Thomas Lipscomb: What I Know About the Late Peter Smith That the Media and Mueller Team Won’t Tell You

Peter W. Smith 1936 – March 2017

Republican activist Peter Smith was found dead in his hotel room in May 2017 in Rochester, Minnesota.

It was an apparent suicide.
He was trying to obtain Hillary Clinton’s lost emails when he died.


Last week Peter Smith made headlines once again in the liberal mainstream media’s ongoing quest to discover collusion between the Trump campaign and Putin’s Russia.

This past weekend The Gateway Pundit spoke with sources close to Peter Smith.

Today author, columnist and digital entreperneur Thomas Lipscomb offered this piece to The Gateway Pundit on his relationship and knowledge of Peter Smith who was a close friend and business associate.


By Thomas Lipscomb

What do you know? It’s only been a few days since the FBI got the Peter Smith financials and already Buzzfeed, the digital Federal Register of the Deep State, has published a breathless summary of one of Mueller’s FBI wild goose chases that has been going on for a year. The article luridly dramatizing the piggy bank-sized financial transactions of a dead man who is suspected of somehow linking Trump to Russian collusion and calls it “…one of the most intriguing episodes of the 2016 presidential campaign.”

For background, a little over a year ago, Shane Harris, a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, cooked up a two day wonder story after the suicide of an octogenarian named Peter Smith. Smith, concluded Harris, may have been colluding with Russians, and influential people he associated with Trump, to get his hands on the mysterious missing Hillary emails.

The story was basically a flop, Harris’s reporting ability appalling less effective than his self-promotion, but he got some great headlines and a brief flurry with the cable cabal and Trump opponents as well as a job at The Washington Post.

Smith, who was all but bankrupt when he died, had once been a wealthy investor, with a healthy interest in backing various sneaky schemes he thought would help his beloved GOP, like David Brock’s “Troopergate” stories on Bill Clinton that ran in American Spectator.

Now, although his friends didn’t realize it at the time, out of cash and running out of time, Smith was trying for his last hurrah. Somehow he would find the missing Hillary emails before the 2016 election, somewhere on the Deep Web, authenticate them, and release them and guarantee Trump’s election. He was convinced the Russians would have them. (Had he known what we know now, he might have checked with the Chinese.)

Problem One: Smith knew less about computers and searching the Dark Web than the average 12 year old.

Problem Two: Smith had no money and was smart enough to know that if they were out there, he was unlikely to find their possessor was a philanthropist.

Problem Three: How could he authenticate them?

As someone who knew Peter Smith for 14 years, I had to listen for months to the various twists and turns in his painful search for the Hillary email mother lode. He had always been a name dropper and while he never told me what a given bigfoot had actually said, and none of them seemed to have done anything for him, he loved to tell who he had been in touch with. And like his long-suffering colleague, John Szobocsan, who ran Smith’s day job operation in Chicago, I kept telling Smith he was never going to get anywhere. Neither John nor I had a clue about Problem Two.

All I thought Smith would do is meet a bunch of promoters dying to lead him on and suck him into to some kind of payoff. This is exactly what apparently happened. As a step to confront his cash need, I later learned he had cobbled together and pathetically underfunded an LLC he called KLS Research with less than $50,000 it blew through rapidly.

FBI/Buzzfeed are pathetically fascinated by the penny ante poker transactions of KLS. And they seem to confuse the frantic shoving around of whatever funds Smith had otherwise, trying to stave off a total personal financial capsize, with some kind of masterful financing of the Great Russian/Trump Email collusion.

So having strung friends, as well as Buzzfeed’s “sources,” along for months about the light at the end of the tunnel on his email search with its many twists and turns, as well as embezzling thousands of dollars from friends like me trying to stay afloat, Smith hit the wall. He killed himself just before the insurance policy ran out that provided the only security he could to his family. There isn’t the least evidence that Smith’s search found so much as one of Hillary’s email draft wedding invitations or maybe a recipe. And his pathetic last minute KLS scheme died as unlamented, unimportant and unknown as it was born.

As he kept poking in every nook and cranny and sourced as many consultants as he could, it is inevitable that Smith spoke to some Russians ready to help and perhaps a Nigerian prince or two. He got some good advice from Matt Tait, which he ignored.

Buzzfeed has an anonymous source. Whoopee!…. REAL sources are so out of fashion this year. “According to a person with direct knowledge of Smith’s project, the Republican operative stated that he was prepared to pay hackers “many thousands of dollars” for Clinton’s emails — and ultimately did so.” Really? And just where did that money come from? We aren’t told.

Somehow, in spite of this, Buzzfeed concludes: “Smith’s quest to find Clinton’s emails appears to have fizzled. He never released any of the email samples he reportedly received.” Since no one but Buzzfeed’s “person with direct knowledge” thinks Smith ever got his hands on a single email….. except “reportedly,” why the hell are they wasting our time on this nonsense?

It’s a warming over of Shane Harris’s flop last year, the equivalent of a few wilted lettuce leaves stuck in a year old buffet tuna salad, and an obvious instant leak from the Special Prosecutor’s office to Buzzfeed. To what end? To make Mueller look even more incompetent than he does already?

For some reason, the suicide of this poor old man fascinates the Right and the Left. Both are convinced it was part of some dark plot, a huge mystery, and that Smith must have been murdered to cover something or other up: the missing emails, the Lost Chord, the map to the Lost Gunsight Mine? All equally probable in conspiracy land.  At least Buzzfeed doesn’t question the suicide.

Perhaps with the better reporting we once had in lieu of partisan shills like Shane Harris, or a functioning FBI that still remembers basic rules of evidence, or even a Special Prosecutor who hasn’t fouled up almost every case he has ever had any real responsibility for, the American people might be better clued in. See my: Robert Mueller’s Flock Shooting Fiasco.

But for now, we’re all on our own. And left in a dark place indeed.

Thomas H. Lipscomb is the founding publisher of Times Books at the New York Times Company and has published many bestsellers. His news reporting has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, New York Sun and other papers. He has written op-eds and reviews for over 40 newspapers from the Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal. As a digital entrepreneur he has founded and served as CEO of two public companies based upon his patents. He lives in New York.

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