Peter W. Smith was a mysterious man and a not-really-well-known story in the 2016 United States presidential election, although he has had his hand on quite a few notable events. This article will be about his life and the people he associated with in his quest to acquire Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.
The closest you may need to read before this article is “CrowdStrike”.
Peter W. Smith was born on February 23, 1936 in Portland, ME. Smith was married to Janet L. Smith and had three children and three grandchildren.
From 1975 to 1997, Smith was the President of his own company, Peter W. Smith & Company, Inc., which led buyout transactions of Donnelly Marketing Inc., which happened in February 1991, and Hunter-Melnor Inc..
Smith was also once a member of the Atlantic Council for 12 years as the Board Vice Chair, Treasurer (including in 2010) and Finance Chairman. Smith was also connected to, at various points, the Brookings Institution, the Center For Strategic and International Studies and the Heritage Foundation, where he was a fundraiser. Smith was also a prominent donor to Newt Gingrich’s committee, GOPAC. Smith was a former associate of Richard W. Porter, and has been affiliated with Blue Ripple, Inc., Flagship Pioneering and NewcoGen Group. Smith may have also been affiliated with Wabash Global Group, Wedlo and Deerpath Properties.
In July 1985, Peter W. Smith & Company, Synerco and the management of Lancaster Press purchased the newspaper organisation Lancaster Press.
In August 1985, Peter W. Smith & Company Inc. purchased the hand tool division of the Easco Corporation for $105–$110 million, a transaction which would be completed in October 1985.
In 1988, Smith organised the Republican Candidates for the Future Political Action Committee PAC (which he donated to in December 1988), and then met Newt Gingrich for the first time, which led to the PAC being abandoned by him. He also had a habit of hosting a lunch every month at his offices with people such as Gingrich, Senator Phil Gramm and Bill Kristol.
In February 1991, Peter W. Smith & Company Inc. purchased Donnelly Marketing Inc. from the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation for $200 million.
On August 27, 1992, Smith and Gerald L. Baliles (the 65th Governor of Virginia, from 1986 to 1990) published the article “GLOBAL P.C.” in The Washington Post. The article stated that both are co-chairmen of the Atlantic Council’s Round Table on Global Economics, Trade and Development.
In September 1992, during the presidential campaign, Smith started to donate funds to the private investigation of President Clinton’s sexual conduct and to try and persuade the mainstream media to cover Bill Clinton’s sex life.
His effort included him reaching out to David Brock in October 1992, and he paid $25,000.00 over 2 years to Eddie Mahe. This led to Smith giving Brock $5,000.00 to research a sexual rumour about Bill Clinton and Arkansas — that he had a child with a black prostitute (Danney Williams) — which provided zero results. This was partly due to Smith also bankrolling Cliff Jackson.
In August 1993, Smith introduced Brock to various Arkansas state troopers who later accused Bill Clinton of using them to procure women while he was the Governor of Arkansas, in an event that would later be titled “Troopergate”. Smith mentioned his desire to create a fund for the troopers should they face backlash, which Brock disagreed with.
To resolve the issue, Smith redirected Brock to Porter under Jackson’s request to discuss further and to assist Paula Jones, and while Brock assumed the topic had been dealt with — that there would be no payments — Smith then paid the Arkansas state troopers and their lawyers $22,600.00.
In January 1994, Brock published the article “His Cheating’ Heart” in The American Spectator.
In March 1994, Smith had spent a total of $80,000.00 on the private investigation into President Clinton’s sexual conduct. It was this month that he paid two of the Arkansas state troopers and their lawyers $22,6000.00.
By April 1995, Smith was considered a close confidant and adviser to Newt Gingrich, having donated roughly $109,000.00 to Gingrich and associated ventures, including the previously named GOPAC.
In November 1997, Lucianne Goldberg — a friend of Monica Lewinski’s and a literary agent — contacted Al Regnery for assistance, after Michael Isikoff sat on the story of Linda Tripp’s allegations that President Bill Clinton was having an affair with Monica Lewinsky for months. Regnery passed Goldberg the telephone number for Smith.
