the smoking gun

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smoking gun

Indisputably incriminating evidence. Likened to a gun that is still smoking after having been fired. A smoking gun was revealed in the form of emails documenting the man's involvement in the money laundering scheme. So far the prosecutor has presented only circumstantial evidence, but she's expected to reveal a smoking gun against the defendant soon.
See also: gun, smoking
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the smoking gun

Fig. the indisputable sign of guilt. (Fig. on a murderer being caught just after shooting the victim.) Mr. south was left holding the smoking gun. The chief of staff decided that the the aide should be found with the smoking gun.
See also: gun, smoking
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

a/the ˌsmoking ˈgun

something that seems to prove that somebody has done something wrong or illegal: This memo could be the smoking gun that investigators have been looking for.
See also: gun, smoking
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
In an email to The Smoking Gun, Powell explained: "In light of what was happening it seems obvious to ask Cretu to delete emails."
District Court clerk, initially told The Smoking Gun that federal prosecutors were to blame for failing to properly seal the records, U.S.
"And suddenly, because of that, the unforgiving nature of the military timetable, we found ourselves scrabbling for the smoking gun, which was another way of saying 'it's not that Saddam has to prove that he's innocent, we've now bloody well got to try and prove that he's guilty'."
Times posted the FBI "documents" on which it based its Shakur story that allowed The Smoking Gun to discover they were phony.
The Smoking Gun published online today letters from well-known Washington figures, ranging from Donald Rumsfeld to James Carville, who tried -- in vain, it turns out -- to keep Lewis "Scooter" Libby from getting a lengthy jail term in the CIA leak case.
Last May, the foreign press, progressive activists, and the leftwing media inside the United States shouted themselves hoarse over what they considered the smoking gun in Bush's Iraq War deception--the Downing Street Memo.
Salihee certainly appears to be one of these witnesses, uncovering the smoking gun behind a series of what appear to be Rumsfeld-ordered war crimes.
Perhaps they can use Sullivan's essay as the smoking gun for why AIDS doesn't matter anymore in America.
BUDDING starlets of Liverpool will have their chance to shine 'In The Spotlight' this summer, as the Smoking Gun Production Company launches its First Liverpool Youth Theatre Summer School.
The FTAA is thus merely a regional administrative arm of the UN, and the Tripartite Committee is the smoking gun that exposes this otherwise concealed subservience.
He also recently spoke on "Avoiding the Smoking Gun: Assorted Privileges, the Work-Product Doctrine, and Other Discovery Issues in the Context of Enhanced International IRS Enforcement" at a recent Tax Executives Institute, Inc., seminar in Chicago.
NEW YORK The Smoking Gun brand is cocked and fully loaded, and now poised to be a key part of Court TV's new investigative identity.
Major Hamlet said: "If tests from our experts confirm this, this could be the smoking gun."
I think the powers that want this war hold the smoking gun we should looking for and be most worried about.
(A primary example of this is Exchange's own developer Microsoft, who did bother deleting the smoking gun emails that made them look like pirates in anti-trust court.)