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.
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.