On November 18, 1997, Smith listened to Goldberg and the story of Tripp and Lewinski, and then called her back with Porter on the line. At some point, whether in this conversation or a later one, Goldberg was worried as she had accidentally told Tripp to record her conversations with Lewinski under the impression it was legal. Porter would later pass on Lewinski’s name to George Conway.
On March 30, 1998, Murray Waas published the article “Gingrich Money Man Peter Smith Helped David Brock Sock Clinton” in The Observer, which revealed Smith’s role in “Troopergate”.
In 1999, Smith and his wife, Janet, purchased a condo for $582,000.00 in the Gold Coast neighbourhood in Chicago, IL, which was located on the top of the Four Seasons Chicago Hotel.
In 2000, Smith donated to the Re-Elect Freshmen of the Republican Majority PAC.
In April 2001, Smith led a working group with John D. Macomber and David L. Aaron to publish “Changing Terms of Trade: Managing the New Transatlantic Economy” for the Atlantic Council.
On April 14, 2008, DigaComm LLC v. Vehicle Safety & Compliance LLC, Pittco Capital Partners LP, Pittco Capital Partners II LP, Andrew Seamons, Jr. and Jr. “Pitt” Hyde was filed at the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
On November 30, 2011, Smith requested an extension to his Stratfor subscription due to a Christmas offer.
In 2013, Smith met with Charles Johnson, which led to them working together on opposition research about President Barack Obama.
In early 2014, Johnson founded the organisation GotNews.
On June 24, 2014, Smith created his Twitter profile.
In 2015, Peter W. Smith met with Michael Flynn. At the time, Flynn had left the Defense Intelligence Agency back in August 2014, and was in the process of developing the Flynn Intel Group, which would later be founded on June 12, 2015. The same year, Szobocsan was hired as a managing director at CVAlliance, LLC, and both Johnson and Pax Dickinson founded WebSearchr.
In April 2015, Jonathan Safron was hired as a private tutor at Varsity Tutors in Chicago, IL. While at the firm, Smith became one of Safron’s clients, where he taught Smith how to use a MacBook. During this time, Smith resided in a condominium at the top of the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.
In June 2015, Safron was hired as a research director at Corporate Venture Alliances, LLC in Chicago, IL by Smith. While Safron worked at Corporate Venture Alliances, he and Smith used to have lunch together at the Oak Tree Restaurant & Bakery Chicago.
Between October 7–9, 2015, and also on October 12, 2015, Smith wrote a number of e-mails to Porter that he had discussed the race to become the Speaker of the House between Representative Peter Roskam and Representative Kevin McCarthy with Matt Boyle of Breitbart News.
Smith and Flynn formally entered a business relationship in November 2015, although no actual business deals emanated from the relationship. Safron also noted that Smith and Clovis have e-mailed each other in matters unrelated to the future hunt of the e-mails.
In 2016, Szobocsan left his positions at both Illinois Institute of Technology and CVAlliance, LLC.
In early 2016, Dickinson and Johnson hired a front-end developer to work on WebSearchr for them.
In January 2016, Smith sold his Gold Coast condominium on the top of the Four Seasons Chicago Hotel due to a foreclosure threat for $705,000.00 to a private firm.
On February 21, 2016, Smith signed his last will and testament, which totalled 7-pages and was filed at Probate Court in Lake County.
On March 21, 2016, Trump visited the headquarters of The Washington Post, where he introduced his foreign policy team, which included Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Joseph Schmitz, Walid Phares and Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg.
Joseph Schmitz was the former Inspector General for the United States Department of Defense, who held the position from March 2002 to September 9, 2005, where he then became the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for Prince Group, which was divided between Prince Manufacturing and Blackwater. Schmitz also served as Special Assistant Attorney General to Edwin Meese in 1987 during the Iran-Contra scandal.
Joseph’s brother, John, married the sister (Lucila) of Columba, the future wife of Jeb Bush.
