A former United Nations official whose testimony could have linked back to Hillary Clinton died two weeks ago in what some have called “suspicious” circumstances.
John Ashe, 61, the former head of the U.N. General Assembly, died from “traumatic asphyxia with laryngeal cartilage fractures while lifting barbell on bench,” according to the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The United Nations originally reported the cause of death as a heart attack, the New York Post reported.
But, the Post reported, the death could turn out to be a bigger case for conspiracy theorists than the death of Vince Foster.
Ashe was set to appear in court with his Chinese businessman co-defendant Ng Lap Seng who faces charges of smuggling $4.5 million into the U.S. under the guise of using it purchase casino chips and art, according to the Post.
Ng was identified in a 1998 Senate report as the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally funneled through an Arkansas restaurant owner, Charlie Trie, to the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton administration. (Ng was not charged with any crime.)
Ng and Trie had visited the White House several times for Democratic fundraising events and were photographed with then-President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton.
“During the trial, the prosecutors would have linked Ashe to the Clinton bagman Ng. It would have been very embarrassing. His death was conveniently timed,” a source told the Post.
But Ashe’s attorney Jeremy Schneide said there was nothing suspicious about the death, which he called an accident.
“There is not one iota of evidence that it was homicide. This is nothing at all like Vince Foster,” he told the Post.
Debunking website Snopes characterized the link to Clinton as “mostly false.”
We contacted the U.S. District Attorney for the Southern District of New York to verify the claims about Ashe and Clinton. According to the individual with whom we spoke, CNN’s report that Ashe’s corruption trial was set to begin just five days after his death was not accurate: Ashe was only scheduled to attend some standard pre-trial meetings in the following days.
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