A self-described conservative blog revived a rumor from the Clinton body count archives. The blog Conservative Politicus had the stirring headline "U.N. official John Ashe set to testify against the Clintons may not have died by accident after all," on June 17.
This has the essential ingredients to meet the appetite of any conspiracy fan: Clintons, a legal case and a dead man.
That doesn’t mean those elements are on the money.
Yes, Ashe died in 2016, and yes, there was a criminal case. But no, he wasn’t going to testify against either Bill or Hillary Clinton.
Now, for the back story.
John Ashe represented Antigua and Barbuda at the United Nations and at one time served as president of the General Assembly. In October 2015, the FBI accused Ashe of receiving at least $500,000 in bribes to benefit a Chinese businessman named Ng Lap Seng.
Ng isn’t a household name today but back in 1998, a Senate report identified him as the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars funneled through an Arkansas restaurant owner to the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton-Gore campaign in the mid 1990s. Ng visited the White House 10 times.
That is the known extent of any Clinton connection.
In June 2016, the rumor-busting website Snopes asked the office of the U.S. District Attorney for the Southern District of New York if their case involved either Clinton. A spokesman said not at all.
The complaint against Ashe makes no mention of the Clintons.
Ashe wasn’t scheduled to testify against the Clintons. He was slated for what the spokesman described to Snopes as a standard pre-trial meeting.
As for Ashe’s death, he died at home in June 2016 when a barbell crushed his throat. That happened near the time he was scheduled to meet with prosecutors. The death was ruled an accident.
Several conspiracy-minded posts emerged soon after his death. One about a month afterward included Ashe’s name with two others who allegedly died under mysterious circumstances. The one common thread was a tie to the Clintons.
A conservative blog revived a year-old rumor that a UN official died shortly before he was going to testify against the Clintons. While the man did die and he was scheduled to meet with prosecutors, that’s the extent of the accuracy here.
Prosecutors said Ashe had received at least half a million dollars in bribes, and he was headed for trial. The case had no connection to the Clintons, except that the man who allegedly provided the bribe had illegally given to Democrats about 20 years earlier.
The official autopsy found he died in an accident and no evidence suggests otherwise.
We rate this claim False.