It turns out that Peter Smith, the late Republican operative who admitted to working with Russian hackers during the 2016 presidential campaign, wasn’t the only ally of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to search in shady places for Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails.
A new report from the Guardian reveals that Barbara Ledeen, a longtime conservative activist who works for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), spent the 2016 campaign scouring the so-called “dark web” for traces of emails that might have been stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.
“According to interview notes released by the FBI last year, Ledeen decided in 2015 to launch her own investigation into Clinton’s use of the server,” the Guardian reports. “At the time, she was a staffer on the Senate judiciary committee. According to the FBI files, Ledeen wanted to determine whether the emails had been hacked by a ‘foreign power,’ because the incident angered her as a citizen and because she wanted to know whether such a hack would put her children, who served in the military, in danger.”
Unlike with Peter Smith, however, there is no evidence so far that Ledeen enlisted the help of Russian hackers in an effort to retrieve Clinton’s emails.
Ledeen is connected to Flynn through her husband, Michael Ledeen, a right-wing national security ideologue who co-wrote a book with Flynn last year about strategies for defeating “radical Islam.”