The FBI Is Pursuing Three Separate Probes Into “Russian Hacking” Of The Elections
While it has been previously documented that the FBI has launched an investigation into Russian “hacking” of the elections, today Reuters provided more details on the ongoing effort to scapegoat Hillary Clinton’s loss on the Kremlin, when it reported that the FBI is pursuing at least three separate probes relating to alleged Russian hacking.
The details according to Reuters, which cites unnamed officials, are as follows:
- the FBI’s Pittsburgh field office, which runs many cyber security investigations, is trying to identify the people behind breaches of the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems. Those breaches, in 2015 and the first half of 2016, exposed the internal communications of party officials as the Democratic nominating convention got underway and helped undermine support for Hillary Clinton. The Pittsburgh case has progressed furthest, but Justice Department officials in Washington believe there is not enough clear evidence yet for an indictment, two of the sources said.
- the FBI’s San Francisco office is trying to identify the people who called themselves “Guccifer 2” and posted emails stolen from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s account, the sources said. Those emails contained details about fundraising by the Clinton Foundation and other topics.
- FBI counterintelligence agents based in Washington are pursuing leads from informants and foreign communications intercepts, two of the people said. “This counterintelligence inquiry includes but is not limited to examination of financial transactions by Russian individuals and companies who are believed to have links to Trump associates. The transactions under scrutiny involve investments by Russians in overseas entities that appear to have been undertaken through middlemen and front companies”
Among the topics pursued by the counterintelligence investigations are the alleged contacts between members of the Trump campaign and current and former Russian intelligence officers prior to the November election, as previously reported by the New York Times.
When reached by Reuters, Scott Smith, the FBI’s new assistant director for cyber crime, declined to comment this week on which FBI offices were doing what or how far they had progressed. The White House likewise had no comment on Friday on the Russian hacking investigations. A spokesman pointed to a comment Trump made during the campaign, in which he said: “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia, but I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people.”
It was unclear if any FBI bureaus were investigating the leaks emanating from the US government which Donald Trump repeatedly slammed in the past week, and which led not only to the resignation of Michael Flynn but to constant disclosures into the inner workings of the Trump cabinet. While many of the opponents of the Clinton, Podesta and Democratic leaks – broadly grouped under the “Russians hacked the election” umbrella – have slammed “Russian interference” in the US electoral process, they have been far less troubled by similar leaks impacting Trump, and – of course – vice versa.