A former British government security specialist who said he was recruited by a GOP operative to collude with the Russians in the 2016 presidential election has met with special counsel Robert Mueller.
The investigator interviewed Matt Tait, who has maintained that the late Peter W. Smith solicited his help in locating deleted emails that he thought Russian hackers may have obtained from Hillary Clinton’s private email server, according to a report from Business Insider.
Smith, who also claimed to be connected to former White House Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, told the Wall Street Journal that he believed “the people who had these were probably around the Russian government” and killed himself in May just days after the Journal’s report came out.
The GOP operative said he acted independently and did not explicitly say he was working with Flynn. But apparently he left that impression. “He said, ‘I’m talking to Michael Flynn about this – if you find anything, can you let me know?'” the Journal quoted computer expert Eric York, who checked out hacker forums for Smith, as saying.
Tait wrote in a June Lawfare.com article that Smith had given him a document about KLS Research, a company formed to “conduct opposition research on behalf of the [Trump] campaign, but operating at a distance so as to avoid campaign reporting.”
In the piece, “The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians,” Tait said, “The combination of Smith’s deep knowledge of the inner workings of the campaign, this document naming him in the ‘Trump campaign’ group, and the multiple references to needing to avoid campaign reporting suggested to me that the group was formed with the blessing of the Trump campaign.”