A Wall Street Journal report indicates that fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn may have been involved in collusion between supporters of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian hackers.
The Journal reported that Flynn, who was senior adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump at the time, was in contact with a GOP operative about obtaining emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server.
The GOP operative, Peter W. Smith, considered Flynn and his consulting company, Flynn Intel Group, to be “allies in their quest” to obtain the damaging emails, according to the WSJ. The report says that Smith “assembled a group of technology experts, lawyers and a Russian-speaking investigator based in Europe to acquire emails” that might have been stolen from the private server Clinton used as Secretary of State.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is currently leading an investigation regarding Russia’ attempt to interfere with the election, in which Trump would defeat Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States.
“Smith’s focus was some 33,000 emails Mrs. Clinton said were deleted because they were deemed personal. Mr. Smith said he believed that the emails might have been obtained by hackers and that they actually concerned official matters Mrs. Clinton wanted to conceal–two notions for which he offered no evidence,” the WSJ’s Shane Harris wrote.
Smith, who passed away at age 81 shortly after being interviewed by the WSJ, told the paper that his colleagues found five groups of hackers – including two Russians — who claimed to possess Clinton’s deleted emails.
“We Knew the people who had these were probably around the Russian government,” Smith told the WSJ.
WikiLeaks eventually published emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta. However, Smith told the WSJ that the batch of emails his group uncovered were never published by WikiLeaks.
The WSJ’s reporting on the story repeatedly resulted in Smith having ties to Flynn and his son, Michael G. Flynn, who worked for his father. Flynn was fired in February after misleading Trump staffers about his conversations with a Russian ambassador.