Who is Peter W. Smith? As Robert Mueller leads an investigation into possible collusion between Trump and Russia, Smith has emerged in the press as a possible intermediary.
Smith reportedly spoke with the Wall Street Journal in early May 2017. He claimed that under the direction of Mike Flynn, he worked to obtain from Russians the famous “deleted Clinton emails.”
Peter Smith is no longer alive. He died 10 days after his interview. The cause of death isn’t noted in his obituary for the Chicago Tribune… but before Watchdogs get highly suspicious of foul play, let’s acknowledge that he was 81 years old.
Smith As Russian Intermediary
Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Smith sought emails that he believed 1) had been deleted from Hillary Clinton’s private email server and 2) had been accessed by Russians. Smith believed that at least five groups of hackers held the files and that two groups were Russian.
The White House has stated that Smith was not affiliated with the Trump campaign. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that in his search for the deleted files, Smith told several people (such as a computer scientist they interviewed) that he worked for Mike Flynn. Flynn was Donald Trump’s campaign adviser at the time. Months after Smith’s work, Flynn briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser. He resigned after it was revealed that he had met with Russia’s ambassador to the US, purportedly without the sanctioning of White House officials.
Intelligence reports about the time period show that federal investigators were probing whether hackers were aiming to access the emails and deliver them to Flynn via a third party. Possibly that intermediary would have been Smith.
While working as FBI Director in summer 2016, James Comey stated that Hillary Clinton’s email server did not appear to have been hacked. Smith also doubted the authenticity of the emails that he was able to review. He reportedly advised hackers to share the documents with WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks has not acknowledged receipt of the files.
Peter W. Smith Biography
Peter W. Smith was born in February 1936. He was a resident of Lake Forest, Illinois at the time of his death. When he passed away in May 2017 he was survived by his wife Janet, three children and three grandchildren.
For work Smith directed private equity firms for more than four decades, focusing on corporate acquisitions and venture investments. The most recent corporate affiliation in his obituary is as managing member of DigaComm (a venture capital firm focused on e-commerce, digital media and communications) until 2014.
He was politically active since his 20s, when he served as national chair of the College Young Republicans. Later he became involved in fundraising for the GOP at candidate, state and national levels.
Smith was a leader on the Atlantic Council of the United States for 12 years. He also was active with the Heritage Foundation, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
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