REPORT: Russia Thought Hillary Would Be President, Sent Spies To Get Close To Her In 2009

One day after authorities arrested spies in Russia’s sleeper ring, the FBI noticed another event that was of deep concern — Bill Clinton collected a $500,000 check for giving a 90-minute ($5,555 per minute) speech in Moscow.

An official who was not authorized to speak with the media told The Hill that the Russians targeted Clinton because she was the “quarterback” for the Obama administration’s efforts to reset relations with Russia and because they believed she would be president after Obama. The source cited as evidence communications that the FBI intercepted where Russian handlers instructed their spies to gather information on the State Department.

The report noted that U.S. officials conducted a 10-year operation monitoring the Russian spy ring:

It was one of the most important U.S. counterintelligence victories against Russia in history, and famous for nabbing the glamorous spy-turned-model Anna Chapman.

While Chapman dominated the headlines surrounding that spy ring, another Russian woman posing as a mundane New Jersey accountant named Cynthia Murphy was closing in on accessing Secretary Clinton’s department, according to records and interviews.

Murphy, living with her husband and kids in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City, reported a major breakthrough in February 2009 in an electronic message sent to her handlers: she had scored access to a major Democrat, FBI records state.

“Murphy had several work-related personal meetings with [a prominent New York-based financier, name omitted] and was assigned his account,” one FBI record from the case read. “The message accurately described the financier as ‘prominent in politics,’ ‘an active fund-raiser’ for [a major political party, name omitted] and a ‘personal friend’ of [a current Cabinet official, name redacted].”

Multiple current and former officials confirmed to The Hill that the Cabinet officer was Hillary Clinton, the fundraiser was New York financier Alan Patricof and the political party was the Democratic National Committee. None of the Americans were ever suspected of illegalities, but the episode made clear the Russian spies were stepping up their operations against the new administration after years of working in a “sleeper” capacity, officials said.