Official investigation into the shooting death of DHS whistleblower Philip Haney continues

The sheriff's office in rural Amador County, California, which originally labeled the death by a single gunshot of DHS Obama-era whistleblower Philip Haney last week as "self inflicted," has now backed away from that assertion.  A follow-up press release from the office of the sheriff — coroner on Monday had this to say:

On February 22, the Amador County Sheriff's Office released initial details regarding Philip Haney being found deceased in our jurisdiction. ... Unfortunately, there was misinformation being immediately 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. No determination will be made until all evidence is examined and analyzed.

This latest official statement, on top of an avalanche of comments by his friends and colleagues on social media, further opens the door to the widespread suspicion that Haney was the victim of politically motivated foul play.

Typical of the skeptics is Teressa Monroe-Hamilton, who wrote an article on Sunday titled "Philip Haney's Death — More Questions Than Answers."  On Saturday, Jan Markell, the founder of Olive Tree Ministries, author, and host of the most popular Christian radio show in the U.S., Understanding the Times, posted a tweet (later deleted):

My friend Phil Haney was found shot yesterday in CA. I had lunch with him a month ago. He warned something could happen to him. He was to get married in a month. It will be falsely called a suicide.

— Jan Markell (@OliveTreeMin) February 22, 2020

Haney was a guest on Markell's program on several occasions, including in 2018 with former rep. Michele Bachmann (audio podcast here).

A friend of mine sent me an email on Sunday morning:

Peter, I received personal emails from Phil Haney.  I believe he was murdered — it was not suicide.  He had a book coming out in March and he has been a part of seminar ENEMIES WITHIN that I have been a party of.  The red-green axis murdered him — maybe the Clintons for the truth he spoke.

Screenshot: Philip Haney on The Hagmann Report, January 4, 2018.
Used with permission.

Perhaps the most extensive article about questions surrounding Haney's death by a friend and associate of his is "Suspicious death of Phil Haney, DHS whistleblower, only strengthens resolve of like-minded patriots" by independent freelance journalist and former WND news editor Leo Hohmann.  In his article, Hohmann wrote that Haney:

... was dangerous to the deep state. He was a whistleblower who uncovered the Obama administration's malfeasance in shutting down the Department of Homeland Security's system of monitoring mosques and the imams who inspire young Muslims to commit jihad. Phil was instrumental in setting up a system that would net these terrorists.

According to a report [February 23] by Lloyd Billingsley in the California Globe, "on Sunday the whistleblower's stepmother, Judith Haney, said 'No one in the family believes it's suicide.' And, 'with his history with the government and everything it is very suspicious.'"

I'm here to tell you that none of Phil's friends who worked with him in the fight to save our country believe it was suicide, either.

In addition to his forthcoming book, Haney told friends that in the coming months, according to Law Enforcement Today, "he was planning on doubling down on efforts to 'protect America from progressive leftist socialists.'"

The Amador County Sheriff — Coroner press release on Monday provided further details about Haney's death.  The deceased, it turns out, was living in an R.V. park less than three miles from where he was found dead.  The release notes that Haney's neighbors were canvassed and interviewed on the day that his body was found in a park and ride open area immediately adjacent to State Highway 16 near State Highway 124."

According to the news release, a forensic autopsy, to be performed by forensic pathologists from the Sacramento County Coroner's Office, has been scheduled.  Additionally, the Amador County sheriff's department has called on the FBI "to assist in analyzing documents, phone records and a lap top that were recovered from the scene and Mr. Haney's RV."  The release also notes, "We are currently in possession of his vehicle, the firearm located at the scene, and his RV and we will be requesting evidence processing assistance from the FBI on those items as well."

Philip Haney's death is likely the most prominent news story in the history of Amador County, a rural area in the Sierra Nevada about 40 miles east of Sacramento with a population, according to the 2010 census, of 38,000.  "The investigation is still active and will be ongoing," according to the release, which added that "the investigators are continuing to follow-up with the overwhelming number of persons who are calling our office from throughout the United States asking for detailed information on our investigation."

Philip Haney emerged publicly in 2015 in a series of articles, speeches, and interviews, and the following year with a book, See Something, Say Nothing, about his 12 year career with the Department of Homeland Security. He was especially critical of the department's policies under President Obama. Almost immediately, Haney achieved a high profile in both mainstream and new media, and he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 28, 2016. One of his appearances that generated news was his interview with Megyn Kelly on The Kelly File on Fox News, December 10, 2015 (video here).

Philip Haney (center) on The Kelly File, Fox News, December 10, 2015.

Other whistleblowers are taking note of Haney's passing.  Dr. Robert Epstein, a widely published research psychologist, is the most prominent mainstream critic of Big Tech manipulation of social media and Google search results that, in his opinion, favors Democrats.  Last summer, Epstein's research on Big Tech's manipulation of millions of votes in the 2016 was criticized — without any evidence — as "debunked" by Hillary Clinton after President Trump referenced it in a tweet.  Having never had his credibility challenged before, Epstein — a Democrat who voted for Clinton in 2016 —  suddenly found himself put on the defensive in a high-profile political crossfire.

I got to know Epstein when I interviewed him about his work in September 2018 on The Hagmann Report in an episode titled "Big Tech Can Shift 12 Million Votes in November" (video podcast here).  On Monday, I sent him a link to my first article on Philip Haney's death.  On Tuesday at 4:50 P.M. E.T., Epstein replied to me via a chilling direct message on Twitter:

For the record, yet again: I am NOT suicidal. If I die of an apparent suicide in the near future, it was murder.

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications. Peter's website is His new YouTube channel is here. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.

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