The Mueller Report: The Trump campaign’s keen interest in the stolen Clinton documents

While stopping short of accusing the Trump campaign of actively soliciting or participating in the hacks on Clinton and Democratic Party computer systems, the investigative team nonetheless establishes the Trump campaign was keenly interested in the material and in the now-infamous “Clinton emails,” which Donald Trump had asked Russia to locate during one of his campaign stops.

Of particular interest in this section is the documented exchange of emails between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks about the hacked material. Coincidentally, (perhaps) the Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Trump Jr to appear again before the committee — presumably to testify about Trump Tower Moscow and perhaps other matters as well.

Also of particular interest is the recent declaration by President Trump that the entire contents of the Mueller Report are protected by executive privilege, and he has refused to release the unredacted report and the supporting materials to Congress. This, while he also repeats to the media that the report exonerates him and that it shows there was “no collusion.”

If the report clears him of any wrongdoing, then why keep it secret? Perhaps because this section is heavily redacted, and the redactions could show the President is lying. Again.

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D. Trump Campaign and the Dissemination of Hacked Materials

The Trump Campaign showed interest in WikiLeaks’s releases throughout the summer and fall of 2016.

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER

1. HARM TO ONGOING MATTER

a. Background

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER

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FOOTNOTES
191 Netyksho Indictment ¶76; INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUE
192 INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUE

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b. Contacts with the Campaign about WikiLeaks

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 193 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER On June 12, 2016, Assange claimed in a televised interview to “have emails relating to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication,” 194 but provided no additional context.

Booking photo of Paul Manafort

In debriefings with the Office, former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates said that, HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 195 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER Gates recalled candidate Trump being generally frustrated that the Clinton emails had not been found. 196 Paul Manafort (at left), who would later become the campaign chairman, HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 197 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 198

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FOOTNOTES
193 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
194 See Mahita Gajanan, Julian Assange Timed DNC Email Release for Democratic Convention, Time (July 27, 2016) (qu.oting the June 12, 2016 television interview).
195 In February 2018, Gates pleaded guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, to a superseding criminal
information charging him with conspiring to defraud and commit multiple offenses (i.e., tax fraud, failure to report foreign bank accounts, and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal) against the United States, as well as making false statements to our Office. Superseding Criminal Information, United States v. Richard W Gates III, l: 17-cr-201 (D.D.C. Feb. 23, 2018), Doc. 195 (“Gates Superseding Criminal Information”); Plea Agreement, United States v. Richard W Gates III, 1: 17-cr-201 (D.D.C. Feb. 23, 2018), Doc. 205 (“Gates Plea Agreement”). Gates has provided information and in-court testimony that the Office has deemed to be reliable.
196 Gates I 0/25/18 302, at 1-2.
197 As explained further in Volume I, Section IV.A.8, infra, Manafort entered into a plea agreement with our Office. We determined that he breached the agreement by being untruthful in proffer sessions and before the grand jury. We have generally recounted his version of events in this report only when his statements are sufficiently corroborated to be trustworthy; to identify issues on which Manafort’s untruthful responses may themselves be of evidentiary value; or to provide Manafort’s explanations for certain events, even when we were unable to determine whether that explanation was credible. His account appears here principally because it aligns with those of other witnesses.
198 GRAND JURY

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Michael Cohen, former executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald J. Trump, 199 told the Office that he recalled an incident in which he was in candidate Trump’s office in Trump Tower HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 200 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 201 Cohen further told the Office that, after WikiLeaks’s subsequent release of stolen mails in July 2016, candidate Trump said to Cohen something to the effect of HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 202

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER According to Gates, Manafort expressed excitement about the erlease HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 203 Manafort, for his part, told the Office that, shortly after WikiLeaks’ July 22 release, Manafort also spoke with candidate Trump HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 205 Manafort also HARM TO ONGOING MATTER wanted to be kept apprised of any