“Columba was 16 when she met Jeb, then an exchange student studying in Leon. Her sister had met one of Jeb’s best friends, John Schmitz, who had already been to their home to meet ‘my mother, the cat, the bird, the whole family,’ Bush recalls.” — The Los Angeles Times
On March 31, 2016, Trump tweeted a photograph of him meeting with his foreign policy team, which included Schmitz.
On June 30, 2016, Matt Tait started to tweet about his findings on “Guccifer 2.0”’s data.
Towards the end of July 2016, as Donald Trump secured the nomination for the Republican Party, Smith started to put together a plan to acquire the e-mails of Hillary Clinton, outside of the Trump campaign.
This led to numerous other phone calls between Tait and Smith, which discussed the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, Flynn’s dislike of Director James Clapper and his desire to become the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency but agreement that he should become the National Security Adviser instead.
One phone call had Szobocsan on the line, where they discussed technical details buried in the United States Department of State’s release of Hillary’s e-mails. They also discussed “Guccifer 2.0” and CrowdStrike Services.
In the summer of 2016, Schmitz represented a contractor named “PATRIOT” who had a United States government security clearance. “PATRIOT” apparently had discovered material stolen from Hillary that may have contained classified information. The information had been acquired from the “dark web”, apparently posted on a forum similar to Reddit.
“One cybersecurity expert outside of government who also saw the material on the dark web said the emails appeared to be fake, based on his review and the forum where they were posted.
‘I’m pretty sure they were posted on the (dark web) equivalent of Reddit,’ the source said.” — CNN
With this in mind, Schmitz — using his clearance gained from his time as the Department of Defense Inspector General — met with officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of State and with the Intelligence Community Inspector General. This was because both Schmitz and “PATRIOT” were concerned that viewing the material would jeopardise their security clearances.
Interviews were carried out by the United States Department of State, the Intelligence Community Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation — the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s interview of Schmitz became a part of the Midyear Exam investigation. Schmitz then wrote a memo and took it to the House Intelligence Committee.
In the fall of 2016, numerous individuals contacted Smith and claimed that they had access to Hillary’s e-mails, one of whom was apparently Ike Kaveladze. Smith then vetted some of the e-mails themselves, although he could not confirm authenticity. Smith redirected some of the hacker groups to release the e-mails to WikiLeaks.
Kaveladze was one of the eight attendees of the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, where he took photographs of himself in the building, alongside Natalia Veselnitskaya, Rinat Akhmetshin and Anatoli Samochornov. A few days later, on June 14, 2016, Kaveladze received an e-mail from Rob Goldstone, which was also sent to Emin Agalarov, as he forwarded the CNN story about the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee, which itself had been released by The Washington Post by Ellen Nakashima through Michael Sussmann, Dmitri Alperovitch and Shawn Henry.
In August 2016, Smith contacted Tait via telephone and informed him that a person on the “dark web” claimed he had accessed to Hillary’s e-mails. Smith requested for Tait’s help to verify the e-mails, which he declined to do.
On August 17, 2016, Trump named Bannon as the Chief Executive of the Trump campaign.
At some stage, John Purcell donated $20,000.00 to KLS Research to assist with the funding of the research.
Around September 5, 2016, experts in the technology sector, lawyers, and an investigator based in Europe capable of speaking Russian were banded together by Smith. These people included Michael Liberty (who never donated), John “Jack” Purcell, Eric York and Patrick “Pat” Haynes. Smith also worked with Charles Johnson and Pax Dickinson.
Michael Liberty was the founder of Mozido, until he pleaded guilty in November 2016 for making illegal campaign contributions. Smith had been a member of the advisory board for Mozido, having worked on Mobile Media and Affinity Mobile years previously.
Smith requested Johnson to introduce him to Steve Bannon. While Johnson disagreed with doing this, he instead informed a hidden opposition research network of the effort. Johnson also suggested Smith contact Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer. Johnson and Smith also discussed a potential investment from Smith into Johnson’s WeSearchr.
Smith also claimed that the Flynn Intel Group and Michael G. Flynn assisted with the effort. Safron also sent out a recruitment e-mail with a number of LinkedIn profiles of people connected to the effort, which included the Flynn Intel Group.
