DNC hack involved Russian agents “within the democratic party”: unreleased Steele memo


Shortly after WikiLeaks released emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on July 26, 2016, former UK spy Christopher Steele filed a memo with his employer, Fusion GPS, claiming that the DNC “hack” during the 2016 election involved Russian agents “within the Democratic Party structure itself,” The New Yorker reports.

On July 26, 2016, after WikiLeaks disseminated the D.N.C. e-mails, Steele filed yet another memo, this time claiming that the Kremlin was “behind” the hacking, which was part of a Russian cyber war against Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Many of the details seemed far-fetched: Steele’s sources claimed that the digital attack involved agents “within the Democratic Party structure itself,” as well as Russian émigrés in the U.S. and “associated offensive cyber operators.”

The unverified claim was contained within a multitude of memos compiled by Steele on behalf of Fusion GPS, which was conducting opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump for Hillary Clinton and the DNC.





Of note, the 35-page “Trump-Russia” dossier used in part by the FBI to obtain a FISA warrant on one-time Trump campaign advisor Carter Page was comprised of seventeen of Steele’s memos – including one which alleged that Trump had paid “a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him,” which would defile a bed that Barack and Michelle Obama had slept in during a state visit – an allegation attributed to four individuals’ second-hand reporting.

Related:
FBI refuses to release three-dozen secret memos involving Clintons, Russia and Obama

The shocking claim comes amid recent reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is preparing criminal charges against Russian hackers allegedly behind the breaches of both the DNC and John Podesta’s email.

NBC News reports:

Much like the indictment Mueller filed last month charging a different group of Russians in a social media trolling and illegal-ad-buying scheme, the possible new charges are expected to rely heavily on secret intelligence gathered by the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), several of the officials say. […] Mueller’s consideration of charges accusing Russians in the hacking case has not been reported previously. Sources say he has long had sufficient evidence to make a case, but strategic issues could dictate the timing. Potential charges include violations of statutes on conspiracy, election law as well as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The sources say the possible new indictment — or more than one, if that’s how Mueller’s office decides to proceed — would delve into the details of, and the people behind, the Russian intelligence operation that used hackers to penetrate computer networks and steal emails of both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Meanwhile, as we have been reporting, Mueller has yet to even reach out to Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, or New Zealand entrepreneur Kim Dotcom – who clearly knew of the upcoming email leaks before they were dropped. While Assange has heavily insinuated it was DNC staffer Seth Rich, Dotcom has gone “all in” over the last few months – tweeting that he knows Seth Rich was Wikileaks’ source, Rich used a memory stick, and that Dotcom himself was involved.

As Josh Caplan of TGP notes, In Donna Brazile’s book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House,” the Democrat operative admits the DNC allowed alleged Russian hackers to steal data from the party’s servers. From the Daily Caller:

Donna Brazile says in her new book the Democratic National Committee (DNC) went against professional advice and sat idly for a month while Russians stole data because primaries were still underway in a number of states.

In May, when CrowdStrike recommended that we take down our system and rebuild it, the DNC told them to wait a month, because the state primaries for the presidential election were still underway, and the party and the staff needed to be at their computers to manage these efforts,” Brazile wrote in her new book, “Hacks.”

“For a whole month, CrowdStrike watched Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear operating. Cozy Bear was the hacking force that had been in the DNC system for nearly a year.”

Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear are cybersecurity firms that have reported ties with Russian hackers. Both groups are blamed for the hacks on the DNC in 2016. CrowdStrike is a private U.S. cybersecurity firm that oversaw the protection of the DNC’s servers.

Nothing to see here folks – just Trump’s enemies using Steele’s unverified memos with info from high level Kremlin officials when it benefits them, while ignoring the ones which suggest “insiders” was involved in the DNC hack.

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Via Zero Hedge