The Gang Of Bumbling Nitwits Who Tried To Hack Her Emails
Imagine, if you will, a pack of nitwits who decide to rob a bank. They head down to the hardware store and loudly ask the clerk for some of that newfangled lock-pickin' gear. They head to the park in their balaclavas to roll around in dogshit and practice their evasive maneuvers. They put an ad on Craiglist seeking a getaway van. The next week, the bank vault is emptied in a sophisticated attack involving hackers, explosives, and a beautiful woman who lures the guard away from his post. Do you think the nitwits did it? Or do you write them off? And what if the chief nitwit commits suicide under suspicious circumstances just ten days after a reporter starts asking him questions about the robbery?
Okay, now replace nitwits with GOP operatives and the bank with BUT HER EMAILS and you can understand the problem presented by the Wall Street Journal's latest story on Peter Smith, the recently departed GOP fundraiser whose desperate search for Hillary Clinton's personal emails coincided with Wikileaks' release of hacked DNC messages.
Smith was the rich, old Hillary-hater who used his connections with Michael Flynn and other Trump flunkies to round up cash to search for Clinton's emails so they could LOCK HER UP for eleventy million crimes. He then wandered into the Dark Web with his wad of bills shouting, "HEY, ARE YOU RUSSIAN? HOW MANY HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS DOES IT COST TO GET HILLARY'S DELETED EMAILS?" More or less.
The Journal describes Smith going to "extraordinary lengths to ensure the privacy and secrecy of his projects." But from where we're sitting -- which would be middle-aged parenthood -- Smith's op-sec looks to have been laughably shoddy. He got a burner phone and an encrypted email. He talked in secret code to his pals, winkwink nudgenudge. His hard drives were encrypted. And he shared info with the rest of the goon squad by "foldering" it.
Mr. Smith often communicated with associates using a Gmail account under the name "Robert Tyler" that both he and several others had access to, according to emails and a person familiar with the matter. He sometimes asked associates to communicate with him by writing a note and saving it in the draft folder of the account, according to correspondence reviewed by the Journal.
UH HUH. If your FDF, who can't even work the cable remote since the kids hooked up that damn Xbox, knows about foldering, then it's not a real security measure!
On the other hand, Smith was definitely up to some shady shit. He'd amassed a $150,000 war chest for the Clinton email hunt, and he was definitely trying to get dirt from the Russians.
According to an email in the "Robert Tyler" account reviewed by the Journal, Mr. Smith obtained $100,000 from at least four financiers as well as a $50,000 contribution from Mr. Smith himself. People familiar with Mr. Smith's financial transactions confirm there were donations.
The email, dated Oct. 11, 2016, in the "Robert Tyler" account, included the subject line "Wire Instructions—Clinton Email Reconnaissance Initiative" and was addressed to Mr. Smith. The writer, who identified himself as "ROB, " said: "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 Journal couldn't determine if such a fund actually exists.
"The students are very pleased with the email releases they have seen, and are thrilled with their educational advancement opportunities," the email read. Because multiple people had access to the "Robert Tyler" email account, it couldn't be determined who sent the email to Mr. Smith.
They're emailing about "Russian students" who "are very pleased with the email releases" on October 11, 2016? HFS, that's just a few days after Roger Stone was tweeting about Wikileaks coming to destroy Hillary Clinton and four days after the hackers started releasing John Podesta's emails!
On the other other hand, these dipshits are talking in code in the body of the email headed, "Wire Instructions—Clinton Email Reconnaissance Initiative." It's not really a brains operation! And Wikileaks had been releasing hacked DNC emails throughout the summer of 2016, even as Smith was flashing his cash all over the Dark Web trying to buy the personal emails deleted from Clinton's home server. So the fact that the releases were contemporaneous is interesting, but not dispositive.
And on the OTHER other hand, there's Smith's suicide in May of 2017, 10 days after he told reporter Shane Harris that the email search was done in coordination with members of the Trump campaign, including Michael Flynn. Smith was in ill health at the time of his death and left a note saying, "NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER." But a friend who spoke to him shortly before his suicide says that Smith showed no signs of clearing his calendar.
Retired Wall Street financier Charles Ortel said he spoke with Mr. Smith on the phone in the hours before his death about a new project to brief the Obama Foundation and warn its leaders against the mistakes they believed were made by the Clinton Foundation. According to Mr. Ortel, Mr. Smith sounded excited, and he began brainstorming who to contact and how to proceed.
"I came away from that conversation saying this is great. We're going to make progress," said Mr. Ortel, who had previously communicated with Mr. Smith about efforts to obtain Clinton's emails but was not one of the four people named in the email account as financial contributors. He said he was stunned when news outlets reported that Mr. Smith had taken his life shortly after their conversation.
Again, this is interesting, but not dispositive. Too bad Yr Wonkette doesn't have subpoena power. But hey, guess who does! Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who has pulled several of Smith's associates in for grand jury questioning and has reviewed his financial documents and hard drives.
So, was it the moron squad who robbed the bank? The Russian bear brigade? OR WAS IT HILLARY CLINTON HERSELF?????
We don't know, we ran out of other hands.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.