York spent time investigating hacker forums on Smith’s behalf, and was under the impression that Smith and Flynn were in communication with each other.
On September 7, 2016, Smith completed his operational plan to try and gain access to Hillary’s e-mails, where he named numerous people associated with the Trump campaign in a written document. Officials named included Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Sam Clovis, Michael Flynn and Lisa Nelson, the former GOPAC executive director.
This document was then included, alongside opposition research, in an encrypted e-mail titled “KLS research packet” sent to Matt Tait. The document itself was titled “A Demonstrative Pedagogical Summary to be Developed and Released Prior to November 8, 2016”.
“In phone conversations, Mr. Smith told a computer expert he was in direct contact with Mr. Flynn and his son, according to this expert. The person said an anti-Clinton research document prepared by Mr. Smith’s group identified the younger Mr. Flynn as someone associated with the effort. The expert said that based on his conversations with Mr. Smith, he understood the elder Mr. Flynn to be coordinating with Mr. Smith’s group in his capacity as a Trump campaign adviser.” — The Wall Street Journal
“The first group, entitled ‘Trump Campaign (in coordination to the extend permitted as an independent expenditure)’ listed a number of senior campaign officials: Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Sam Clvois, Lt. Gen. Flynn and Lisa Nelson.
The largest group named a number of ‘independent groups / organizations / individuals / resources to be deployed.’ My name appears on this list. At the time, I didn’t recognize most of the others; however, several made headlines in the weeks immediately prior to the election.” — Matt Tait
Around this time, Smith then created a Gmail account under the name of “Robert Tyler”, which was then used by him and various other people. Smith also had a phone number for sensitive matters and an encrypted e-mail account.
“In that quest, he contacted several known hacker groups, including some dark web groups. He claimed he was working on behalf of Trump campaign adviser Mike Flynn, but that connection has not been confirmed. He was shown some information but was not convinced it was genuine, and suggested the hackers give it to WikiLeaks instead. As part of this effort, Smith donated $150,000.00 to the Washington Scholarship Fund for the Russian students, including $100,000.00 of solicited money, and $50,000.00 from his personal funds. One America News is told Smith told Jerome Corsi, Steve Bannon and Mike Flynn, who he was talking to, and that the dark web source had Hillary’s e-mails. It is possible that the dark web source is Ike Kaveladze.” — Jack Posobiec, One America News
“Peter Smith told Steve Bannon who he was talking to on the dark web
That dark web source had Hillary’s emails
And Smith got ahold of a few” — Jack Posobiec
The next day, on September 8, 2016, Smith withdrew $9,500.00 from the KLS Research account and deposited it within his own personal bank account. After, Smith withdrew over $4,900.00 in cash and sent cheques to an accountant and a real estate-controlled LLC.
Around this time, friends of Smith including Charles Ortel and Tom Lipscomb learned of Smith’s mission to acquire Hillary’s e-mails through any means necessary. Smith had worked with Ortel on his investigations into the Clinton Foundation.
In mid-September 2016, contact between Smith and Tait had come to an end after Smith and Szobocsan attempted to have Tait sign a non-disclosure agreement.
On September 20, 2016, Charles Johnson published the article “BREAKING: George Soros-Tied Group Launching Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theory Website” in GotNews, which was about the creation of PutinTrump.org, set to go live on September 21, 2016, founded by Ripple Strategies.
“PutinTrump.org will be announced in New York this Wednesday at the Founders Forum — a private network of the world’s leading digital and technology entrepreneurs — by a well-known Internet entrepreneur. PutinTrump.org’s editoral director is also a prominent, distinguished, journalist.” — GotNews
The founder of PutinTrump.org was Rob Glaser, the founder of RealNetworks, and it was funded by the Progress For USA Political Action Committee. The editors of PutinTrump.org joined forces in May 2017 with Mother Jones, which included the editorial director of the site, Bill Buzenberg. The Founders Forum itself is a project of the Fondazione Torlonia, which was founded by Prince Alessandro Torlonia in 2014.
