Republican financier and operative Peter W. Smith, who raised $100,000 in the hope of obtaining Hillary Clinton's emails from hackers, was in contact with President Trump's disgraced and former national security adviser Gen. Mike Flynn, as far back as 2015.
Smith, who allegedly died by suicide last year, "told associates during the presidential campaign that he was using the retired general’s connections to help him on the email project," The Wall Street Journal reports.
(New York Magazine raises the possibility that Smith was murdered, and that Mueller is investigating – "it is looking increasingly plausible that somebody in fact killed him.")
The Journal also notes that a friend of Smith's revealed that the now-deceased Republican operative "started a business relationship with Gen. Mike Flynn in November 2015. We spoke with him on the day he left for his trip to Moscow," the friend said in an email.
Smith had called his plan to obtain the Clinton emails the “Clinton Email Reconnaissance Initiative.”
He had "claimed ties with the antisecrecy website WikiLeaks, and he solicited money to assist founder Julian Assange with legal support."
Additionally, Smith "told supporters his team had come across 'multiple individuals' in possession of the Clinton emails in the fall of 2016. He also wrote that he directed one or more of those people to send the emails to WikiLeaks."
It is unclear that Smith ever actually obtained any Clinton emails, but The Journal notes that "WikiLeaks, which never published any of the alleged material, was the main conduit for the dissemination of other embarrassing Democratic emails that U.S. investigators concluded were stolen by Russian hackers."
And in a blow to right wing conspiracy theorists and the current American President, The Wall Street Journal reports: "No evidence has emerged that hackers ever obtained Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and the FBI didn’t find evidence that her personal server had been compromised."