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FOOTNOTES
199 In November 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty pursuant to a plea agreement to a single-count information charging him with making false statements to Congress, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §l00l(a) & (c). He had previously pleaded guilty to several other criminal charges brought by the U.S. Attorney ‘s Office in the Southern District of New York, after a referral from this Office. In the months leading up to his false-statements guilty plea, Cohen met with our Office on multiple occasions for interviews and provided information that the Office has generally assessed to be reliable and that is included in this report.
200 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
201 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
202 Cohen 9/18/18 302, at 10 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
203 Gates 10/25/18 302 (serial 241), at 4.
204 GRAND JURY
20S GRAND JURY

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developments with WikiLeaks and separately told Gates to keep in touch HARM TO ONGOING MATTER about future WikiLeaks releases.206

Michael Cohen reports to federal prison (NBC)

According to Gates, by the late summer of 2016, the Trump Campaign was planning a press strategy, a communications campaign, and messaging based on the possible release of Clinton emails by WikiLeaks. 207 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 208 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER while Trump and Gates were driving to LaGuardia Airport. HARM TO ONGOING MATTER, shortly after the call candidate Trump told Gates that more releases of damaging information would be coming. 209

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 210

c. HARM TO ONGOING MATTER

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 211 Corsi is an author who holds a doctorate in political science. 212 In 2016, Corsi also worked for the media outlet WorldNetDaily (WND). HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 213
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FOOTNOTES
206 GRAND JURY
207 Gates 4/10/18 302, at 3; Gates 4/11/18 302, at 1-2 (SM-2180998); Gates 10/25/18 302, at 2.
208 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
209 Gates 10/25/18 302 (serial 241), at 4.
210 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
211 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
212 Corsi first rose to public prominence in August 2004 when he published his book Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry. In the 2008 election cycle, Corsi gained prominence for being a leading proponent of the allegation that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. Corsi told the Office that Donald Trump expressed interest in his writings, and that he spoke with Trump on the phone on at least six occasions. Corsi 9/6/18 302, at 3.
213 Corsi 10/31/18 302, at 2; Corsi was first interviewed on September 6, 2018 at the Special Counsel’s offices in Washington, D.C. He was accompanied by counsel throughout the interview. Corsi was subsequently interviewed on September 17, 2018; September 21, 2018; October 31, 2018; November I, 2018; and November 2, 2018. Counsel was

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HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 214 Corsi told the Office during interviews that he “must have” previously discussed Assange with [Ted] Malloch. 215 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 216 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 217

GRAND JURY According to Malloch, Corsi asked him to put Corsi in touch with Assange, whom Corsi wished to interview. Malloch recalled that Corsi also suggested that individuals in the “orbit” of U.K. politician Nigel Farage might be able to contact Assange and asked if Malloch knew them. Malloch told Corsi that he would think about the request but made no actual attempt to connect Corsi with Assange.218

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 219 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 220

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FOOTNOTES
present for all interviews, and the interviews beginning on September 21, 2018 were conducted pursuant to a proffer agreement that precluded affirmative use of his statements against him in limited circumstances.
214 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
215 Corsi 10/3 1/18 302, at 4.
216 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
217 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
218 GRAND JURY Malloch denied ever communicating with Assange, stating that he did not pursue the request to contact Assange because he believed he had no connections to Assange. GRAND JURY
219 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
220 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER

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Malloch stated to investigators that beginning in or about August 2016, he and Corsi had multiple Face Time discussions about WikiLeaks HARM TO ONGOING MATTER had made a connection to Assange and that the hacked emails of John Podesta would be released prior to Election Day and would be helpful to the Trump Campaign. In one conversation in or around August or September 2016, Corsi told Malloch that the release of the Podesta emails was coming, after which “we” were going to be in the driver’s seat.221

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 222 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 223 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 224 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 225

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 226 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 227 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 228)

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 229 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
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FOOTNOTES
221 GRAND JURY
222 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
223 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
224 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
225 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
226 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
227 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
228 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
229 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER

