Peter W. Smith, according to the Chicago Tribune, took his own life 10 days after contacting the Wall Street Journal. Smith told the Journal that he had found five groups of hackers on the darknet that had a copy of all 33,000 of Hillary Clinton’s deleted/stolen emails. He then died. The 81-year-old’s death was shrouded in mystery and the cause of death remained unknown by the public—until mid-July.
The GOP operative died in a hotel near the Mayo Clinic on May 14, according to death records from Olmsted County, Minnesota. He left an intricately worded note for authorities, undoubtedly with foresight into the type of repercussions his death would bring. In the death note, Smith wrote that he had taken his own life due to medical difficulties and an expiring health insurance plan.
Authorities said that there was no evidence of foul play, nor was there any reason to believe anything other than what Smith had left in the suicide note. Regardless, the shade surrounding the man’s death inspired a host of conspiracy theorists. But other than the timing and so-called “coincidence,” little evidence, if any, exists to support the claims of foul play.
His note explained that his team worked alone—rather, they worked independently of the Trump administration. But he further detailed that Lt Gen Michael Flynn had expressed an interest in his work and implied that the two had considered a working relationship, according to the Tribune.
“Days [prior to his death], The Journal also reported it had seen emails written by Smith showing his team considered retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then a top adviser to Republican Donald Trump’s campaign, an ally. Flynn briefly was President Trump’s national security adviser and resigned after it was determined he had failed to disclose contacts with Russia.”
Smith and his team had taken on the quest to find Clinton’s emails. Clinton deleted (or somehow lost) 33,000 emails after the State Department ordered that she turn them over. The long-time GOP operative thought that he had pursued a path that contributed to the Trump administration, but the mainstream media thought otherwise. The statements he gave to the Journal indicated that Flynn had a greater interest in Russia than he acknowledged, NYMag reported.
Smith reported that he had found five groups of hackers on the darknet with access to the emails. Two of the groups, he said, were composed of Russian hackers. Investigators are currently attempting to work through Smith and his team’s work in an attempt to find both the deleted emails and any evidence of the current administration’s possible collusion with Russia.