A Republican operative killed himself just days after telling the Wall Street Journal how he worked to find former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's missing emails, which he suspected were obtained by Russian hackers.
In the Minnesota hotel room where he committed suicide, 81-year-old Peter W. Smith left a suicide note attributing his suicide to poor health and a $5 million life insurance policy he said would soon expire. According to the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, Smith said in a note that no foul play “whatsoever” occurred or played a part in his death on May 14.
In June, the WSJ published its story on Smith's efforts and reported that he considered former National Security Advisor Michael Fynn an ally. He reportedly shared with the Journal his discovery that two groups of Russian hackers, among others, claimed to have Clinton's missing emails.
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.
Smith died of asphyxiation and was found with a bag over his head. His hotel was located near the Mayo Clinic, where a former employee of his said he visited for a heart condition.