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HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 230 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 231 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER232

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 233 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 234 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 235 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 236 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 237 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 238
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FOOTNOTES
HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
230 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
231 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
232 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
233 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
234 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
235 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
236 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
237 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
238 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER

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d. WikiLeaks’s October 7, 2016 Release of Stolen Podesta Emails

On October 7, 2016 four days after the Assange press conference HARM TO ONGOING MATTER, the Washington Post published an Access Hollywood video that captured comments by candidate Trump some years earlier and that was expected to adversely affect the Campaign. 239 Less than an hour after the video’s publication, WikiLeaks released the first set of emails stolen by the GRU from the account of Clinton Campaign chairman John Podesta.

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 240 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 241 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 242

HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 243 Corsi said that, because he had no direct means of communicating with WikiLeaks, he told members of the news site WND — who were participating on a conference call with him that day — to reach Assange immediately. >sup>244 Corsi claimed that the pressure was
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HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
239 Candidate Trump can be heard off camera making graphic statements about women.
240 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
241 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
242 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
243 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
244 In a later November 2018 interview, Corsi stated HARM TO ONGOING MATTER that he believed Malloch was on the call but then focused on other individuals who were on the call-invitation, which Malloch was not. (Separate travel records show that at the time of the call, Malloch was aboard a transatlantic flight). Corsi at one point stated that after WikiLeaks’s release of stolen emails on October 7, 2016, he concluded Malloch had gotten in contact with Assange. Corsi 11/1/18 302, at 6.

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enormous and recalled telling the conference call the Access Hollywood tape was coming. 245 Corsi stated that he was convinced that his efforts had caused WikiLeaks to release the emails when they did.246 In a later November 2018 interview, Corsi stated that he thought that he had told people on a WND conference call about the forthcoming tape and had sent out a tweet asking whether anyone could contact Assange, but then said that maybe he had done nothing. 247

The Office investigated Corsi’ s allegations about the events of October 7, 2016 but found little corroboration for his alle ations about the day.248 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 249 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 250 However, the phone records themselves do not indicate that the conversation was with any of the reporters who broke the Access Hollywood story, and the Office has not otherwise been able to identify the substance of the conversation. HARM TO ONGOING MATTER 251 However, the Office has not identified any conference call participant, or anyone who spoke to Corsi that day, who says that they received non-public information about the tape from Corsi or acknowledged having contacted a member of WikiLeaks on October 7, 2016 after a conversation with Corsi.

e. Donald Trump Jr. Interaction with WikiLeaks

Donald Trump Jr. had direct electronic communications with WikiLeaks during the campaign period. [HIGHLIGHTED FOR EMPHASIS – EDITOR] On September 20, 2016, an individual named Jason Fishbein sent WikiLeaks the password for an unlaunched website focused on Trump’s “unprecedented and dangerous” ties
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FOOTNOTES
245 During the same interview, Corsi also suggested that he may have sent out public tweets because he knew Assange was reading his tweets. Our Office was unable to find evidence of any such tweets.
246 Corsi 9/21/18 302, at 6-7.
247 Corsi 11/1/18 302, at 6.
248 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER GRAND JURY
249 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
250 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER GRAND JURY HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
251 HARM TO ONGOING MATTER GRAND JURY HARM TO ONGOING MATTER GRAND JURY HARM TO ONGOING MATTER

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to Russia, PutinTrump.org.252 WikiLeaks publicly tweeted: ‘”Let’s bomb Iraq’ Progress for America PAC to launch “PutinTrump.org’ at 9:30am. Oops pw is ‘putintrump’ putintrump.org.” Several hours later, WikiLeaks sent a Twitter direct message to Donald Trump Jr., “A PAC run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch. The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?”253

Several hours later, Trump Jr. emailed a variety of senior campaign staff:

