A Republican Party operative who stated he tried to get Hillary Clintons emails from Russian hackers committed suicide days after speaking to The Wall Street Journal, records obtained by the Chicago Tribune show.
Peter W. Smith, an 81-year-old GOP donor in Chicago, was found dead at a Rochester, Minnesota hotel room on May 14. The Tribune acquired a country death record saying Smith committed suicide at the resort on the date.
The Journal reported that Smith, a longtime opposition researcher to the GOP, mounted an independent effort to acquire emails he thought were stolen by Hillary Clintons private server, likely by Russian hackers and implied he had been working with Gen. Michael Flynn, then a senior advisor to then-candidate Donald Trump.
Smith stated he’d established a group to discover the emails which may have been stolen by hackers throughout Clintons tenure as U.S. Secretary of State, though the Journal reported Smith was focused on getting the 30,000 emails Clinton maintained she deleted because they were personal.
In Smiths hotel area, he left a announcement police called a suicide note in which he stated he had been in ill health and a life insurance policy was dying, the Tribune reported.
His death, that the police chief called unusual, was recorded since asphyxiation due to displacement of oxygen in a confined area with helium. Smith was found with a bag over his head and a helium supply attached.
According to the Tribune, Smith composed two blog posts prior to his death one ambitious the U.S. intelligence communitys findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and the other predicting that “the Russian hindrance narrative will die of its own weight.”
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