by Max Brantley
Smith was a Chicago investment banker who was a major fundraiser for Gingrich when the latter was a Republican congressional leader in a ferocious battle of wills with then president Bill Clinton. Smith was instrumental in the “Troopergate” scandal, in which four state troopers who provided security for Clinton alleged that the then Arkansas governor had used them to find him women to have sex with.
He also tried to orchestrate a paternity suit against Clinton and tried to find a woman who would claim she had an illegitimate child with the governor.
According to David Brock, a former investigative journalist, Smith offered to provide financial support, including finding jobs and setting up a legal fund for the troopers if they lost their jobs as a result of the allegations against Clinton. Brock later expressed doubts about the veracity of the allegations.
“There was discussion of Peter promising to find them jobs at a certain level of income, and there was definitely discussion of a legal defense fund [for the troopers],” Brock told the New York Observer at the time. Brock, who has since founded the Media Matters for America watchdog group, did not return a request for comment on Friday.