Guys I got a weird Twitter DM from wikileaks. See below. I tried the password and it
works and the about section they reference contains the next pic in terms of who is behind
it. Not sure if this is anything but it seems like it’s really wikileaks asking me as I follow
them and it is a DM. Do you know the people mentioned and what the conspiracy they are
looking for could be? These are just screen shots but it’s a fully built out page claiming to
be a PAC let me know your thoughts and if we want to look into it.254

Trump Jr. attached a screenshot of the “About” page for the unlaunched site PutinTrump.org. The next day (after the website had launched publicly), Trump Jr . sent a direct message to WikiLeaks: “Off the record, l don’t know who that is but I’ll ask around. Thanks. “255

On October 3, 2016, WikiLeaks sent another direct message to Trump Jr., asking “you guys” to help disseminate a link alleging candidate Clinton had advocated using a drone to target Julian Assange. Trump Jr. responded that he already “had done so,” and asked, “what’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?”256 WikiLeaks did not respond.

On October 12, 2016, WikiLeaks wrote again that it was “great to see you and your dad talking about our publications. Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us wlsearch.tk.” 257 WikiLeaks wrote that the link would help Trump in “digging through” leaked emails and stated, “we just released Podesta emails Part 4.”258 Two days later, Trump Jr. publicly tweeted the wlsearch.tk link.259
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FOOTNOTES
252 9/20/16 Twitter DM, @JasonFishbein to @WikiLeaks; see JF00587 (9/21/16 Messages, EDACTED – PERSONAL PRIVACY @jabber.cryptoparty.is & PERSONAL PRIVACY @jabber.cryptoparty.is); Fishbein 9/5/18 302, at 4. When interviewed by our Office, Fishbein produced what he claimed to be logs from a chatroom in which the participants discussed U.S. politics; one of the other participants had posted the website and password that Fishbein sent to WikiLeaks.
253 9/20/16 Twitter DM, @WikiLeaks to @DonaldJTrumpJr.
254 TRUMPORG_28 000629-33 (9/21/16 Email, Trump Jr. to Conway et al. (subject “Wikileaks”)).
255 9/21/16 Twitter DM, @DonaldJTrumpJr to @WikiLeaks.
256 10/3/16 Twitter DMs, @DonaldJTrumpJr & @WikiLeaks.
257 At the time, the link took users to a WikiLeaks archive of stolen Clinton Campaign documents.
258 10/12/16 Twitter DM, @WikiLeaks to @DonaldJTrumpJr.
259 @DonaldJTrumpJr 10/14/16 (6:34 a.m.) Tweet.

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2. Other Potential Campaign Interest in Russian Hacked Materials

Throughout 2016, the Trump Campaign expressed interest in Hillary Clinton’s private email server and whether approximately 30,000 emails from that server had in fact been permanently destroyed, as reported by the media. Several individuals associated with the Campaign were contacted in 2016 about various efforts to obtain the missing Clinton emails and other stolen material in support of the Trump Campaign. Some of these contacts were met with skepticism, and nothing came of them; others were pursued to some degree. The investigation did not find evidence that the Trump Campaign recovered any such Clinton emails, or that these contacts were part of a coordinated effort between Russia and the Trump Campaign.

a. Henry Oknyansky (a/k/a Henry Greenberg)

In the spring of 2016, Trump Campaign advisor Michael Caputo learned through a Florida-based Russian business partner that another Florida-based Russian, Henry Oknyansky (who also went by the name Henry Greenberg), claimed to have information pertaining to Hillary Clinton. Caputo notified Roger Stone and brokered communication between Stone and Oknyansky. Oknyansky and Stone set up a May 2016 in-person meeting.260

FBI agents approach the Florida home of Roger Stone on Jan. 25 (CNN video)

[EDITOR: The FBI arrested Stone on Jan. 25 on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and lying to Congress; he has pleaded not guilty. The judge assigned to the case demanded on Thursday that the government provide her the unredacted special counsel report, as she reviews Stone’s motion to dismiss the charges against him. Stone’s lawyers said on Friday that Stone was also being investigated on other charges besides the ones in the case.]

