Reporter Who Exposed Bill Clinton's 'Tarmac Meeting' Found Dead
Journalist Christopher Sign first reported the now-infamous 2016 meet with Loretta Lynch
The journalist who first reported Bill Clinton's now-infamous 2016 "tarmac meeting" with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been found dead.
Reporter Christopher Sign's body was discovered in his Hoover, Alabama, apartment by authorities.
According to Alabama police Lt. Keith Czeskleba, Sign's death is being investigated by police as an apparent “suicide.”
The body of the 45-year-old news anchor for Birmingham's ABC 33/40 was found by Hoover police and fire personnel at 8 a.m. on Saturday following a 911 call.
"Our deepest sympathy is shared with Christopher’s loving family and close friends,” ABC 33/40 vice president Eric Land said in a statement.
"We have lost a revered colleague who’s indelible imprint will serve forever as a hallmark of decency, honesty and journalist integrity."
"We can only hope to carry on his legacy," Land added.
"May his memory be for blessing."
Sign wrote a book exposing the Clinton tarmac story called Secret on the Tarmac.
"The plan was perfect," his book synopsis says.
"No cameras, no microphones, no prying eyes and plenty of security.
"The setting for a clandestine meeting could not have been better.
"Former President Bill Clinton exited Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s private plane 20-minutes after he boarded.
"Both thought they got away with it. Both were wrong.
"Amid a heated Presidential race, federal investigations involving emails and Benghazi and society looking for clarity on the future of the country, the secret tarmac meeting would only complicate things.
"The secret meeting would have never been revealed if it weren’t for a veteran journalist and a trusted source."
When the devastating tarmac story came out, it made waves internationally as the secret meeting took place during an election – and just days before then-FBI Director James Comey announced the bureau would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton.
Lynch said in a July 1, 2016 interview that she would not recuse herself from the Clinton email investigation but that she would accept the recommendation of the career agents and prosecutors who conducted it, according to the Washington Examiner.
This came after she had obtained an ethics opinion from the Departmental Ethics Office that she was not required to recuse herself.
Both Bill Clinton and Lynch claim the email investigation was not brought up during their chat, but Sign, who was a morning anchor at the Phoenix-area ABC15 when he first reported their encounter, said there was more to the story and wrote a book about it, Secret on the Tarmac.
"There’s so much that doesn’t add up.”
"But Bill Clinton was on that plane for 20 minutes, and it wasn’t just about golf, grandkids, and Brexit."
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz examined the tarmac meeting as part of a review of the FBI’s emails investigation.
In a report released in June 2018, Horowitz said Clinton was in Phoenix for “several campaign events, including a roundtable discussion with Latino leaders and a campaign fundraiser, and his plane was preparing to depart” when he crossed paths with Lynch, whose plane had just arrived.
Horowitz also criticized Lynch for making statements that “created considerable public confusion” about her role in the emails investigation, although he said investigators found no evidence the email inquiry was discussed.
Sign told Fox News in early 2020 his family received numerous death threats since he broke the story about the meeting in the lead-up to the 2016 election.
“My family received significant death threats shortly after breaking this story,” Sign said at the time.
"Credit cards hacked.
"You know, my children, we have code words.
"We have secret code words that they know what to do.”
Social media has been flooded with Tributes for Sign.
Our newsroom — and so many of my colleagues — are hurting today. Christopher Sign was a damn good journalist. Genuine, inspirational, beyond passionate, and cared so deeply about every story. Devastated tonight. https://t.co/mvvzmtAKHg pic.twitter.com/r2CJFKVp79— Josh Frigerio, ABC15 (@JoshFrigerio) June 13, 2021
TV anchor and former Alabama football player Christopher Sign has died.— HARRISFAULKNER (@HARRISFAULKNER) June 13, 2021
I never met him but know his work: At KNXV-TV in Phoenix, Sign broke the news of the secret tarmac meeting between former President Bill Clinton and AG Loretta Lynch. #RIPSign 🙏🏼 https://t.co/5MCretUVzv
So incredibly sad to hear that @ChristopherSign, has passed away, he will be sorely missed. I spoke with him numerous times over the years in my capacity as a public official, he always got the story right. Condolences to his family and to his colleagues at @abc3340.— Mark R. Hall (@MarkRHall) June 13, 2021
My last messages with Chris. 💔 pic.twitter.com/kAXzRpxryr— Lauren Peikoff (@laurenpeikoff) June 13, 2021
We are still in shock over this news. Chris was a very good friend, and an incredible journalist. The grief today has been overwhelming. https://t.co/ulV8V5IxsK— James Spann (@spann) June 12, 2021
Sign is survived by his wife, Laura, and their three sons.