Republican operative sought emails stolen by Russian hackers, promised to give them to Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn and his former boss Donald Trump find themselves in a new heap of trouble tonight with regard to election collusion with the Russians. A Republican political operative named Peter Smith has been exposed as having sought emails he believed were stolen by Russian hackers – and he promised his associates that he would give the stolen emails to Michael Flynn.
The stunning revelation comes by way of the Wall Street Journal (link), which is reporting that Smith – who was in his eighties at the time he sought the stolen emails – is now deceased. His private communications with other operatives have now leaked. Those communications don’t prove that Michael Flynn was working with him, only that Smith claimed Flynn was working with him, but they do put Flynn in a position of looking more guilty than ever – and of having an even deeper legal hole to climb out of.
The key development here will be the communications Smith and Flynn had with each other. Did Smith tell Flynn he was going to try to get him the stolen emails? Did Flynn ask Smith to get him the emails? Either would prove attempted collusion. Smith was attempting to obtain emails he believed the Russians had stolen from Hillary Clinton. As it turns out none of her emails were ever stolen, as her private email server was just about the only thing that wasn’t hacked during the election. But if Flynn was using associates like Smith to try to get his hands on those emails that he mistakenly thought were stolen by the Russians, he was likely also trying to obtain other emails that the Russians did steal from the DNC and others.
The deeper the trouble Michael Flynn finds himself in, the more likely he’ll be to flip on Donald Trump in exchange for leniency. This new attempted collusion revelation would seem to sharply increase the odds of him flipping, if he hasn’t already.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report