Oknyansky was accompanied to the meeting by Alexei Rasin, a Ukrainian associate involved in Florida real estate. At the meeting, Rasin offered to sell Stone derogatory information on Clinton that Rasin claimed to have obtained while working for Clinton. Rasin claimed to possess financial statements demonstrating Clinton’s involvement in money laundering with Rasin’s companies. According to Oknyansky, Stone asked if the amounts in question totaled millions of dollars but was told it was closer to hundreds of thousands. Stone refused the offer, stating that Trump would not pay for opposition research. 261

Oknyansky claimed to the Office that Rasin’s motivation was financial. According to Oknyansky, Rasin had tried unsuccessfully to shop the Clinton information around to other interested parties, and Oknyansky would receive a cut if the information was sold. 262 Rasin is noted in public source documents as the director and/or registered agent for a number of Florida companies, none of which appears to be connected to Clinton. The Office found no other evidence that Rasin worked for Clinton or any Clinton-related entities.

In their statements to investigators, Oknyansky and Caputo had contradictory recollections about the meeting. Oknyansky claimed that Caputo accompanied Stone to the meeting and provided an introduction, whereas Caputo did not tell us that he had attended and claimed that he was never told what information Oknyansky offered. Caputo also stated that he was unaware Oknyansky sought to be paid for the information until Stone informed him after the fact.263
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FOOTNOTES
260 Caputo 5/2/18 302, at 4; Oknyansky 7/13/18 302, at 1.
261 Oknyansky 7/13/18 302, at 1-2.
262 Oknyansky 7/13/18 302, at 2.
263 Caputo 5/2/18 302, at 4; Oknyansky 7/13/18 302, at 1.
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The Office did not locate Rasin in the United States, although the Office confirmed Rasin had been issued a Florida driver’s license. The Office otherwise was unable to determine the content and origin of the information he purportedly offered to Stone. Finally , the investigation did not identify evidence of a connection between the outreach or the meeting and Russian interference efforts.

b. Campaign Efforts to Obtain Deleted Clinton Emails

After candidate Trump stated on July 27, 2016, that he hoped Russia would “find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump asked individuals affiliated with his Campaign to find the deleted Clinton emails.264 Michael Flynn-who would later serve as National Security Advisor in the Trump Administration – recalled that Trump made this request repeatedly, and Flynn subsequently contacted multiple people in an effort to obtain the emails.265

Barbara Ledeen and Peter Smith were among the people contacted by Flynn. Ledeen, a long-time Senate staffer who had previously sought the Clinton emails, provided updates to Flynn about her efforts throughout the summer of 2016.266 Smith, an investment advisor who was active in Republican politics, also attempted to locate and obtain the deleted Clinton emails.267

Ledeen began her efforts to obtain the Clinton emails before Flynn’s request, as early as December 2015.268 On December 3, 2015, she emailed Smith a proposal to obtain the emails, stating, “Here is the proposal I briefly mentioned to you. The person I described to you would be happy to talk with you either in person or over the phone. The person can get the emails which 1. Were classified and 2. Were purloined by our enemies. That would demonstrate what needs to be demonstrated.”269

Attached to the email was a 25-page proposal stating that the “Clinton email server was, in all likelihood, breached long ago,” and that the Chinese, Russian, and Iranian intelligence services could “re-assemble the server’s email content.”270 The proposal called for a three-phase approach. The first two phases consisted of open-source analysis. The third phase consisted of checking with certain intelligence sources “that have access through liaison work with various foreign services” to determine if any of those services had gotten to the server. The proposal noted, “Even if a single email was recovered and the providence [sic] of that email was a foreign service, it would be catastrophic to the Clinton campaign[.]” Smith forwarded the email to two colleagues and
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FOOTNOTES
264 Flynn 4/25/18 302, at 5-6; Flynn 5/1/18 302, at 1-3.
265 Flynn 5/1/18 302, at l -3.
266 Flynn 4/25/18 302, at 7; Flynn 5/4/18 302, at 1-2; Flynn 11/29/17 302, at 7-8.
267 Flynn 11/29/17 302, at 7.
268 Szobocsan 3/29/17 302, at 1.
269 12/3/15 Email, Ledeen to Smith.
270 12/3/15 Email, Ledeen to Smith (attachment).

