Capitol Police probing phony death notices


Senator Leahy with soon-to-be Justice Kagan
Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

At least three Democratic senators have been subjects of false reports of their deaths in the past two days, prompting the U.S. Capitol Police to open an investigation into the matter.

Several news outlets received a hoax e-mail news release, announcing the death of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Tuesday. Leahy, 70, who participated in July 4 events, is alive and well, according to spokesman David Carle.

“It was spoofed to look as if it had come from the office,” Carle said.

A copy of the e-mail, posted on the Web site of Washington’s WTOP radio, said Leahy had died of liver cancer.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), an 86-year-old appropriator who recently announced he is free from a form of stomach cancer, was also spoofed, his office confirmed.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who serves on the Judiciary and Appropriations committees with Leahy, was subjected to a hoax of the same kind on Monday, her office confirmed. Similarly, she was said to have died of cancer at her home…

U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider told POLITICO that the police are looking into the hoaxes but declined to say how many there were or to provide any other details.

Sounds like wishful thinking from the sort of ignoranuses who populate the Tea Party. Or some high school Young Republican.

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