A GOP opposition researcher raised at least $100,000 as part of an effort to hunt down emails thought to be stolen from Hillary Clinton's private email server, according to a report Sunday.
Peter Smith, who is now dead, sought and collected donations from four people as part of a plan to obtain Clinton’s stolen emails from hackers just weeks from the election, the Wall Street Journal reported. The FBI is investigating the fundraising campaign as part of it's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Smith died in May 2017, days after talking to the Journal about his efforts. An autopsy report says Smith committed suicide in a Minnesota hotel room and police said they found a suicide note that reportedly read, "NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER."
Last June, the Journal reported a series of stories about Smith, who claimed he was engaged in a mission to obtain lost Clinton emails hacked by Russians to find incriminating information about her. He had sought more than 30,000 emails from Clinton's unauthorized server as secretary of state that she said were personal and deleted them rather than handing them over to investigators.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team may be especially interested in Smith because he implied to people whom he tried to recruit for the email effort that he was connected to several Trump campaign officials.
Smith named the Trump officials, including Steve Bannon, Mike Flynn, and Kellyanne Conway, in a recruitment document for his effort.
Smith’s estate has provided documents to Mueller’s team, which is also probing whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.