Following the wild, fiery crash Tuesday of Michael Hastings, who died after his Mercedes hit a palm tree in Hollywood, WikiLeaks said that he told the organization he believed he was under investigation by the FBI.
Today the bureau said that's not true:
In a terse statement written specifically to respond to numerous media requests about Hastings, the FBI says:
At no time was journalist Michael Hastings ever under investigation by the FBI.
Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 19, 2013
Conspiracy theories have dogged the case of Hastings' early morning death on Highland Avenue south of Melrose Avenue. The journalist was known for his work covering high-powered officials and organizations, including the CIA.
The late-model Mercedes C250 coupe he was driving erupted in flames after the crash, and its motor was found about 100 feet from the car, according to traffic investigators.
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But an expert we talked to indicated much of that could be explained by sheer speed.
Indeed a car that appears to be Hastings' was videotaped blasting through a red light at high speed on Santa Monica Boulevard and North Highland Avenue, en route to the very intersection of the crash only seconds before Hastings' death.