In the days since Republican political operative Peter W. Smith was revealed to have been a central figure in alleged election collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia, one key question has gone unanswered: how did Smith die? And for that matter, what are the odds that he randomly dropped dead just ten days after he spoke with the Wall Street Journal?
Smith was eighty-one years old, so natural causes are certainly a possibility – but that can’t be assumed. So we set out to learn his cause of death. We started with the fact that the Wall Street Journal reporter who interviewed Smith has said that even he can’t get answers. That means Smith’s family and/or associates aren’t interested in cooperating. So instead we decided to pursue the official route.
Smith was a resident of Illinois, which believe it or not, complicates things. Each state has its own set of laws when it comes to who is and is not allowed to request a death certificate. It turns out under Illinois law, you can only file a request with the state for a copy of the death certificate if you’re pursuing a property claim in relation to that death. As of yet we’re not even able to confirm if a death certificate has been issued yet, and if an autopsy was (or will be) performed. But we’re not done yet.
There are other legal avenues that can be pursued in attempting to obtain Peter Smith’s death certificate, due to the fact that he’s become a public figure in a major federal criminal investigation. As we pursue the matter, we’ll point out again that although Vladimir Putin appears to have murdered several people with ties to the Trump-Russia scandal, none of them were Americans. But it’s still worth pursuing whether it was a coincidence that Mr. Smith died shortly after he spoke to the media about his role in the scandal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report