Russia

Report: Associate of Flynn Sought Documents From Russian Hackers

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

As far as we know, Hillary Clinton's personal email server was never breached, but associates close to former national security adviser Michael Flynn did try to obtain emails from it according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal report also implicates Flynn's son.

In conversations with members of his circle and with others he tried to recruit to help him, the GOP operative, Peter W. Smith, implied he was working with retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, at the time a senior adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump. [...]

His project began over Labor Day weekend 2016 when Mr. Smith, a private-equity executive from Chicago active in Republican politics, said he assembled a group of technology experts, lawyers and a Russian-speaking investigator based in Europe to acquire emails the group theorized might have been stolen from the private server Mrs. Clinton used as secretary of state. [...]

In one Smith email reviewed by the Journal, intended to entice outside experts to join his work, he offered to make introductions to Mr. Flynn’s son, Michael G. Flynn, who worked as chief of staff in his father’s company. Mr. Smith’s email mentioned the son among a small number of other people he said were helping.

Hackers in contact with Smith did hand him a batch of emails they claimed were stolen from Clinton's private server, but Smith's team couldn't verify their authenticity. Smith told the Wall Street Journal that he told the hackers to hand the emails off to Wikileaks but, obviously, Wikileaks has never released them.

If they haven't released them by now, I'd guess they either don't have them or they were fake. My gut says they were probably fake or duplicates of emails that were already publicly available.

Whatever the reason is, it's clearly not for a lack of trying.

This report may not directly implicate or incriminate Flynn himself because we don't know how involved he was in the process, but there's far too much smoke in the air for there to be no fire. This may also explain why Trump has pushed himself to the brink in his effort to intervene on Flynn's behalf. Flynn was arguably Trump's closest adviser outside of his immediate family.