Sunday, July 15, 2018

Reactions to the indictment - Americans were in contact with the Russian hackers

The LA Times reported on the indictments and reactions to them: 12 Russians indicted in hacking of Clinton’s campaign and computers handling voter registration. Not surprisingly, Trump’s people are spinning it to favor Trump. And they got it wrong.

[To be sure] the indictment did not accuse anyone from Trump’s campaign of conspiring with Russians, a key issue that Mueller has been examining. The president’s lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, described Friday’s announcement as “good news.”

“The Russians are nailed. No Americans are involved,” he said. “Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the president and say President Trump is completely innocent.”

The reaction from the Scribers (and left-leaning commentators) was “Haw, Haw, Haw!” Or in the grammar of the internet, “LOL” or “ROFL”.

Saying that no Americans were charged in the indictment (true) is not the same as claiming that no Americans had contacts with the Russian hackers (false) or that Americans did not collude with the Russians (an open question). Here, from the Times report, is why I say that.

One of the accusations in the indictment does overlap with a controversial statement that Trump made during the campaign. On July 27, 2016, at a news conference in Florida, Trump said: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

According to the indictment, “on or about July 27, 2016,” the Russians attempted “for the first time” to hack emails located on Clinton’s private email server.

I don’t believe in coincidence. And we know from the indictment that other Americans were contacted by, or in contact with, Guccifer 2.0 (a cover for the GRU hackers). Below are verbatim relevant excerpts from the indictment.

(43) Between in or around June 2016 and October 2016, the Conspirators used Guccifer 2.0 to release documents through WordPress that they had stolen from the DCCC and DNC. The Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, also shared stolen documents with certain individuals.

a. On or about August 15, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, received a re quest for stolen documents from a candidate for the U. S. Congress. The Conspirators responded using the Guccifer 2.0 persona and sent the candidate stolen documents related to the candidate’s opponent.

b. On or about August 22, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, transferred approximately 2.5 gigabytes ofdata stolen from the DCCC to a then-registered state lobbyist and online source of political news. The stolen data included donor records and personal identifying information for more than 2,000 Democratic donors.

c. On or about August 22, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent a reporter stolen documents pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement. The reporter responded by discussing when to release the documents and offering to write an article about their release.

(44) The Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, also communicated with US persons about the release of stolen documents. On or about August 15, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, “thank u for writing back … do u find anyt[h]ing interesting in the docs i posted?” On or about August 17, 2016, the Conspirators added, “please tell me if i can help u anyhow … itwould be a great pleasure to me.” On or about September 9, 2016, the Conspirators, again posing as Guccifer 2.0, referred to a stolen DCCC document posted online and asked the person, “what do u think of the info on the turnout model for the democrats entire presidential campaign.” The person responded, “[p]retty standard.”

And who might that person be? The Washington Post speculates about a long-time Trump adviser, Charges against Russian intelligence officers intensify spotlight on Trump adviser Roger Stone. The Post writes “A person familiar with the investigation also confirmed that the Trump campaign associate referred to in the indictment is Stone.” The Post reports on what Stone has said about those contacts. It boils down to “Yeah, I was in contact” with Guccifer but “No, I did nothing wrong.” We’ll see.

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