Philip Haney’s death sent shock waves through the nation as Americans questioned whether his apparent suicide was another potential government cover-up.
Haney exposed alleged corruption at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a tell-all book, something friends say caused him to fear for his life. The DHS whistleblower was reportedly planning to release another book, this time naming specific names, ahead of the U.S. presidential election.
Initial reports of Haney’s death suggested he died of a “self-inflicted gun shot wound.” But the Amador County Sheriff’s office has since recanted that report, calling it unfortunate “misinformation.” Now, Amador County together with the FBI are investigating the suspicious circumstances surrounding Haney’s death.
Undersheriff Gary Redman told CCN.com that Philip Haney’s autopsy was completed Wednesday, but the office isn’t planning to make any updates as of yet. Redman said that along with toxicology reports, a handful of other evidence including the DHS whistleblower’s computer and personal belongings will factor into the investigation. He said an update on the case is unlikely to hit the airwaves for months.
While some may take comfort in Amador County’s cooperation with the FBI, Philip Haney’s friends are uneasy about their intervention. One of Haney’s friends told CCN.com that Philip had been expecting this kind of scenario. The DHS whistleblower told their circle of friends, “if he was ever found dead, it would not be because of suicide.”
One of Haney’s close friends, who asked not to be named, confirmed that he’d feared for his life both before and after releasing his book. He spoke to Philip the day before he went missing telling CCN.com,
I was probably the last person to talk to him, really talk to him in depth, before he died.
The two spoke for four hours on Feb. 18, just a day before Haney went missing. According to the friend, his state of mind was positive.
We talked about some of the personal issues he was dealing with, but he was in a good state of mind. He wasn’t depressed. He was excited about his recent engagement and looking forward to getting married […] anyone who knew him knew he would never, ever harm himself or take his own life.
The DHS whistleblower’s friend said their four-hour conversation didn’t touch on Haney’s fear for his well-being, but that he had expressed concern frequently since 2015 when he wrote his book. Haney had even discussed the possibility of going into hiding because of the backlash from the book.
He even asked me if I would […] build him a cabin, so he could go into hiding.
Haney’s friend said Philip had sent him the manuscript for his first book and that he had been expecting to see the manuscript for his second soon. Haney told him the second book would differ from the first in that it would call out specific individuals by name. Now, he doubts it will see the light of day.
Haney’s friend and confidant said the content of their conversation on Feb. 18 didn’t center around his upcoming book release, but that the two did discuss Haney’s future. His friend advised him to take a step back from the government and pursue his religious callings instead.
Haney’s untimely death has caused many to wonder whether his alleged second book will ever come to light. The questions surrounding the initial reports of a suicide have been largely silenced by the Amador County’s willingness to conduct a full investigation into Haney’s cause of death. But many of Haney’s friends have expressed concern about the FBI handling the DHS whistleblower’s personal computer and an alleged thumb drive that he wore around his neck.
Last modified: June 13, 2020 12:25 AM UTC