by WorldTribune Staff, February 25, 2020
The death of former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official and Obama-era whistleblower Philip Haney has not been conclusively ruled as a suicide, according to the California sheriff’s office investigating Haney’s death.
“Unfortunately, there was misinformation immediately being put out that we have determined Mr. Haney’s death to be a suicide. This is not the case. We are currently in the beginning phase of our investigation, and any final determination as to the cause and manner of Mr. Haney’s death would be extremely premature and inappropriate,” the Amador County Sheriff’s Office announced in a press statement on Monday.
“Additionally, we have reached out to our law enforcement partners in the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist in analyzing documents, phone records, and a laptop that were recovered from the scene and Mr. Haney’s RV,” the sheriff’s office said, adding that authorities are also in possession of his vehicle, RV, and a firearm located at the scene.
“No determination will be made until all evidence is examined and analyzed,” the statement added.
According to law enforcement authorities, Haney, 66, was found dead on Friday morning. Initial reports said Haney died from a bullet wound to the chest, but the Monday statement from the sheriff’s office said only that Haney was “found deceased in our jurisdiction” and a firearm was recovered from the scene. The sheriff’s office added that “we have scheduled a forensic autopsy to be performed by forensic pathologists from the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office.”
Related: Obama administration whistleblower reportedly kills self, February 23, 2020
Haney’s body was found about 40 miles east of Sacramento, California, in a park-and-ride open area immediately adjacent to state Highway 16 and near state Highway 124, the sheriff’s office said.
“Highway 16 is a busy state highway and used as a main travel route to and from Sacramento. The location is less than three miles from where [Haney] was living,” the sheriff’s office statement explained.
Sheriff’s investigators conducted a neighborhood canvas and interviewed Haney’s RV park neighbors on the day of the incident. They also examined “key areas for any video surveillance that may exist from that time.”
In 2016, Haney testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that his agency ordered him to erase hundreds of files on people with connections to Islamist terrorist organizations, arguing that several terrorist attacks could have been stopped if certain files were not deleted.