The Report: Bonus: The Death of Peter Smith
September 9, 2019 3:55 PM - Subscribe
It's July 2016. Then-FBI Director James Comey gives a press conference explaining that, while he has recommended that the Justice Department not pursue charges against Hillary Clinton for her mishandling of classified information, Clinton's conduct was "extremely careless." Evidence has never surfaced that Clinton's account was compromised. But a Republican political operative named Peter Smith becomes obsessed with the idea that Russia might have gained access. He spends the next year trying to get ahold of Clinton emails that he thinks Russia has hacked. But he never gets to see what Special Counsel Robert Mueller makes of his efforts—because a year later, he dies by suicide.
This is a bonus episode of The Report. We've just finished Volume I of our podcast bringing to life Robert Mueller's report on Russian election interference. In a few weeks, we'll be back with new episodes on Volume II of Mueller's report—covering President Trump's efforts to obstruct the Russia investigation.
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This episode is an interview with Shane Harris of the Washington Post performed by Lawfare's editor in chief Benjamin Wittes. They go into a deep dive of the figure of Peter Smith, who went above and beyond obsessed with trying to find Hillary Clinton's missing emails, even going to potentially illegal lengths to do so. He also died of suicide before the Mueller Report was released, a death that maybe(?) affected Mueller's charging decisions in this part of the case.
posted by General Malaise at 3:59 PM on September 9, 2019