Denver Guardian: FBI Agent Linked to Clinton Emails Dies in Murder Suicide-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
FBI agent Michael Brown, who has been linked to Hillary Clinton email leaks, was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide.
A fake news website is behind reports that an FBI agent involved in Hillary Clinton email leaks has been found dead under suspicious circumstances.
The rumor started with the Denver Guardian, a relatively new fake news site that has been operating since July 2016. The story, which appeared under the headline, “FBI Agenet Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide,” begins:
Walkerville, MD – An FBI agent believed to be responsible for the latest email leaks “pertinent to the investigation” into Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State, was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide early Saturday morning, according to police.
Investigators believe FBI agent, Michael Brown, 45, shot and killed his 33-year-old wife, Susan Brown, late Friday night before setting the couple’s home on fire and then turning the gun on himself. Brown was a 12 year veteran of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department before spending the last six years in the FBI.
Neighbors saw smoke coming from the Brown residence and called 9-1-1 at approximately 11:50 p.m. By the time fire crews arrived on scene minutes later, the entire house was engulfed in flames.
“Mrs. Brown’s death was caused by a gunshot wound prior to the house fire,” Walkerville Police Chief Pat Frederick said, “while Mr. Brown’s single-bullet head wound appears to have been self-inflicted.”
The story plays into the common “Clinton body count” conspiracy theories that Bill and Hillary Clinton have murdered friends, associates and enemies who threatened their political fortunes over the decades. We’ve investigated dozens of these claims, and you can view our running list here.
The story was widely shared on social media and was re-reported on various fringe websites as yet another Clinton email scandal took center stage in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign. However, upon further review, the Denver Guardian is fairly easy to debunk as clickbait website that pedals fake news stories to generate traffic.
First, the website’s “About Us” page was disabled, but this description could be found in the website’s footer:
Denver Guardian is Denver’s oldest news source and one of the longest running daily newspapers published in the United States. With a focus on local content, the Guardian thrives to maintain a non-partisan newsroom making our content the most reliable source available in print and across the web.
That’s exactly the same description that appears in the footer of the Baltimore Gazette, another fake news website that popped up around the same time.
Second, Google Street View shows that the mailing address listed on the Denver Guardian’s contact page is a vacant lot.
Given all that, we’re caling this one “fiction.”