Reading the Mueller Report Part I: “A Sweeping and Systematic” Attack on America
The scope and scale of the Russian cyber attack on the U.S. was breath-taking and horrifying.
From Special Counsel: “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.”
Special Counsel established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through two operations:
- A Russian entity, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), carried out a social media campaign that favored Trump and disparaged HRC
- Russian intelligence service, GRU, conducted an operation to hack Democratic campaigns and weaponize the stolen material to undermine HRC’s campaign and boost Trump.
Both of these operations violated US law.
Military Unit 74455, unit of the GRU, hacked computers belonging to state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of U.S. elections.
The GRU targeted Florida County officials responsible for administering the 2016 US election. The FBI believes this operation enabled the GRU to gain access to the network of at least one Florida county government.
The GRU began planning the release of the stolen material at least as early as April 19, 2016. Guccifer (a name adopted by GRU officers) began publishing material on June 15, 2016.
By July, the intent was to prevent HRC from consolidating Bernie Sanders support behind her.
Within 5 hours of Trump’s famous “are you listening” comment, GRU officers for the first time targeted Clinton’s personal office.
Flynn recalled that Trump repeatedly wanted to find HRC’s “missing” emails. (Remember that they weren’t actually missing.) Gates recalled Trump being generally frustrated that the Clinton emails had not been found.
Late summer 2016, Trump Campaign planned a press strategy, a communication campaign and message based on the possible release of Clinton emails by Wikileaks.
Trump campaign showed “interest in WikiLeaks releases of hacked materials throughout the summer and fall.” [Redactions due to ongoing matter] Trump Jr. had direct electronic communication with Wikileaks.
Heavy redactions suggest that ongoing investigations into the IRA.
The IRA was astonishingly successful. By the time of the election, the IRA had reached and communicated with more than 120 million Americans through social media. IRA accounts interacted with American Twitter users, including through direct messages
It seems to me, the questions to ask Trump supporters are these:
Are you OK with the fact that Russia infiltrated our election, including hacking state election officials?
- Are you OK with the fact that Trump and his campaign knew Russia was doing much of this and they lied to protect Russia?
- Are you OK with the fact that the GOP is not taking adequate steps to secure our elections?
- How is allowing this “securing” our borders?
I don’t think many people would really enjoy living in the United States of Russia.
Part II is coming as quickly as I can manage it. (How do people out there read so fast?)
April 18, 2019