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Clinton Body Count

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The Clinton Body Count refers to a conspiracy theory, parts of which have been advanced by Newsmax publisher Christopher Ruddy among others, that asserts that former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton have assassinated fifty or more of their associates.[1][2][3] Such accusations have been around at least since the 1990s, when a pseudo-documentary film called The Clinton Chronicles, produced by Larry Nichols and promoted by Rev. Jerry Falwell, accused Bill Clinton of multiple crimes including murder.[4][5] This conspiracy theory has been debunked by the Lakeland Ledger, the Chicago Tribune, Snopes and others, who point to detailed death records, the unusually large circle of associates that a president is likely to have, and the facts that many of the people listed had no known link to the Clintons, had been misidentified, or were still alive.[6][7]

Alleged links to notable deaths

Deputy White House counsel Vincent W. Foster was found dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in Fort Marcy Park in Virginia, outside Washington, D.C., on July 20, 1993. His death has been ruled a suicide by five official investigations, but remains a subject of conspiracy theories that he was actually murdered by the Clintons for knowing too much.[8]

The unsolved 2016 murder of Democratic National Committee staff member Seth Rich prompted conspiracy theorists to speculate that Hillary Clinton arranged his death because of his alleged involvement with Wikileaks' release of DNC emails during the 2016 United States presidential campaign. Various elements of this theory have been promoted by prominent right-wing figures including Alex Jones, Newt Gingrich, and Sean Hannity.[9][10][11][12]

Convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, being held on additional federal charges of child sex trafficking, was found dead in his cell at the high-security Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan on August 10, 2019, with authorities treating it as a suicide by hanging.[13] His death led to conspiracy theories being relayed on social media, particularly relating to Bill Clinton and president Donald Trump. Hours after Epstein's death, Trump retweeted claims that Epstein's death was related to Clinton, including the hashtag #ClintonBodyCount.[14][15] Lynne Patton, a Trump appointee at HUD, said "Hillary'd!!" and used the hashtag #VinceFosterPartTwo in an Instagram post about Epstein's death.[16] In October 2019, private pathologist Dr. Michael Baden said that Mr. Epstein, 66, experienced a number of injuries — among them a broken bone in his neck — that “are extremely unusual in suicidal hangings and could occur much more commonly in homicidal strangulation...I think that the evidence points to homicide rather than suicide." Dr. Baden observed the autopsy done by city officials.[17]

References

  1. ^ Nelson, Lars-Erik (January 4, 1999). "Conspiracy Nuts Hit New Low With The Body Count". Daily News. New York. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  2. ^ "The Clinton BS Files: "Lock her up" isn't really about emails — the right's been accusing the Clintons of murder for decades". Salon. August 29, 2016. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  3. ^ Moore, Kayleigh (October 25, 2018). "Investigating Rhetoric's of the 'Clinton Body Count'". Medium. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Philip Weiss (February 23, 1997). "Clinton Crazy". The New York Times.
  5. ^ "The People President Clinton Didn't Have to Pardon…Because They're All Dead". TruthOrFiction.com. March 17, 2015. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  6. ^ The Clinton Body Count Snopes.com. Retrieved 12 December 2013
  7. ^ "Ron Brown Murder Plot Has Too Many Holes". Chicago Tribune. January 11, 1998. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  8. ^ Kessler, Glenn. "No, Donald Trump, there's nothing 'fishy' about Vince Foster's suicide" (2016–05–25). Washington Post. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Margaret (August 1, 2017). "You don't have to believe everything in that Seth Rich lawsuit. What's been confirmed is bad enough". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  10. ^ "FACT CHECK: Did DNC Staffer Seth Rich Send 'Thousands of E-Mails' to WikiLeaks Before He Was Murdered?". Snopes.com. May 16, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  11. ^ "The Seth Rich conspiracy shows how fake news still works". Washington Post. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  12. ^ "Behind Fox News' Baseless Seth Rich Story: The Untold Tale". NPR. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  13. ^ Rashbaum, William K.; Weiser, Benjamin; Gold, Michael (August 10, 2019). "Jeffrey Epstein Dead in Suicide at Jail, Spurring Inquiries". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Weill, Kelly (August 10, 2019). "Conspiracy Theories Erupt After Jeffrey Epstein's Death". The Daily Beast.
  15. ^ "Trump retweets Epstein conspiracy theory, claiming Clinton connection". NBC News.
  16. ^ Stockler, Asher (August 10, 2019). "Top HUD Official Promotes Clinton Conspiracy Theory in Wake of Epstein's Apparent Suicide". Newsweek. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  17. ^ Paybarah, Azi (October 30, 2019). "Epstein's Autopsy 'Points to Homicide,' Pathologist Hired by Brother Claims". New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2019.