Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, has repeated his claim that Obama administration officials may have been involved in a plot to kill Philip Haney, an anti-Muslim activist whose death in February has spawned conspiracy theories among right-wing activists and media outlets. Haney was a former Department of Homeland Security agent and self-styled whistleblower who became a right-wing folk hero of sorts for his attacks on the Obama administration; he said he believed that God was guiding his efforts.
Haney’s body was found in a parking area off Highway 16 in Northern California. An initial statement from the coroner said that he believed Haney was killed by a “self-inflicted” gunshot; the Amador County sheriff’s office later said it was still investigating the cause of death. The FBI is reportedly assisting with the investigation.
In an interview posted by the right-wing One America News Network last weekend and promoted this week by the Trump-supporting Intercessors for America, Gohmert said circumstances around Haney’s death are “more than suspicious” and “extremely problematic.”
“It’s hard for me to believe that it was a suicide,” Gohmert said. “We had talked about it. I owe it to Phil. I promised I would continue to push if that ever happened.”
“He still had an awful lot of information from his days at Homeland Security and the improprieties under the Obama administration,” Gohmert claimed. “There are probably people who would not want their names associated with stopping investigations that would have prevented major killings and atrocities in this country.”
Haney’s first book, “See Something, Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad,” claimed that former President Barack Obama committed “treason” by undermining counterterrorism efforts.
Gohmert said Haney was “working on a second book where he did name names.”
Gohmert also said that Haney wore a thumb drive with information about Islamic extremists around his neck and that it was missing from his body when he died.
Rep. Steve King of Iowa has made similar claims, and on Feb. 28, both King and Gohmert gave speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives asserting their belief that Haney was murdered to prevent him from releasing information about Obama administration actions that he claimed prevented the government from stopping terrorist attacks.
This week’s promotion of Gohmert’s OAN interview is not the first time that Intercessors for America has promoted Haney’s claims. Haney was a guest on IFA’s monthly prayer calls more than once. He and fellow anti-Muslim activist Frank Gaffney appeared on a call in February 2019, where he warned that Muslims use ecumenical efforts as a way to distract people from their actual supremacist goals. In conjunction with that call, IFA distributed a flyer urging people, “Pray about the increasing number of observant Muslims becoming involved in all levels of government in the U.S. Pray that motives, allegiances, and true intentions would be revealed. Pray that all who favor Sharia would be defeated.”
In 2018, Haney told IFA’s prayer warriors that he had been on “special assignment” in Minnesota to try to prevent then-Rep. Keith Ellison from being elected as the state’s attorney general. He was not successful.