The same day, at 11:59 P.M., WikiLeaks sent a private message to Donald Trump, Jr., which read: “A PAC run anti-Trump site ‘putintrump.org’ is about to launch. The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump’. See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?’”
WikiLeaks also tweeted: “‘Lets bomb Iraq’ Progress For America PAC to launch ‘PutinTrump.org’ at 9.30am. Oops pw is ‘putintrump’ putintrump.org”
On September 21, 2016, at 11:50 A.M., Trump, Jr. responded to WikiLeaks: “Off the record I don’t know who that is but I’ll ask around. Thanks.”
On September 22, 2016, Smith tweeted to Vincent Tan, who at the time worked as a senior security consultant at Vantage Point Security in Singapore: “we have areas of mutual interest. please follow so I can send contact info via DM”. It would take until October 16, 2016 for Vincent Tan to respond: “hey, somehow I didn’t get notified of this. My DM is open to all, feel free to msg me”.
Towards the end of September 2016, Smith withdrew $500.00 and then $700.00 from KLS Research’s bank account.
In October 2016, Smith sent a number of e-mails to Royal O’Brien — with Dickinson copied into the chain — to discuss the potentiality that WikiLeaks had been attacked by hackers and to seek advice. Royal explained the concept of PGP keys for encryption.
On October 11, 2016, the “Robert Tyler” gmail account was used to send an e-mail titled “Wire Instructions — Clinton Email Reconnaissance Initiative” to Smith, which contained a message that $150,000.00 had been raised — which included $50,000.00 from Smith — to be donated into the Washington Scholarship Fund for the Russian students.
“‘This $100k total with the $50k received from you will allow us to fund the Washington Scholarship Fund for the Russian students for the promised $150K. The students are very pleased with the email released they have seen, and are thrilled with their educational advancement opportunities.’” — Rob
On November 11, 2016, Smith published the blog post “Nine Person GOP Goal Line Stand”.
On November 14, 2016, Smith withdrew $3,000.00 from the KLS Research bank account.
On November 18, 2016, Smith published the blog posts “Finding the Important Which is Also Doable”, “In 2018, GOP Poised for 60 Seats in U.S. Senate” and “President-elect Trump, In Four Years, Could Nominate 375 Federal Judges”.
On November 21, 2016, Smith published the blog post “Nation-States Not Involved In Campaign-Related Email Leaks”.
On November 28, 2016, Smith published the blog post “Trump Infrastructure: Not New Deal Pork, But Privatization”.
On November 29, 2016, Smith published the blog post “Likely Trump Focus: Patient-Centric Rather Than Hospital-Centric Information Systems”.
In December 2016, Smith sent out an e-mail — titled “Clinton Email Reconnaissance Initiative” — to people to solicit funds to assist Julian Assange and WikiLeaks with legal support. This may have been the e-mail on December 19, 2016.
“‘We have active discussions on how to arrange such legal support for WikiLeaks as a whistleblower, and therefore being exempt from U.S. law’, Mr. Smith wrote.” — The Wall Street Journal
On December 6, 2016, Smith published the blog posts “Pentagon: Fertile Opportunity for Cost Efficiency” and “Is WikiLeaks a Whistleblower?”
On December 23, 2016, Tait published the article “Putin’s Way of War” in Politico.
In January 2017, Smith’s son, David, entered a state prison, which followed a conviction of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
On February 19, 2017, Russ Read published the article “EXCLUSIVE: Joseph Schmitz Under Consideration For Secretary of the Navy Should Bilden Drop Out” in The Daily Caller.
On March 29, 2017, Smith published four blog posts — “GOP House Needs to Avoid Becoming Balkanized”, “Gallup May Have Thumb on Scale With Its Low Approval Rating of President Trump”, “Clinton-Leaning Cyber Firm On Which the FBI Relies”, which was about CrowdStrike, and “Russian Leaker Inadvertently Disclosed on MSNBC”, which was about Evelyn Farkas’s interview with Mikla Brzyznski.
On April 17, 2017, Smith published the blog post “Evolving 2020 Issue for President Trump”.
On May 4, 2017, Smith was interviewed by journalists at The Wall Street Journal.
