The organization tweeted to its 1.9 million followers that the award-winning journalist contacted its lawyer shortly before the dramatic accident that took his life.
WikiLeaks says journalist Michael Hastings, 33, killed in a fiery crash early Tuesday morning after his Mercedes plowed into a tree near the corners of Melrose and Highland Avenues, had contacted the organization hours earlier to say he was the subject of an FBI investigation.
The tweet, issued Wednesday to WikiLeaks’1.9 million followers, reads, “Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyerJennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.”
The journalism community has poured forth with expressions of shock and deep sadness since news of Hastings’ sudden and dramatic death rippled across social media Tuesday.
Hastings, perhaps best known for the 2010 Rolling Stone piece that ultimately brought down U.S. Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, was hailed in countless obituaries as a fearless and unstoppable reporter.
“Michael Hastings was really only interested in writing stories someone didn’t want him to write — often his subjects; occasionally his editor,” reads one post on BuzzFeed, where Hastings was a contributor. “While there is no template for a great reporter, he was one for reasons that were intrinsic to who he was: ambitious, skeptical of power and conventional wisdom, and incredibly brave.”
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, Alex Gibney‘s documentary about the secretive organization that publishes top-secret documents, is currently in theaters. The Fifth Estate, a scripted WikiLeaks drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch as founder Julian Assange, is currently filming and is due in theaters Oct. 11.
The FBI did not immediately respond to a request to comment on this story.