I remember where I was when I first heard the story of Republican operative Peter W. Smith having tried to conspire with the Trump campaign and Russia to rig the election. I also remember where I was when I first heard that Smith had turned up dead shortly after he began confessing. It struck us all as almost too unbelievable of a story even by crazy Trump-Russia standards. Was he a lone wolf who only imagined he was at the center of this all, or was it possible that he was somehow the real deal?
Now we’re finally getting enough answers to know that Peter Smith was in fact a relevant player in all this. Smith met with Michael Flynn shortly before Flynn traveled to Moscow to dine with Vladimir Putin, which in turn was shortly before Flynn took a key role in the Donald Trump campaign. This isn’t quite a smoking gun, but it’s surprisingly close.
At the least, we now know that Peter Smith was on some level working with Michael Flynn during the election cycle, who in turn was working very close with Donald Trump and with the Russian government. That means we have to go back and reexamine the Smith saga with the knowledge that he wasn’t merely some outside guy tilting at windmills; he was legitimately in the mix. This in turn raises questions about why Smith – who was 81 years old and reportedly terminally ill – began telling his story to a reporter and then supposedly committed suicide just ten days later, before he could finish telling his story. Suffice it to say that there are a number of different explanations for that series of events.
But the real upshot is this: Michael Flynn cut a plea deal back in December of last year, and as part of that deal, he promptly gave all the evidence and testimony he had to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. If Smith was indeed important, then Flynn told Mueller about him from the very start of the plea deal. Mueller has had this information all along. And now, just as Mueller is finally referring Flynn for sentencing – meaning it’s all going to come out – suddenly Flynn’s connection to Smith is coming into focus. Stay tuned.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report