The death by barbell of disgraced UN official John Ashe could become a bigger obsession for conspiracy theorists than Vince Foster’s 1993 suicide.
Ashe — who was facing trial for tax fraud — died Wednesday afternoon in his house in Westchester County. The UN said he’d had a heart attack. But the local Dobbs Ferry police said Thursday that his throat had been crushed, presumably by a barbell he dropped while pumping iron.
Ashe was due in court Monday with his Chinese businessman co-defendant Ng Lap Seng, who is charged with smuggling $4.5 million into the US since 2013 and lying that it was to buy art and casino chips.
Ng was identified in a 1998 Senate report as the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally funneled through an Arkansas restaurant owner, Charlie Trie, to the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton administration. (Ng was not charged with any crime.)
Ng and Trie had visited the White House several times for Democratic fundraising events and were photographed with then-President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton.
One source told me, “During the trial, the prosecutors would have linked Ashe to the Clinton bagman Ng. It would have been very embarrassing. His death was conveniently timed.”
Ashe’s lawyer Jeremy Schneider told me he is sure Ashe’s death was an accident. “There is not one iota of evidence that it was homicide. This is nothing at all like Vince Foster.”
Police in Dobbs Ferry village are keeping the investigation open pending an autopsy by the Westchester medical examiner.