It seems the Russian collusion story the Democrats have been spouting for months may turn out to be more about Hillary Clinton than about Donald Trump.
According to formerly sealed FBI records, a Russian spy actually did get close to Clinton during her time as the secretary of state, The Hill reported.
Federal agents reportedly watched as the Russian government tried to gain access to former President Obama’s chief diplomat and her husband Bill Clinton, even using a female Russian spy who posed as an American accountant, according to The Hill.
Using a false identity, the woman was hired by a major Democratic donor before federal agents stepped in, arresting and deporting her as she infiltrated Clinton’s inner circle to gain intelligence at the State Department. Documents identified the woman using the alias Cynthia Murphy, who lived in New Jersey with her husband and children as part of a ten-member Russian sleeper cell.
Moscow’s meddling was not limited to the one operative back in 2009.
According to The Hill:
Other activities were perfectly legal and sitting in plain view, such as when a subsidiary of Russia’s state-controlled nuclear energy company hired a Washington firm to lobby the Obama administration. At the time it was hired, the firm was providing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in pro bono support to Bill Clinton’s global charitable initiative, and it legally helped the Russian company secure federal decisions that led to billions in new U.S. commercial nuclear business, records show.
Agents were surprised by the timing and size of a $500,000 check that a Kremlin-linked bank provided Bill Clinton with for a single speech in the summer of 2010. The payday came just weeks after Hillary Clinton helped arrange for American executives to travel to Moscow to support Putin’s efforts to build his own country’s version of Silicon Valley, agents said.
Though the records don’t indicate that the FBI believed the Clintons or anyone close to them were involved in anything illegal at the time, some of the activities that evidence was gathered about in 2009 and 2010 were definitely covert and illegal.
“There is not one shred of doubt from the evidence that we had that the Russians had set their sights on Hillary Clinton’s circle, because she was the quarterback of the Obama-Russian reset strategy and the assumed successor to Obama as president,” an anonymous source told The Hill.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill, not surprisingly, suggested that the spy case was another partisan effort to distract from the focus of Russian collusion with President Trump.
“Nothing has changed since the last time this was addressed, including the right’s transparent attempts to distract from their own Russia problems, which are real and a grave threat to our national security,” he wrote in an email to The Hill.
“In the end, some of this just comes down to what it always does in Washington: donations, lobbying, contracts and influence — even for Russia,” Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, told The Hill.
Figliuzzi “supervised the post-arrest declassification and release of records from a 10-year operation that unmasked a major Russian spy ring in 2010,” according to the publication. “It was one of the most important U.S. counterintelligence victories against Russia in history.”
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