It was just two days ago when the Wall Street Journal unleashed an explosive report about a man named Peter W. Smith, who had been working to set up a group of computer experts and hackers in order to obtain Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails. The story, which we reported here, indicated that Smith had been working with both Michael Flynn and Michael Flynn Jr. in an effort to uncover the emails which could in turn hurt Clinton’s chances of winning the election.
The latest reporting, coming from the Wall Street Journal once again, shows that Smith’s operation may have had ties to numerous individuals within the Trump campaign in addition to Flynn and Flynn Jr.
In a recruitment document that Smith used in order to entice computer experts as well as hackers to join his team, Smith appears to reference numerous Trump Campaign associates. The document was initially provided to a former British Intelligence cyber security expert named Matt Tait, and was titled “A Demonstrative Pedagogical Summary to be Developed and Released Prior to November 8, 2016.” Some of the names referenced within this document under the heading “Trump Campaign” are Steve Bannon, who is now the chief strategist for the President, Kellyanne Conway, a former campaign manager and now White House counselor and Sam Clovis, a policy adviser to the Trump campaign who is now a senior adviser at the Agriculture Department.
If you recall, the initial response from the White House when the Wall Street Journal dropped this story was that if Flynn had any communications with Smith, it was on his own and not in the capacity of a Trump Campaign associate. This latest document, obtained by the Journal, shows the exact opposite. Apparently Smith had connections to, or thought he had connections to others within the Trump campaign, including some of the higher-ups.
The Wall Street Journal reached out to both Conway and Bannon for their comments. Conway said that she did know Peter Smith from her past work in Republican politics, but it had been years since they have talked. “I never met with him [during the campaign]”, Ms. Conway said. “There were no calls, no meetings, no nothing.”
Steve Bannon told the Journal that he never met with Mr. Smith or anyone affiliated with a limited-liability company called KLS Research LLC (the document said that this was the company established for its mission). “Never heard of KLS Research or Peter Smith,” Bannon said.
Regardless of what comes out of the White House, you can be assured that Mueller and his team are looking into all such connections that Peter Smith may have alluded to prior to his death in May.