Christopher Sign, the man who blew the whistle about the 2016 tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, has been found dead in his apartment. His death is being invesitgated by police as an apparent “suicide,” according to Alabama police Lt. Keith Czeskleba.
The body of the 45-year-old news anchor for ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, was discovered by Hoover police and fire personnel at 8 a.m. on Saturday following a 911 call about a person down in a residence in Alabama.
“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,” ABC 33/40 vice president Eric Land said in a statement.
Sign wrote a book exposing the Clinton tarmac story called Secret on the Tarmac.
“The plan was perfect. No cameras, no microphones, no prying eyes and plenty of security. The setting for a clandestine meeting could not have been better. Former President Bill Clinton exited Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s private plane 20-minutes after he boarded. Both thought they got away with it. Both were wrong. Amid a heated Presidential race, federal investigations involving emails and Benghazi and society looking for clarity on the future of the country, the secret tarmac meeting would only complicate things. The secret meeting would have never been revealed if it weren’t for a veteran journalist and a trusted source,” his book synopsis says.
When the devastating tarmac story came out, it made waves internationally as the secret meeting took place during an election – and just days before then-FBI Director James Comey announced the bureau would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton.
Washingtonexaminer.com reports: Lynch said in a July 1, 2016 interview that she would not recuse herself from the Clinton email investigation but that she would accept the recommendation of the career agents and prosecutors who conducted it. This came after she had obtained an ethics opinion from the Departmental Ethics Office that she was not required to recuse herself.
Both Bill Clinton and Lynch claim the email investigation was not brought up during their chat, but Sign, who was a morning anchor at the Phoenix-area ABC15 when he first reported their encounter, said there was more to the story and wrote a book about it, Secret on the Tarmac.
The book “details everything that they don’t want you to know and everything they think you forgot. But Bill Clinton was on that plane for 20 minutes, and it wasn’t just about golf, grandkids, and Brexit,” Sign said on Fox & Friends in February 2020. “There’s so much that doesn’t add up.”
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz examined the tarmac meeting as part of a review of the FBI’s emails investigation. In a report released in June 2018, Horowitz said Clinton was in Phoenix for “several campaign events, including a roundtable discussion with Latino leaders and a campaign fundraiser, and his plane was preparing to depart” when he crossed paths with Lynch, whose plane had just arrived. Horowitz also criticized Lynch for making statements that “created considerable public confusion” about her role in the emails investigation, although he said investigators found no evidence the email inquiry was discussed.
Sign told Fox News in early 2020 his family received numerous death threats since he broke the story about the meeting in the lead-up to the 2016 election. “My family received significant death threats shortly after breaking this story,” Sign said at the time. “Credit cards hacked. You know, my children, we have code words. We have secret code words that they know what to do.”
Tributes for Sign were posted to social media overnight.
Our newsroom — and so many of my colleagues — are hurting today. Christopher Sign was a damn good journalist. Genuine, inspirational, beyond passionate, and cared so deeply about every story. Devastated tonight. https://t.co/mvvzmtAKHg pic.twitter.com/r2CJFKVp79— Josh Frigerio, ABC15 (@JoshFrigerio) June 13, 2021
So incredibly sad to hear that @ChristopherSign, has passed away, he will be sorely missed. I spoke with him numerous times over the years in my capacity as a public official, he always got the story right. Condolences to his family and to his colleagues at @abc3340.— Mark R. Hall (@MarkRHall) June 13, 2021
Sign is survived by his wife, Laura, and their three sons.