Comey Friend Unveils "Smoking Gun" Story

For about a week now, Benjamin Wittes, the Brookings Institution senior fellow and noted ally of former FBI Director James Comey, has been taunting the Trump administration with tweets suggesting that another 'bombshell' story, presumably related to the Russia investigation, was in the works and set to drop any minute (we covered it all here: "Tick, Tick, Tick" Comey Ally Scrambles To Explain Why "Next Trump Bombshell" Didn't Arrive Today). 

Of course, people took notice of the warnings because Wittes posted similar tweets just before the New York Times published their now infamous story on Comey's memos.


So what was the "bombshell" story?  It seems to have come in the form of a rather bizarre, and thoroughly difficult to follow, Wall Street Journal article entitled "GOP Operative Sought Clinton Emails From Hackers, Implied a Connection to Flynn."

To summarize the 'bombshell', the story is about a long-time Republican opposition researcher, 81-year-old Peter W. Smith, who apparently set out on a mission to find Hillary's 30,000 emails which the FBI confirmed had gone missing.  In his efforts to find those emails, he scoured hacking chat rooms looking for clues and/or hackers that might be able to help him.  The WSJ alleges that Smith may or may not have been working with Michael Flynn but, in the end, they found absolutely nothing.  To summarize even further, a guy tried to find Hillary's missing emails and failed...HALT THE PRESSES!

Of course, the goal of the story is to paint some sinister plot that involved Smith and Michael Flynn enlisting the help of some Russians to hack the 2016 election...thus 'proving' the collusion angle. 

Unfortunately, the story seems to prove the exact opposite which is, if Flynn was really running around on some wild goose chase looking for Hillary's missing 30,000 emails by chatting up hackers on a message board then we have to assume that means he wasn't in any way connected to the original hack which ended up on WikiLeaks.



In any event, here is the Wall Street Journal's take:

Before the 2016 presidential election, a longtime Republican opposition researcher mounted an independent campaign to obtain emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server, likely by Russian hackers.


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.


“He said, ‘I’m talking to Michael Flynn about this—if you find anything, can you let me know?’” said Eric York, a computer-security expert from Atlanta who searched hacker forums on Mr. Smith’s behalf for people who might have access to the emails.


Emails written by Mr. Smith and one of his associates show that his small group considered Mr. Flynn and his consulting company, Flynn Intel Group, to be allies in their quest.

Of course, it's only deeper in the story that the WSJ admits they have no idea if Flynn was even involved with Smith...but no one reads an entire article so it's fairly irrelevant.

What role, if any, Mr. Flynn may have played in Mr. Smith’s project is unclear. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Smith said he knew Mr. Flynn, but he never stated that Mr. Flynn was involved.

And another irrelevant detail from the WSJ:

Mr. Smith said he worked independently and wasn’t part of the Trump campaign.

Finally, Smith apparently started his search for Hillary's emails over the Labor Day Weekend in 2016.  His efforts to scour hacker forums ultimately yielded 5 groups who claimed to have the missing emails, 2 of which were Russian.  However, Smith seemingly doubted the authenticity of the intelligence he received and, as a result, never leaked their contents.

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 the interview with the Journal, Mr. Smith said he and his colleagues found five groups of hackers who claimed to possess Mrs. Clinton’s deleted emails, including two groups he determined were Russians.


Mr. Smith said after vetting batches of emails offered to him by hacker groups last fall, he couldn’t be sure enough of their authenticity to leak them himself. “We told all the groups to give them to WikiLeaks,” he said. WikiLeaks has never published those emails or claimed to have them.

Meanwhile, the WSJ confirms that Smith died last month at the age of 81.

So there you have it...all the makings of another salacious, 'bombshell' story with multiple references to Russians, hackers, collusion, shady dealings with Michael Flynn, etc, etc, etc....yet still no evidence of pretty much anything.


jeff montanye gladih8r Thu, 06/29/2017 - 20:37 Permalink

here's a way to liven it up.  pretend you are the fbi in some sense.  try to answer these questions:1. why didn't you investigate the murder of seth rich, especially after a reward was offered?2. how did the dnc "rebuff" your efforts to examine their data servers after emails were stolen from them?thank goodness the legacy media is letting them think for a while, so we can keep playing.seriously, try it.

In reply to by gladih8r

any_mouse jeff montanye Thu, 06/29/2017 - 21:20 Permalink

1. Just another homicide by a Black shooter in the District.

Bonus: Accountants and Lawyers do not investigate street crime.

Just maybe the family is reluctant because they know the reason that Seth Rich was in that neighborhood and why a Black man might want to off him for non-political reasons, besides just because. A reason that would be embarrassing.

If Rich did leak the emails, he only did it because he was upset that his man Bernie got burnt by the DNC. Not exactly a sacrificial saint with a noble cause.

