Thursday, June 29, 2017

Flynn Going Down - Proof of Collusion?

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


[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.


What role, if any, Mr. Flynn may have played in Mr. Smith’s project is unclear.


In [a] recruiting email seen by the Journal, Jonathan Safron, a law student Mr. Smith described as a close colleague, included links to the websites and LinkedIn profiles of people purportedly working with the Smith team. At the top of the list was the name and website of Flynn Intel.

There will no doubt be a lot of denying going on in the near future.
Mr. Smith died at age 81 on May 14, which was about 10 days after the Journal interviewed him.
That's handy.
In the interview with the Journal, Mr. Smith said he and his colleagues found five groups of hackers who claimed to possess Mrs. Clinton’s deleted emails, including two groups he determined were Russians.


Mr. Smith said in the interview he supported Mr. Flynn’s efforts during the presidential transition to establish relations with Russian officials.


Mr. Trump on July 27 publicly encouraged Russia to go further and find the Clinton “emails that are missing.” Asked about that on Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Mr. Trump was joking.
You decide:

The operation Mr. Smith described is consistent with information that has been examined by U.S. investigators probing Russian interference in the elections.

Those investigators have examined reports from intelligence agencies that describe Russian hackers discussing how to obtain emails from Mrs. Clinton’s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn via an intermediary, according to U.S. officials with knowledge of the intelligence.

It isn’t clear who that intermediary might have been or whether Mr. Smith’s operation was the one allegedly under discussion by the Russian hackers. The reports were compiled during the same period when Mr. Smith’s group was operating, according to the officials.

Mr. Smith said he worked independently and wasn’t part of the Trump campaign.
But Flynn was.
In phone conversations, Mr. Smith told a computer expert he was in direct contact with Mr. Flynn and his son. [...] The expert said that based on his conversations with Mr. Smith, he understood the elder Mr. Flynn to be coordinating with Mr. Smith’s group in his capacity as a Trump campaign adviser.
Flynn must be hot property right now.

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