Peter Smith was a longtime Republican operative who was reportedly working to obtain Hillary Clinton's emails from Russian hackers and turn them over to Michael Flynn at the Trump campaign:
In the interview with the Journal, Mr. Smith said he and his colleagues found five groups of hackers who claimed to possess Mrs. Clinton’s deleted emails, including two groups he determined were Russians.
“We knew the people who had these were probably around the Russian government,” Mr. Smith said.
He died 10 days after the interview with that Wall Street Journal and until now, the cause of his death had not been reported. The Chicago Tribune is now reporting he committed suicide:
Republican donor and operative from Chicago's North Shore who said he had tried to obtain Hillary Clinton's missing emails from Russian hackers killed himself in a Minnesota hotel room days after talking to the Wall Street Journal about his efforts, public records show.
In a room at a Rochester hotel used almost exclusively by Mayo Clinic patients and relatives, Peter W. Smith, 81, left a carefully prepared file of documents, which includes a statement police called a suicide note in which he said he was in ill health and a life insurance policy was expiring.
Days earlier, the financier from suburban Lake Forest gave an interview to the Journal about his quest, and it published stories about his efforts beginning in late June. The Journal also reported it had seen emails written by Smith showing his team considered retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then a top adviser to Republican Donald Trump's campaign, as an ally. Flynn briefly was President Trump's national security adviser and resigned after it was determined he had failed to disclose contacts with Russia.