The Senate intelligence committee reportedly plans to investigate the work of a GOP operative who was researching Hillary Clinton’s emails and killed himself earlier this year.
Peter Smith, an 81-year-old financier from Lake Forest, Illinois, had a long history of conducting opposition research. In the ’90s, Smith set his sights on President Bill Clinton, finding and helping publicize allegations about his sex life. More recently, Smith said he was looking into obtaining emails he said Russian hackers had stolen from Hillary Clinton.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal just days before his death in May, Smith implied he was working with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn ― who briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser before resigning in February ― on the research. He told reporter Shane Harris that he was conducting his research independently from the Trump campaign.
The Senate intelligence committee said it is “very interested” in Smith’s opposition research.
“The committee will want to speak with or get documents from everybody associated with the Peter Smith operation,” a source close to the committee told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday.
Smith was found dead May 14 in a hotel room in Rochester, Minnesota, in what the medical examiner’s office ruled a suicide. He left a note saying no foul play was involved in his death, and that he was in poor health and had a sizable life insurance policy expiring, authorities told the Chicago Tribune.
Harris, who had interviewed Smith 10 days prior, said he “had no indication that he was ill or planning to take his own life.”