GOP operative who hunted for Hillary Clinton's emails killed himself

Marsha Scott
July 15, 2017

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal just days before his death in May, Smith implied he was working with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn ― who briefly served as Trump's national security adviser before resigning in February ― on the research. He wrote that he had made a decision to kill himself because of a "RECENT BAD TURN IN HEALTH SINCE JANUARY, 2017" and had based his timing partly on "LIFE INSURANCE OF $5 MILLION EXPIRING".

Smith had lived in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest.

A Journal reporter, who covered Smith, previously said the operative likely died of natural causes but the Tribune revealed that a public record identified Smith's death as resulting from suicide.

A Mayo Clinic located near the hotel denied to confirm whether Smith was a patient, the Tribune said.

Authorities don't suspect foul play in Smith's death, but social media was not certain.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Smith killed himself in a hotel room in Minnesota.

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A former employee of Smith's said the 81-year-old had recently checked into the clinic for treatment for a heart condition.

Records show Smith died of asphyxiation with a bag over his head that was connected to a helium source.

A later report in the Journal claimed Smith also referenced White House aides Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon and campaign policy adviser Sam Clovis in a recruitment document for his attempts to track down the emails.

Police reports confirmed tanks of helium were found in the room, as well as receipts for a nearby Walmart where Smith purchased "Helium Jumbo".

The new details emerged after Smith's piece in the Journal stated he was convinced emails missing from Clinton's server were in the hands of hackers.

Flynn, who was sacked in February just weeks after starting in his role as national security adviser to Trump and making misleading comments about his conversations with Russia's USA ambassador, has not commented on Smith's search for Clinton's e-mails, or any involvement Flynn himself may have had with Smith in the process. Smith told The Journal that although he knew Flynn, he never said whether Flynn was involved. He also led private equity firms for more than 40 years.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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