On May 6, 2017, Smith published two blog posts —“Tinfoil Hat Coalition Reaches End of Line With Trump-Russia Connection” and “Global GDP Would Be Bolstered by Ending Climate Change Expenditures”.
On May 13, 2017, Smith spoke with a hotel worker as he worked on a computer in the business center printing documents. Smith was due to leave on the day, but extended his stay for one more day. Smith also purchased “Helium Jumbo” and various other items at 12:53 P.M. from Walmart.
“Tomorrow is my last day.” — Peter W. Smith
On the same day, Smith published two different blog posts — “Three Agencies, Not 17, Behind Russian Interference Allegations” and “Could President Trump Benefit From a Board of Directors?”.
Between May 13–14, 2017, Ortel spoke with Smith on the phone, where they discussed a project to brief the Obama Foundation to warn them to avoid the same trappings of the Clinton Foundation.
On May 14, 2017, in the afternoon, Smith was found dead in a hotel room at the Aspen Suites in Rochester, having committed suicide at 1:17 P.M.via asphyxiation, where he left a note which read “NO FOUL PLAY.” In order to gain access to the room, hotel staff had to break down the door. Smith’s body was later removed by Rochester Cremation Services. Rochester Police notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation at some point of the death.
“NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER…
RECENT BAD TURN IN HEALTH SINCE JANUARY, 2017…
LIFE INSURANCE OF $5 MILLION EXPIRING.” — Peter W. Smith’s Note
“At the top of the key document that spelled out his health concerns and insurance motivations for taking his life, Smith addressed the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office.
‘Sorry to have involved you,’ he wrote, ‘and appreciate your assistance.’” — The Chicago Tribune
“A worker at the Aspen Suites in Rochester said Smith was pacing in the lobby area the morning he died. ‘He would get up from his chair, walk over to the newspapers, then go back to his chair and sit down for about 30 seconds and then get up and walk over to the newspapers again,’ the employee said. ‘It seemed like he had a lot on his mind.’” — The Chicago Tribune
On May 16, 2017, Dickinson and Johnson fell out over the issues surrounding WebSearchr.
On May 26, 2017, Safron left a message on Peter W. Smith’s obituary page, as did Thomas Lipscomb.
In June 2017, Safron left his role as a research director at Corporate Venture Alliances, LLC.
On June 7, 2017, Smith’s phone, credit cards and passport were mailed to one of his daughters who resided in Lake Forest, IL by Rochester authorities.
On June 29, 2017, Shane Harris published the article “GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn” in The Wall Street Journal, which used Matt Tait as a source. Harris then travelled to the Brookings Institution to discuss Smith with Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes.
On June 30, 2017, Matt Tait published the article “The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians” in Lawfare.
On July 1, 2017, Shane Harris, Michael C. Bender and Peter Nicholas published the article “GOP Activist Who Sought Clinton Emails Cited Trump Campaign Officials” in The Wall Street Journal.
On July 11, 2017, Ben Schreckinger published the article “GOP Researcher Who Sought Clinton Emails Had Alt-Right Help” in Politico, which was done partly with Johnson’s assistance.
On July 14, 2017, Katherine Skiba, David Heinzmann and Todd Lighty published the article “Peter W. Smith’s final day: ‘It seemed like he had a lot on his mind’” in Chicago Tribune. This was followed by Shane Harris and Reid J. Epstein — with contributions from Shibani Mahtani — who published the article “Details Emerge in Suicide of GOP Activist Who Sought Hillary Clinton Emails” in The Wall Street Journal.
On July 27, 2017, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a letter to Johnson, where they requested for him to turn over documents by August 10, 2017. Johnson responded by posting the letter on GotNews.
Between August 14–17, 2017, Johnson and Representative Dana Rohrbacher visited Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, which was followed with Johnson refusing to co-operate with the Senate Intelligence Committee on the Russia investigation.
On August 25, 2017, Shane Harris published the article “Special Counsel Examines Possible Role Flynn Played in Seeking Clinton Emails From Hackers” in The Wall Street Journal.
