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Trump campaign adviser brought alleged Clinton emails from ‘dark web’ to FBI
A former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser in the summer of 2016 asked multiple federal agencies, including the FBI, to review material obtained from the "dark web" that he believed to be content from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's deleted emails.
Joseph Schmitz, formerly a Pentagon inspector general and then a member of the Trump campaign's national security and foreign policy team, reportedly found the unverified material through a client, who remains an unidentified contractor. He brought it to at least two federal agencies and two congressional committees, CNN reported.
The FBI investigated Clinton over her use of a private email server, and the subsequent loss of some of those emails, during her time in office, but did not press criminal charges. The Trump campaign reportedly sought information from Clinton's emails throughout the 2016 campaign.
CNN's sources said the material from Schmitz was never verified and was considered fake. One expert who reviewed the material told CNN the "dark web" source made the material more questionable. The "dark web" is the part of the internet that is difficult to trace.
Schmitz also brought the information to the State Department and the intelligence community inspector general for review, according to CNN. He expressed concern that viewing potentially classified information could compromise his security clearance as well as his client's.
When the government agencies and watchdogs declined to review the material after interviewing Schmitz, the campaign official then listed his concerns in a memo he provided to the House Intelligence Committee, a congressional panel simultaneously probing Russia's interference in the election.
CNN's sources said there was no reason to suspect Schmitz had communicated with Russians over the course of the campaign. It remains unknown whether special counsel Robert Mueller, who took over the Russia investigation from the FBI last year, is interested in speaking with Schmitz.
Schmitz did not respond to CNN's request for comment.
-Updated 7:05 p.m.