Federal agency initially denied it had investigated Rolling Stone journalist
The FBI has tacitly admitted that it possesses documents pertaining to Michael Hastings despite initially claiming that it had never investigated the Rolling Stone journalist, who complained of being under scrutiny by the federal agency in the hours before his death.
“The Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicated that the FBI has likely located responsive records pertaining to investigative journalist Michael Hastings, who died in a tragic car accident in Los Angeles in June, and the agency expects to finish processing the records in about three weeks,” reports Jason Leopold, who along with Ryan Shapiro filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI in an attempt to obtain any records the federal agency held on the reporter.
When the FBI failed to respond to the initial request, Leopold and Shapiro filed a lawsuit
“The FBI has completed its search for potentially responsive records and expects to finish processing the records by September 9,” the DOJ response states (PDF), confirming that the FBI does indeed have documents pertaining to Hastings.
However, the government’s attempt to delay the release of the documents prompted lawyer Jeffrey Light to argue that there is an “urgent need to inform the public regarding records maintained by the FBI about Mr. Michael Hastings.”
The revelation goes a long way to confounding claims made by the FBI shortly after Hastings’ death that, “At no time was journalist Michael Hastings under investigation by the FBI.”
Hastings sent an email hours before his death stating he was “onto a big story” and needed “to go off the rada[r] for a bit.” Friends and colleagues confirmed that the journalist was “very paranoid” about the feds watching him.
According to whistleblower organization WIkileaks, Hastings contacted a Wikileaks attorney “just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.”
A separate close friend of Hastings also told Infowars that the journalist’s home was visited by agents from an unnamed federal agency the day before his death.
Hastings was killed in the early hours of June 18 in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.when his Mercedes crashed into a tree at high speed and exploded into flames, sparking theories that the journalist, who was working on a major exposé of the CIA and had received death threats, could have been assassinated.