In September 2017, Northern Trust were sent a subpoena by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the bank records connected to Peter W. Smith and KLS Research. Northern Trust then sent the information to the United States Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
In October 2017, Johnson confronted James A. Wolfe and accused him of leaking information to the press. Wolfe denied it and said zero leaks were emanating from the Senate Intelligence Committee in a conversation recorded by Johnson. The conversation started due to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s request for documents in relation to Smith, which began on July 27, 2017.
CHARLES JOHNSON: “I read the stuff that’s in the papers and there are things that are leaked out of the committee.”
JAMES A. WOLFE: “There are no leaks coming out of this committee.”
CHARLES JOHNSON: “I do not trust the committee’s capabilities of keeping information secure, and I do not feel comfortable given the committee’s history of leaking material out into the public.”
JAMES A. WOLFE: “That’s just not true.”
In early October 2017, Matt Tait was interviewed privately by the House Intelligence Committee about Smith’s search for Hillary’s e-mails. At some other point, the House Intelligence Committee had also interviewed Safron, and had reached out to York.
On October 13, 2017, Stephanie Kirchgaessner published the article “Flynn ally sought help from ‘dark web’ in covert Clinton email investigation” in The Guardian, which was about Barbara Ledeen’s investigation into the Clinton e-mails in 2015, where her name had been redacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
On October 16, 2017, Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju published the article “Hill Russia investigators probe GOP operative who sought Clinton emails” in CNN.
On October 17, 2017, Natasha Bertrand published the article “Mueller has interviewed the cybersecurity expert who described being ‘recruited to collude with the Russians’” in Business Insider, which was about Matt Tait.
In 2018, Szobocsan was interviewed on three separate occasions early in the year by Team Mueller.
On April 6, 2018, reporters at CNN approached Schmitz directly to ask about the dark web search, although he declined to comment.
On April 7, 2018, Jenna McLaughlin, Jim Sciutto and Carl Bernstein — with contributions from Marshall Cohen — published the article “Exclusive: Trump adviser played key role in pursuit of possible Clinton emails from dark web before election” in CNN, which was about Joseph Schmitz.
On June 8, 2018, Chuck Ross published the article “Senate Intel Staffer Indicted In Leak Case Was Charged With Domestic Violence” in The Daily Caller, which featured audio recordings of Wolfe’s confrontation with Johnson provided by Johnson from October 2017.
In August 2018, Szobocsan appeared before a federal grand jury.
On August 6, 2018, Shannon Green sent a letter to Chuck Johnson, where she requested information about his work with Smith during the 2016 United States presidential election. Green is a staffer on the House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence.
On August 10, 2018, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier published the article “GOP Operative Made ‘Suspicious’ Cash Withdrawals During Pursuit Of Clinton Emails” in BuzzFeed News.
On August 13, 2018, Ben Schreckinger published the article “House Democrats seek to interview inflammatory ‘alt-right’ activist Chuck Johnson” in Politico.
On August 14, 2018, Jack Posobiec tweeted: “SCOOP: I’m told the ‘dark web source’ offering Hillary emails to Peter Smith and others was Ike Kaveladze”. This was followed by a Periscope recorded in Washington, DC the next day.
On October 7, 2018, Byron Tau, Dustin Volz and Shelby Holliday published the article “GOP Operative Secretly Raised at Least $100,000 in Search for Clinton Emails” in The Wall Street Journal.
On October 19, 2018, Byron Tau, Shelby Holliday and Dustin Volz — with contributions from Drew FitzGerald and Rebecca Ballhaus — published the article “Mueller Probes WikiLeaks’ Contacts With Conservative Activists” in The Wall Street Journal.
On October 28, 2018, Shelby Holliday, Byron Tau and Dustin Volz — with contributions from Rebecca Ballhaus — published the article “Late GOP Activist Peter W. Smith Met With Former Trump Adviser Michael Flynn in 2015” in The Wall Street Journal.
On March 4, 2019, Representative Jerry Nadler sent a letter to numerous people associated with the Trump-Russia investigation, including the estate of Peter W. Smith, to request documents.
And that’s it. See you later.