Over the past forty-eight hours, obscure Republican political strategist Peter W. Smith has suddenly become a national figure. Smith is now confirmed to have sought to collude with Russian hackers stealing emails from Donald Trump’s opposition, while claiming to have been working with former Trump adviser Michael Flynn. One little problem: Smith just mysteriously dropped dead.
The Wall Street Journal has released two articles on Peter W. Smith in the past two days, the first documenting that Smith claimed he was working with Flynn (link), and the second documenting that Smith had some kind of recruiting connection with Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway (link). In both articles it’s mentioned in passing that Smith died ten days after he spoke with the WSJ, but no explanation is given for his death. Now it turns out that’s because the WSJ has no idea how or why he died, and can’t get any answers.
The reporter involved, Shane Harris, appeared on cable television and revealed that he doesn’t know why Smith is suddenly dead (link). He was eighty-one years old, but that doesn’t mean anything was wrong with his health. If Smith was speaking with the WSJ as some sort of deathbed confession, he didn’t let the reporter in on that fact. That’s led to rampant online speculation that something may have happened to Smith as a result of his decision to go public with his collusion story.
Palmer Report has spent extensive time documenting the mysterious deaths of numerous prominent Russians with connections to the Trump-Russia scandal, some of whom Vladimir Putin almost certainly had murdered. But Putin has no documented history of killing Americans. So if Russia is involved in Peter Smith’s death, it would represent a major break from the established norm. What makes Smith’s death the most suspicious is that even the Wall Street Journal can’t get answers on why their own interview subject dropped dead just days after he talked to them.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report