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wrote, “we can discuss to whom it should be referred. “271 On December 16, 2015, Smith informed Ledeen that he declined to participate in her “initiative.” According to one of Smith’s business associates, Smith believed Ledeen’s initiative was not viable at that time. 272

Just weeks after Trump’s July 2016 request to find the Clinton emails, however, Smith tried to locate and obtain the emails himself. He created a company, raised tens of thousands of dollars, and recruited security experts and business associates. Smith made claims to others involved in the effort (and those from whom he sought funding) that he was in contact with hackers with “ties and affiliations to Russia” who had access to the emails, and that his efforts were coordinated with the Trump Campaign. 273

On August 28, 2016, Smith sent an email from an encrypted account with the subject “Sec. Clinton’s unsecured private email server” to an undisclosed list of recipients, including Campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis. The email stated that Smith was “[j]ust finishing two days of sensitive meetings here in DC with involved groups to poke and probe on the above. It is clear that the Clinton’s home-based, unprotected server was hacked with ease by both State-related players, and private mercenaries. Parties with varying interests, are circling to release ahead of the election. “274

On September 2, 2016, Smith directed a business associate to establish KLS Research LLC in furtherance of his search for the deleted Clinton emails. 275 One of the purposes of KLS Research was to manage the funds Smith raised in support of his initiative. 276 KLS Research received over $30,000 during the presidential campaign, although Smith represented that he raised even more money. 277

Smith recruited multiple people for his initiative, including security experts to search for and authenticate the emails.278 In early September 2016, as part of his recruitment and fundraising effort, Smith circulated a document stating that his initiative was “in coordination” with the Trump Campaign, “to the extent permitted as an independent expenditure organization.” 279 The document listed multiple individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign, including Flynn, Clovis, Bannon,
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FOOTNOTES
271 12/3/15 Email, Smith to Szobocsan & Safron.
272 Szobocsan 3/29/18 302, at 1.
273 8/31/16 Email, Smith to Smith.
274 8/28/16 Email, Smith to Smith.
275 Incorporation papers of KLS Research LLC, 7/26/17 GRAND JURY Szobocsan 3/29/18 302, at 2.
276 Szobocsan 3/29/18 302, at 3.
277 Financial Institution Record of Peter Smith and KLS Research LLC, 10/31/17 GRAND JURY 10/11/16 Email, Smith to PERSONAL PRIVACY
278 Tait 8/22/17 302, at 3; York 7 /12/17 302, at 1-2; York 11/22/17 302, at 1.
279 York 7 /13/17 302 (attachment KLS Research, LLC, “Clinton Email Reconnaissance Initiative,” Sept. 9, 2016).

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and Kellyanne Conway. 280 The investigation established that Smith communicated with at least Flynn and Clovis about his search for the deleted Clinton emails,281 but the Office did not identify evidence that any of the listed individuals initiated or directed Smith’s efforts.

In September 2016, Smith and Ledeen got back in touch with each other about their respective efforts. Ledeen wrote to Smith, “wondering if you had some more detailed reports or memos or other data you could share because we have come a long way in our efforts since we last visited … . We would need as much technical discussion as possible so we could marry it against the new data we have found and then could share it back to you ‘your eyes only.’ “282

Ledeen claimed to have obtained a trove of emails (from what she described as the “dark web”) that purported to be the deleted Clinton emails. Ledeen wanted to authenticate the emails and solicited contributions to fund that effort. Erik Prince provided funding to hire a tech advisor to ascertain the authenticity of the emails. According to Prince, the tech advisor determined that the emails were not authentic. 283

[EDITOR: Erik Prince is the founder and CEO of “security company” (aka military mercenary outfit), Blackwater USA, which is now known by the less formidable name of Academi. Prince is the brother of US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.]

