The body of a Birmingham, Alabama journalist who broke the story about the controversial 2016 tarmac meeting in Phoenix between former President Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch was found on Saturday morning of an 'apparent suicide,' according to AL.com.
45-year-old Christopher Sign - a news anchor at ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, was discovered at around 8 a.m. by Hoover police and fire personnel, according to the report.
"Our deepest sympathy is shared with Christopher’s loving family and close friends. We have lost a revered colleague who’s indelible imprint will serve forever as a hallmark of decency, honesty and journalist integrity. We can only hope to carry on his legacy. May his memory be for blessing," said ABC 33/40 Vice President and General Manager Eric Land in a statement.
The tarmac bombshell, which gave the appearance that Bill Clinton was privately pleading his wife's email case after then-FBI James Comey launched a new investigation, is thought to have contributed to Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016.
Sign, meanwhile, had complained last year of receiving 'significant' death threats, having his credit cards hacked, and creating code-words to use with his children.
THIS IS REPORTER WHO BROKE CLINTON-LYNCH TARMAC STORY, DEAD FROM SUICIDE, COMPLAINED OF DEATH THREATS pic.twitter.com/UqoK5BYlaO
— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) June 13, 2021
Sign, an Emmy-award winning reporter, made national headlines over the June 27, 2016 tarmac meeting at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport amid the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of an unauthorized server. The meeting between Clinton and Lynch occurred days before Comey announced that the bureau would not press charges against Hillary - after the agency changed internal language describing Clinton's conduct from "gross negligence" to "extremely careless."
"Gross negligence" is a legal term of art in criminal law often associated with recklessness. According to Black's Law Dictionary, gross negligence is A severe degree of negligence taken as reckless disregard," and "Blatant indifference to one's legal duty, other's safety, or their rights. "Extremely careless," on the other hand, is not a legal term of art.
In addition to the "gross negligence" --> "extremely careless" edit (performed by disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok), the FBI removed a key justification for elevating Clinton's actions to the standard of "gross negligence" - that being the "sheer volume" of classified material on Clinton's server. In the original draft, the "sheer volume" of material "supports an inference that the participants were grossly negligent in their handling of that information."
Also removed from Comey's statement were all references to the Intelligence Community's involvement in investigating Clinton's private email server, as well as changing the language to downgrade the probability that Clinton's server was hacked by hostile actors, changing their language from "reasonably likely" to "possible" - an edit which eliminated yet another justification for the phrase "Gross negligence." To put it another way, "reasonably likely" means the probability of a hack due to Clinton's negligence is above 50 percent, whereas the hack simply being "possible" is any probability above zero.
In short, Bill Clinton's tarmac meeting appears to have had quite the effect on his wife's investigation, despite the fact that she still lost. And now the guy who broke the story is dead.
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