Mark Middleton, 59, a former advisor for President Bill Clinton, was found dead by suicide last May. Now his family is suing to prevent the disclosure of photographs, videos, sketches, or other “illustrative content.”
The family argues that the speculation around Middleton’s death will only be amplified by the release of any visual information to the public.
A hearing has been set for Tuesday at the Pulaski County Courthouse in Little Rock. The family is arguing that their privacy “outweighs the public’s interest, or lack thereof, in disclosure.”
Of course, the efforts by the family to hide the details of Middleton’s suicide have only further inflamed speculation about the circumstances of his death. Middleton’s ties to the Clintons and his death by suicide have understandably raised a slew of questions.
Middleton was the subject of congressional scrutiny and was forced to distance himself from the White House after using it to boost his status in the private sector.
Another factor fueling speculation as to the circumstances of Middleton’s death is the information that has been released.
The Perry County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Middleton was found hanging from a tree by an extension cord thirty miles from his home. However, to complicate the suicide story, Middleton had also suffered a shotgun wound to the chest.
It’s immediately obvious that those two circumstances don’t fit together in the context of a suspected suicide.
Middleton is the latest in a long line of Clinton associates to die under mysterious circumstances. The efforts by Middleton’s family to seal the records on his death will do little to assuage speculation.