FACT CHECK: Was A Georgia Bureau Of Investigation Agent Killed For Investigating The Election?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims James O’Sullivan, a Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) special agent who died Dec. 14, was killed for investigating the 2020 election.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence O’Sullivan was killed for investigating the 2020 election. The GBI has refuted the claim, calling it “baseless,” “irresponsible” and “reckless.”

Fact Check:

O’Sullivan died Dec. 14 at the age of 51 in his Georgia home, according to his obituary. While the Candler County coroner said to NBC affiliate WSAV on Thursday that the agent’s cause of death is under investigation, some social media users have baselessly attempted to link it to the 2020 election.

This particular Facebook post, which shows a screen grab of O’Sullivan’s obituary, alleges he was killed “for investigating the Georg!a e1ect!on$.” Other iterations of the claim suggest O’Sullivan was investigating a Dec. 4 car crash that left Harrison Deal, a campaign staffer for Republican Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, dead.

There is, however, no indication that O’Sullivan was killed because of an election-related investigation. The GBI refuted in a Dec. 16 tweet thread the viral rumors that the agent’s death was connected to the 2020 election. (RELATED: Did Georgia’s DeKalb County Reject 40,000 Mail-In Ballots?)

“A GBI agent passed away this week and there are online rumors that it was somehow connected to the election. This baseless claim is irresponsible & reckless,” the GBI tweeted. “It is hurtful to the agent’s family and co-workers. Please be mindful of the things you write, repeat, or share – especially when there is absolutely no truth in them.”

In a Dec. 17 tweet, the GBI also said that “no GBI agent or GBI regional investigative office is investigating” Deal’s fatal car crash. The bureau noted that its medical examiner’s office “conducted an autopsy as the ME’s Office routinely does.”

While there is no evidence O’Sullivan was investigating the election, the GBI has been asked to assist the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office with investigations related to the election, according to a Dec. 8 statement on Facebook. The GBI’s statement on Facebook said GBI agents will “conduct interviews and investigative acts regarding allegations of fraud as reported to the SOS’s Office.”

President-elect Joe Biden won Georgia by over 12,600 votes, according to the official results on the George Secretary of State’s website. The state’s electors cast Georgia’s 16 Electoral College votes for Biden on Dec. 14, The Associated Press reported.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Reporter
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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

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