Like Watergate, Russiagate started with a break-in that few noticed

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Like Watergate, Russiagate started with a break-in that few noticed

Post by >THE Ben Reilly< on Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:37 pm

If there were a starting point for the political turmoil around members of Donald Trump’s inner circle and their ties to Russia, it likely would be last June 15.

On that day, news broke of a computer penetration. It seemed like a minor event and was barely noted in newscasts, not unlike the famous political break-in 44 years earlier at the Watergate complex that became synonymous with political scandal.

A cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, posted a blog item saying it had detected a series of intrusions into the network of the Democratic National Committee in Washington. The culprits, it said, were Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear, nicknames of two highly skilled hacking units linked to the Russian security services.

CrowdStrike said one of the units had been lurking on the DNC network for at least 10 months, and that both units had used sophisticated Remote Access Tools – fittingly called RATs – to maraud for documents and emails.

Those hacked emails would soon turn into a political weapon, leaked to the media in an effort to hurt presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The Russian hack marked the beginning of a cascade of allegations about Russian influence on Trump’s aides, steadily building to this week’s troubles hounding Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Amid growing controversy, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself on Tuesday from any investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. This after The Washington Post revealed that contrary to testimony he gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, he had met with the Russian Ambassador to the United States last September.
C-SPAN

Along the way, the rip-roaring scandal has ricocheted from hacked emails, and the sudden ouster of Trump’s campaign manager, to a secret dossier with salacious content and on to wiretapped phone calls between Trump’s national security adviser and Russia’s ambassador. The scandal shows no signs of abating.

A key moment came July 22, when the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks published a vast trove of 19,252 DNC emails that revealed personal information about donors, cozy ties with media figures and evidence that the DNC was tilting the board in favor of Clinton over a rising challenger, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The leak took an immediate toll: DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and three other senior party officials resigned on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where delegates would hoist Clinton as the party’s presidential nominee.

But as the convention played out, Trump artfully stole media attention. He appeared at a podium at his Doral Resort in Florida on July 27 and made a quintessentially brash Trumpian appeal: He called on Russia to locate Clinton emails that had gone missing from her private server while she was secretary of state.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

The call ruffled the presidential race. By asking Russia, a longtime U.S. nemesis, to break American law and muck around in its computer networks, even if in a jocular tone, Trump was seen as breaking sharply from conventional Republican orthodoxy.

Trump’s appeal to Russia would soon boomerang.

On Aug. 19, his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, stepped down amid allegations that he had accepted millions of dollars in cash from Russian interests in Ukraine. Manafort had also been involved in gutting the GOP platform of its anti-Russia stance.

As the presidential race heated up, the White House faced new pressure to accuse Russia formally of meddling in the campaign.

In early September, another cybersecurity firm, ThreatConnect, said Russian hackers appeared to be probing election databases in Arizona and Illinois, a possible prelude to broader interference in the November vote.

It wasn’t until Oct. 7 that the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a short statement saying U.S. intelligence agencies were “confident that the Russian government directed the recent compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations.”

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article136102213.html

_________________
“As man advances in civilization, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races.”

Charles Darwin
>THE Ben Reilly<
>THE Ben Reilly<
Cowboy King. Dread Pirate of the Guadalupe. Enemy of the American people.

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