There’s no direct line yet between Russian hackers and Donald Trump himself, but The Wall Street Journal has a piece out today that seems like a pretty big deal. Here’s the CliffsNotes:
— The WSJ interviewed a GOP Operative by the name of Peter W. Smith in May, around ten days before he died. Peter Smith told the WSJ that he put a team of people together, including “technology experts, lawyers and a Russian-speaking investigator” in an effort to locate the 33,000 emails deleted from Hillary Clinton’s private server.
— Smith intimated to his group that he was working with Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn. “He said, ‘I’m talking to Michael Flynn about this—if you find anything, can you let me know?’” he said to a computer security expert. The Flynn Intel Group — owned by Michael Flynn — was considered an ally in this effort.
— Intelligence agencies have suggested that Russian hackers were discussing how to obtain emails from Clinton’s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn via an intermediary. Peter Smith may have been that intermediary.
— Smith located five groups of hackers who claimed to have those deleted emails. He knew that two of those groups were Russian.
— Smith, unsure of the accuracy of the emails, told the groups to leak them to Wikileaks. (Wikileaks never published the emails.)
— The White House says it knew nothing about Peter Smith’s efforts, and that if he was working with Michael Flynn, he was doing so as a private citizen.
— Michael Flynn was forced to resign as National Security Adviser. Even after his resignation, Donald Trump has stood behind him.
Put those facts together in any way you’d like.
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