Christopher Sign clinton lynch tarmac suicide
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Christopher Sign, who broke the 2016 story about Bill Clinton's tarmac meeting with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, has died of an apparent suicide, according to authorities in Alabama.
The 45-year-old television news man who was the first to report of a secret meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch that was held on her private jet in 2016 has died of an apparent suicide.

Police in Hoover, Alabama, said they received a 911 call at 8:13am on Saturday of a person down at a home on Scout Trace.

First responders arrived at the home and found the body of Christopher Sign, a former University of Alabama football player and veteran broadcast journalist with Birmingham's ABC TV affiliate WBMA-LD. News of Sign's death, which is being investigated by police as a suicide, was reported by AL.com.

lynch clinton tarmac meeting
© ABC15
The infamous 'tarmac meeting' between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton
In 2016, Sign reported that former President Clinton had met with Lynch on her private jet at Phoenix Airport.

It was alleged that their conversation centered around an ongoing investigation into whether Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while Secretary of State was illegal.

Bill Clinton and Lynch would go on to portray it as an impromptu friendly chat. Days later, the FBI chose not to bring criminal charges against Hillary, who was in the midst of her presidential campaign.

Less than two weeks before the 2016 election, however, the probe was re-opened after emails were found on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, the former congressman and husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The FBI began investigating Weiner in 2015 after DailyMail.com revealed that he was in a 'sexting' relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

Then-FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress in late October announcing the re-opened investigation. Two days before the election, the investigation was closed. Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump. Some observers believe that the timing of Comey's letter to Congress may have cost her the presidency.

Since 2017, Sign has been an anchor on the local news station ABC 33/40 in Birmingham.

'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.'

James Spann, a meteorologist and colleague of Sign, tweeted: 'We are still in shock over this news. Chris was a very good friend, and an incredible journalist. The grief today has been overwhelming.'

Wendell D. Edwards tweeted: 'I'm in disbeliefe. Praying for his family and the 3340 family too.'

Jamie Hale, a sports anchor for the same station where Sign worked, tweeted in response to a news story about his death from her organization's web site: 'I can't believe we have an article with this title. It doesn't feel real.

'We were in the office together last night cutting up like we always do.

'I don't understand why. I can't talk about you in the past tense.

'The grief today is unbearable.'

Christina Boomer Vazquez tweeted: 'Words cannot quite capture the heartbreak of learning that Chris Sign, a dear former colleague, has passed away.

'My heart aches for his boys, his wife, and his family. He was so loved and will be so very missed.'

Prior to becoming a journalist, Sign attended the University of Alabama in the 1990s, where he played on the school's football team as an offensive lineman.

While in Tuscaloosa, he met his wife, Laura, who was an All-SEC volleyball player for the Crimson Tide. Sign is survived by Laura and their three children.

A native of the Dallas area, Sign spent time working as a reporter for ABC 33/40 between 2000 and 2005. Before returning to Alabama to become an anchor, he was a local ABC 15 TV Arizona reporter when he broke the stunning story of the tarmac meeting in June 2016.

'We knew something had occurred that was a bit unusual. It was a planned meeting. It was not a coincidence.' Sign told Fox and Friends in February 2020 ahead of the release of his book Secret on the Tarmac.


Donald Trump had tweeted at the time: 'Does anybody really believe that Bill Clinton and the U.S.A.G. talked only about 'grandkids' and golf for 37 minutes in plane on tarmac?'

Sign said his source witnessed the rendezvous unfold from the moment Clinton arrived at the 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 supposed to do?"' Sign told Fox.

'She mentioned that Bill Clinton flattered her, talked about Eric Holder, talked about how things were going at Justice, talked about her job performance, not this golf-grandkids, Brexit.'

Sign said his investigations into the tarmac meeting had led to numerous credible death threats.

'My family received significant death threats shortly after breaking this story,' he told Fox. 'Credit cards hacked. You know, my children, we have code words. We have secret code words that they know what to do.'

He added that his work had nothing to do with right or left-wing politics, but about what is right and wrong.

In May last year, Sign told a Real Clear Investigations team: 'To this day I have never found a single person who claims or corroborates any story that Bill Clinton played golf on this particular trip ... I feel strongly the former president did not play golf on this visit.'

Hillary's campaign was in full swing at this point and one might think Bill Clinton would be more involved in that than his golf swing on a 110-degree day in Phoenix.

Lynch was required to outline the meeting to then Justice Department Inspector Michael Horowitz and to lawmakers behind closed doors on Capitol Hill. Despite the meeting being an apparent pleasant coincidence, Lynch's testimony revealed their conversation was stilted and unusual.

'As we walked to the door, the head of my security detail came to me and said: "Ma'am, I've been informed ... that former President Clinton is also at the airfield and would like to say hello."' Lynch testified.

She said Clinton 'spoke with him for several minutes, asked about our trip, asked about our flight.'

Lynch described how she recalled recent press about the Clintons' new grandchild and congratulated Bill.

She said the roughly twenty minute parley was 'the only real conversation I've ever had with him.'

Lynch said she made attempts to make a gracious exit more than once but that Clinton 'continued chatting. He continued talking.'

She added in her testimony:
'And at one point a staffer of mine came on the plane to get me. And at that point the president was - Mr. Clinton was then talking about Brexit.

'He was saying that either he had been reading an article about Brexit, and he made a reference - he quoted something that had been in The Times - The New York Times, I should say - about Brexit when my staffer was stepping on to the plane.'
She was questioned about whether she felt that the conversation was going on too long and conceded, 'As we were leaving I felt that it was - it certainly was going to raise a potential issue in the appearance of how the case was being handled.'

James Comey, then FBI director, later usurped the decision on whether to prosecute Clinton after the controversial runway meeting.