acquired by the Chicago Tribune show.
Peter W. Smith, an 81-year-old GOP donor from Chicago, was found dead in a Rochester, Minnesota hotel room on May 14. The Tribune obtained a state death record stating Smith committed suicide in the hotel on the date.
Smith said he had created a team to find the emails that might have been stolen by hackers during Clinton’s tenure as U.S. Secretary of State, although the Journal reported Smith was focused on obtaining the 30,000 emails Clinton claimed she deleted because they were personal.
In Smith’s hotel room, he left a “statement police called a suicide note in which he said he was in ill health and a life insurance policy was expiring,” the Tribune reported.
His death, which a police chief called “unusual,” had been recorded as “asphyxiation due to displacement of oxygen in a confined space with helium.” Smith was found with a bag over his head and a helium source attached.
According to the Tribune, Smith wrote two blog posts before his death: one challenging the U.S. intelligence community’s findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and another “predicting” that “the Russian interference story will die of its own weight.”
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