ChiTrib: GOP Operative Seeking Hillary Emails Killed Himself

Peter Smith Obituary

Smith had a heart problem, for a treatment he went to Mayo Clinic.According to death records, he took his life in a Rochester, Minnesota hotel room, by placing over his head a bag attached to a helium source.

Smith had told people said that Trump adviser Michael Flynn was helping with his plan to find the emails, according to the Journal, although Flynn's role has not been confirmed.

Just days prior, he'd talked to the Wall Street Journal about his efforts to acquire e-mails, he thought, might have been stolen from Clinton's private server while she was Secretary of State.

The Chicago Tribune acquired Olmsted County death records, showing 81-year-old Peter W. Smith killed himself in a hotel near Mayo Clinic on May 14. That account was also included in a medical examiner's report and a Rochester police report, according to the Tribune.

In his note, Smith wrote "NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER" was involved in his death, and said he took his own life because of a "RECENT BAD TURN IN HEALTH SINCE JANUARY, 2017" and because he "LIFE INSURANCE OF $5 MILLION (was) EXPIRING". According to the Tribune, asphyxiation with helium is a method promoted by the Final Exit Network, a non-profit that offers information to people who suffer from terminal illness and want to commit suicide.


A private-equity executive and a longtime opposition researcher for conservative groups, Smith told Harris last month that he had found several hacker groups-two of them Russian-that claimed to have access to Clinton's e-mails, although he couldn't confirm their authenticity.

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. Smith denied to the Journal that he was working with the Trump campaign. "NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER", read a suicide note left behind at the scene.

While Smith had boasted ties to various members of the Trump campaign throughout his personal quest, those now-White House officials either declined to comment or claimed they had no idea what Smith was up to.

He also implied he was working with Mike Flynn, the disgraced former General Trump made his national security adviser before he was forced to resign.

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