A few weeks ago it was revealed that the Wall Street Journal had interviewed a man named Peter W. Smith back in May. This 81 year old man claimed to have been searching for Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails, citing in recruitment documents that he had ties with Michael Flynn and Steve Bannon, both members of the Trump campaign.
What made this story even more interesting was the fact that Smith, a GOP operative, claimed to have been in contact with two different hackers from Russian, which he believed to be connected to the Kremlin. These hackers did provide Smith with alleged copies of Clinton’s missing emails, but Smith decided not to released them as he could not guarantee that they were legitimate.
The story took another turn in an odd direction when the Wall Street Journal reported that Smith had died approximately 10 days after the interview from unknown causes. For a couple of weeks now, reporters have been trying to figure out Smith’s cause of death. After all, it was odd for him to admit to working with Russian hackers to gain access to what may have been Clinton’s missing emails, and then pass away less than two weeks later.
Well, just hours ago the Chicago Tribune uncovered Smith’s cause of death, and the answer likely will only bring up more questions. According to records that the Chicago Tribune was able to get a hold of, Smith passed away in a Rochester, Minnesota hotel used mostly by Mayo Clinic patients. Cause of death? Suicide by asphyxiation. Smith apparently used a plastic back along with a tank of helium to end his life.
To make matters even more odd, he left a carefully prepared file of documents that included a suicide note which made sure to point out that “No foul play whatsoever” was involved. The note also stated that the reason for the suicide was because of “recent bad turn in health since January, 2017,” and that his life insurance policy worth $5 million was soon to expire.
While this all certainly does point to a suicide, there are bound to be questions by skeptics about the timing and oddities within the note, as well as past deaths which appeared to have been suicides but were murders at the hands of those associated with the Kremlin.