A backup of Smith’s computer contained two files that had been downloaded from WikiLeaks and that were originally attached to emails received by John Podesta. The files on Smith’s computer had creation dates of October 2, 2016, which was prior to the date of their release by WikiLeaks. Forensic examination, however, established that the creation date did not reflect when the files were downloaded to Smith’s computer. (It appears the creation date was when WikiLeaks staged the document for release, as discussed in Volume I, Section III.B.3.c, supra.284) The investigation did not otherwise identify evidence that Smith obtained the files before their
release by WikiLeaks.

Smith continued to send emails to an undisclosed recipient list about Clinton’s deleted emails until shortly before the election. For example, on October 28, 2016, Smith wrote that there was a “tug-of-war going on within WikiLeaks over its planned releases in the next few days,” and that WikiLeaks “has maintained that it will save its best revelations for last, under the theory this allows little time for response prior to the U.S. election November 8.”285 An attachment to the
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FOOTNOTES
280 The same recruitment document listed Jerome Corsi under “Independent Groups/Organizations/Individuals,” and described him as an “established author and writer from the right on President Obama and Sec. Clinton.”
281 Flynn 11/29/17 302, at 7-8; 10/15/16 Email, Smith to Flynn et al.; 8/28/16 Email, Smith to Smith (bcc: Clovis et al.).
282 9/16/16 Email, Ledeen to Smith.
283 Prince 4/4/18 302, at 4-5.
284 The forensic analysis of Smith’s computer devices found that Smith used an older Apple operating system that would have preserved that October 2, 2016 creation date when it was downloaded (no matter what day it was in fact downloaded by Smith). See Volume I, Section 111.B.3.c, supra. The Office tested this theory in March 2019 by downloading the two files found on Smith’s computer from WikiLeaks’s site using the same Apple operating system on Smith’s computer ; both files were successfully downloaded and retained the October 2, 2016 creation date. See SM-2284941, serial 62.
285 10/28/16 Email, Smith to Smith.

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email claimed that WikiLeaks would release “All 33k deleted Emails” by “November 1st.” No emails obtained from Clinton’s server were subsequently released.

Smith drafted multiple emails stating or intimating that he was in contact with Russian hackers. For example, in one such email, Smith claimed that, in August 2016, KLS Research had organized meetings with parties who had access to the deleted Clinton emails, including parties with “ties and affiliations to Russia.” 286 The investigation did not identify evidence that any such meetings occurred. Associates and security experts who worked with Smith on the initiative did not believe that Smith was in contact with Russian hackers and were aware of no such connection. 287 The investigation did not establish that Smith was in contact with Russian hackers or that Smith, Ledeen, or other individuals in touch with the Trump Campaign ultimately obtained the deleted Clinton emails.

* * *

In sum, the investigation established that the GRU hacked into email accounts of persons affiliated with the Clinton Campaign, as well as the computers of the DNC and DCCC. The GRU then exfiltrated data related to the 2016 election from these accounts and computers, and disseminated that data through fictitious online personas (DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0) and later through WikiLeaks. The investigation also established that the Trump Campaign displayed interest in the WikiLeaks releases, and that HARM TO ONGOING MATTER As explained in Volume I, Section V.B, infra, the evidence was sufficient to support computer intrusion and other charges against GRU officers for their role in election-related hacking. HARM TO ONGOING MATTER
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FOOTNOTES
286 8/31/16 Email, Smith to Smith.
287 Safron 3/20/18 302, at 3; Szobocsan 3/29/18 302, at 6.

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NEXT: Russian government links to and contacts with the Trump campaign

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