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Reporter who broke story on Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch tarmac meeting found dead

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Christopher Sign, the reporter who broke the story about a highly controversial meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch during an FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails, was found dead Saturday from an apparent suicide.

Sign, a former University of Alabama football player and a TV news veteran, was found dead in his apartment Saturday morning by Hoover (Alabama) Police and fire personnel after receiving a 911 call, according to AL.com. He was 45, married, with three children, reports noted.

Hoover PD spokesman Lt. Keith Czeskleba told local media that Sign’s death is being investigated as a suicide.

In 2017, ABC 33/40 announced that Sign was coming home to Birmingham from Phoenix to be the station’s new evening news anchor.

“Our deepest sympathy is shared with Chris’s loving family and close friends,” said Sinclair Broadcast Group Vice President and General Manager Eric S. Land. “We have lost a revered colleague whose indelible imprint will serve forever as a hallmark of decency, honesty and journalist integrity. We can only hope to carry on Chris’s legacy. May his memory be for blessing.”

Sign grew up near Dallas and attended the University of Alabama in the 1990s, playing all four years as an offensive lineman for the Crimson Tide. But he is most notable for breaking the story of the tarmac meeting between the former president and then-AG Lynch as the Obama administration’s investigation into Hillary Clinton, who was sailing into the Democratic presidential nominee at the time, was reaching its peak.

The early July 2016 meeting came just days before then-FBI Director James Comey held a bizarre news conference to announce that despite the fact the bureau had found evidence that Obama’s former secretary of state had mishandled several highly classified emails — each offense a felony — she would not be charged because “no reasonable prosecutor” would make the case.

Comey was criticized by Republicans and then-GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump for his refusal to recommend charges, but according to Sign, the fix may have been in from the beginning.

During an interview on Fox News in February 2020 to hype his new book about the encounter, “Secret on the Tarmac,” Sign said that the meeting was “not a coincidence.”

“When I broke this story, we knew something had occurred that was a bit unusual. It was a planned meeting. It was not a coincidence,” Sign said. “Bill Clinton was on that plane for 20 minutes and it wasn’t just about golf, grandkids, and Brexit. There’s so much that doesn’t add up.”

Sign went on to explain that a “trusted source” informed him Bill Clinton purposefully waited for Lynch at the Phoenix airport.

“He then sat and waited in his car with the motorcade, her airstairs come down, most of her staff gets off, he then gets on as the Secret Service and FBI are figuring out ‘How in the world are we supposed to handle this? What are we going to do?’” said Sign. “This story isn’t about right or left, Republican or Democrat, it’s about right and wrong and journalism.”

Comey would eventually authorize the reopening of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails a few weeks before the election, only to announce again within a few days that nothing more was found. Clinton went on to blame him for costing her the election.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz suggested in a 2018 report that the meeting was coordinated, not simply a chance encounter as both Bill Clinton and Lynch said at the time.

Sign’s death will no doubt add speculation to rumors about the mysterious demise of people who come in contact with the former president and first lady, the so-called “Clinton Body Count.

Jon Dougherty

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