Politics, Roundup

Not Suspicious At All: GOP Operative Who Sought Clinton Emails Committed Suicide

Hillary Clinton’s email scandal has become such a widespread cultural phenomenon that there is an entire class of memes dedicated to the subject. One of the most popular varieties includes a picture of a recently deceased celebrity captioned, “What did they know about Hillary Clinton’s emails?”

While those memes are merely intended to poke fun at Clinton suicide conspiracy theorists, there have also been more serious cases that deserve special attention. One of those is the death of Peter W. Smith, a Republican political operative who was recently found dead under suspicious circumstances. As the Chicago Tribune reports:

A Republican donor and operative from Chicago’s North Shore who said he had tried to obtain Hillary Clinton‘s missing emails from Russian hackers killed himself in a Minnesota hotel room days after talking to The Wall Street Journal about his efforts, public records show.

In mid-May, in a room at a Rochester hotel used almost exclusively by Mayo Clinic patients and relatives, Peter W. Smith, 81, left a carefully prepared file of documents, including a statement police called a suicide note in which he said he was in ill health and a life insurance policy was expiring.

However, the Chicago Tribune obtained a Minnesota state death record filed in Olmsted County saying Smith committed suicide in a hotel near the Mayo Clinic at 1:17 p.m. on Sunday, May 14. He was found with a bag over his head with a source of helium attached. A medical examiner’s report gives the same account, without specifying the time, and a report from Rochester police further details his suicide.

It should be noted that there was a suicide note which explicitly stated there was no foul play involved. The note explained that Smith committed suicide because of ill health and an expiring health insurance policy. Although, to entertain the conspiracy theorists, that would be the exact type of note left if there were foul play involved.

At this point, it’s not possible to tell what happened either way.

(Photo of then-Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally for the Utah Democratic party October 25, 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah. by George Frey/Getty Images)

Wilson most recently served as the Director of Social Media on the presidential campaign of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.
He started in politics by founding the political advocacy organization A Libertarian Future after the 2012 presidential election. Its Facebook page now reaches tens of millions of people a month, and the website received more than 10 million pageviews in three years.
Wilson has also launched a successful digital marketing firm with a range of domestic and international clients. After living in Europe intermittently throughout college, he currently resides in California – strictly for the climate.

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