In reply to by jeff montanye

Endgame Napoleon any_mouse Thu, 06/29/2017 - 21:49 Permalink

Leggy experts hired by the MSM to talk political sex goosip, in between regurgitating Russian spy stories conjured up by other MSM experts, do not investigate street crime very often, either, but they do tell the audience how this or that political issue relates to their kids who, presumably, are raised by NannyCams and $10/hr babysitters, posh daycare centers or grandparents.

In reply to by any_mouse

DeadFred jeff montanye Fri, 06/30/2017 - 08:48 Permalink

Murder is not a Federal offence so the MPD has jurisdiction to investigate it. Too bad they aren't. If Seth had been a Federal employee the FBI would have had jurisdiction but the DNC is a private company. Why are they not investigating what appears to be a corrupt private company?The DNC is a private company so they don't have to turn over their computers if they don't want to. But why did they not want to? If you were ran corrupt private company you wouldn't hand your computers over to law enforcement either.Do I win the game? 

In reply to by jeff montanye

Yog Soggoth 83_vf_1100_c Fri, 06/30/2017 - 10:36 Permalink

Missing emails? Even if hacked, they would still be on the server unless intentionally scrubbed or missing for security reasons. Emails usually get sent to someone (or multiple people) so they would have to do the same on the other end. If these missing emails were on a confiscated laptop, then who scrubbed them, and where is that particular laptop? Is this part of an official investigation, and if so, by who on whom? If it was the Russians I guess getting that information relies on how well Putin gets along with Trump. The only thing that does make sense with the lack of facts is that Hillary would kill anyone who was looking for Emails.

In reply to by 83_vf_1100_c

SoDamnMad Zorba's idea Thu, 06/29/2017 - 23:34 Permalink

Over here in Europe, the Russian TV channels have programs called "Extrasensory" which is nothing more than a bunch of "voodoo" freaks who travel to towns and come up with answers to the death of family members. The freakier you are the betterand over the years they have had some wild creatures.  Dress is bizare; tarrot cards, burn incense or flash powder, skulls, birds or crazy snakes on your body, throw out the bones and read how they land, cut your hand and drip blood on a departed family members possession. The liberals need to bring this crew to America and do a show to find out the truth about hackers stealing the election. Popcorn sales will skyrocket and you will be amazed at the findings.  Since it is competitive (3 or 4 arrive in the village in a van) we can have an FBI team, a DNC team, an antifast team, an oathtakers team (careful as they might shoot the other team members). THEY WILL FIND THE TRUTH

In reply to by Zorba's idea

Shemp 4 Victory SoDamnMad Thu, 06/29/2017 - 23:44 Permalink


Over here in Europe, the Russian TV channels have programs called "Extrasensory" which is nothing more than a bunch of "voodoo" freaks who travel to towns and come up with answers to the death of family members. The freakier you are the betterand over the years they have had some wild creatures.  Dress is bizare; tarrot cards, burn incense or flash powder, skulls, birds or crazy snakes on your body, throw out the bones and read how they land, cut your hand and drip blood on a departed family members possession.

I see you've found CNN Russia.CNN will tell the TRUTH!

In reply to by SoDamnMad

nmewn 813kml Thu, 06/29/2017 - 19:40 Permalink

And a dingle berry hanging from the anus of the Brookings Institute to boot./////Oh wait!He claims that other guy too, that "Columbia law professor" fellow, who, when not teaching "law" to de youtz of America...LMMFAO!...accepts (as yet non-produced for public scrutiny) purloined government documents ostensibly called "memos" from government officials (Comey) for the expressed purpose (as admitted to by Comey under oath) of leaking to the Alinsky press (again, as admitted to by Comey under oath and thereby making said "law professor" an accomplice, thus my LMMFAO!) in order to get ANOTHER buddy (Mueller) appointed as the Extra-Special Prosecutor of all things Podesta/DNC/Burnie emails which showed "non-democratic collusion" between Hillary and FIRED Debbie Wassername-Schultz!I think datz bout right ;-)

In reply to by 813kml

nmewn Ephraim Thu, 06/29/2017 - 21:52 Permalink

Thanks Ephraim, just trying to condense it all down to the known-knowns.The unknowns, possibiles, coulds, mays & not-quites get to be rather rather tedious rabbit holes for me after a while so (for me) its good every so often to do a refresh, so the reality of...what is...can intrude once more into that space, however abrupt and turd-in-the-punchbowly that might be...for just so...I don't lose my mind completely, thinking about Russian squirrels darting through DNC email traffic, Obama unicorns flying over rainbows, endless Deep State rabbit holes & the angelic winged Alinsky press turds drowning in their own sterile, pristine punchbowl.Not too much anyways ;-)

In reply to by Ephraim

chubbar AVmaster (not verified) Thu, 06/29/2017 - 19:53 Permalink

PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE CNN, run with this story! I can hardly wait to see the fall out from some asshat news organization that runs, once again, with a complete bullshit story about Trump and Russian hacking. I swear, even the most ardent SJW's are starting to see through these lies! Seriously though, what a bunch of fucking assholes. Is it any wonder that Comey has been completely outed as a left wing Hillary nut job with buddies like this on his side?

In reply to by AVmaster (not verified)