REPORT: Republican Operative Sought Hillary’s Emails From Russian Hackers, Claimed Ties To Michael Flynn

From the Wall Street Journal:

Before the 2016 presidential election, a longtime Republican opposition researcher mounted an independent campaign to obtain emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server, likely by Russian hackers.

In conversations with members of his circle and with others he tried to recruit to help him, the GOP operative, Peter W. Smith, implied he was working with retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, at the time a senior adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump.

“He said, ‘I’m talking to Michael Flynn about this—if you find anything, can you let me know?’” said Eric York, a computer-security expert from Atlanta who searched hacker forums on Mr. Smith’s behalf for people who might have access to the emails.

Emails written by Mr. Smith and one of his associates show that his small group considered Mr. Flynn and his consulting company, Flynn Intel Group, to be allies in their quest.

More from Talking Points Memo:

Smith, who died at the age of 81 just 10 days after the Journal interviewed him, told the newspaper that he never explicitly said that Flynn was involved with the project. Flynn and the White House did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment, and a Trump campaign representative said Smith had no involvement in the campaign.

In one recruiting email reviewed by the newspaper, Smith said Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, was helping with the effort. In another, Jonathan Safron, a law student who worked for Smith, included Flynn’s consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, at the top of a list of websites of people working with the team.

“He said, ‘I’m talking to Michael Flynn about this—if you find anything, can you let me know?’” Eric York, one computer security expert who said he searched hacker forums on Smith’s behalf to try to dig up the emails, told the Journal.