GOP operative hunted Clinton's 30,000 emails via Russian hackers -- and had a 'line of communication' with Flynn
Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Photo: Defense Intelligence Agency)

Peter Smith, a Republican opposition researcher who implied he was working with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, sought access to emails stolen—likely by Russian hackers—from Hillary Clinton’s private email before the 2016 election, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Smith told his inner circle and potential recruits he was “talking to Michael Flynn about the his attempts to obtain those emails, computer-security expert Eric York told the Journal.

The Journal notes that federal investigators probing the link between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives have analyzed intelligence reports that purport to show “Russian hackers discussing how to obtain emails from Mrs. Clinton’s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn via an intermediary.”

In an interview with the Journal before his death on May 14, Smith said his team found at least two groups of Russia hackers who claimed to possess emails from Clinton’s private server. Smith said he “told all the groups to give them to WikiLeaks” after he said he was unable to determine the documents’ authenticity. He also told the Journal they “had a line of communication” open with Flynn and Flynn Intel Group.

Trump himself once called on “Russia” to “find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” The White House—which has repeatedly dismissed the Russian investigation as a “witch hunt”—declined to comment. Flynn also declined to comment, according to the Journal.

Read the full report at WSJ.