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Asking the Right – Why Are Republicans Hiding the Evidence of Trump Treason

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Been saying for a while that the Russian hacking and collusion treason went far beyond just the Chumph and his merry band of morons and nitwit children.

Here, Digby begins asking the right questions at least.

Russia scandal goes well beyond Trump: GOP leaders definitely knew about hacking — did they benefit too?

Leading Republicans knew about Russian hacking long before Trump’s nomination. They said nothing and did nothing

Despite Europe’s clear disdain for President Trump it seems as though he’s over there every other week. In fact he’s arriving in France on Thursday at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron to help celebrate Bastille Day and have dinner at the Eiffel Tower. Considering that Trump has implied repeatedly that Paris is nothing but a hellhole these days, it’s a testament to just how desperate he is to get out of Washington. The heat is on and he wants out of the kitchen.

You have certainly heard that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer to get some promised dirt on Hillary Clinton that was represented as being part of a Russian government program to help Trump get elected. Now we know their breathless protestations that they didn’t know nothin’ about no Russians were lies, and we also know that this particular tawdry scheme reached into the highest levels of the campaign. We’ll have to wait for the next shoe to drop. There is always another shoe.

There was one new story on Wednesday that added an interesting detail to the saga and points to a possible larger conspiracy. McClatchy reported that House and Senate investigators as well as the Justice Department are looking at the Trump campaign’s digital operation, one of Jared Kushner’s pet projects (financed by big-daddy benefactor Robert Mercer), to determine if it may have worked with Russia’s sophisticated micro-targeting and propaganda program during the 2016 campaign.

McClatchy also reported that the Justice Department is looking into “whether Trump’s campaign pointed Russian cyber operatives to certain voting jurisdictions in key states – areas where Trump’s digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton.” That’s an issue I’ve written about previously here on Salonbased on some post-election investigative reporting by the New York Times.

This raises once again the question of just what was going on in the Republican Party during this period. After all, it wasn’t just Donald Trump who benefited from Russian hacking. The GOP-dominated House majority was a major beneficiary as well.

Remember, the congressional leadership knew in 2015 that it was happening. Reuters has reported that the so-called Gang of Eight (Republican leaders in Congress) was told that Russian hackers were attacking the Democratic Party but that the information was so top secret they could not share it. As we know, hackers attacked the Democratic National Committee and the personal email of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. But they also hacked the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and information gleaned from that hack was put to use in some 2016 campaigns for Congress.

Also recall that one month before Donald Trump Jr. took that meeting with the Russian lawyer, House Majority Leader Kevin “loose lips” McCarthy was talking about Trump’s connections to Vladimir Putin in a room full of Republicans:

A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016 exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. […]

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy.

This was the day after news had broken that the Russians had hacked the DNC and Ryan and McCarthy had just come from a meeting with the Ukrainian prime minister, who “had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions.”

Republican leaders kept this from the public for a year, then lied repeatedly about it when confronted until someone produced an audiotape, at which point McCarthy, Ryan, et al., said it was just a joke. Maybe it was. But we know for sure that this idea about Trump being under Putin’s thumb was in the ether in GOP circles even as the party was getting ready to nominate him as its presidential candidate.

Fast forward to late August when the intelligence community was becoming frantic over the evidence of Russian interference and Director of National Intelligence John Brennan held private classified briefings with eight top congressional leaders, telling then that there was evidence the Russians were helping Donald Trump and that unnamed advisers to the Republican nominee might be working with them. In September, intelligence officials convened a big meeting with the Gang of 12, meaning the House and Senate leadership along with chairmen and ranking members of committees on intelligence and homeland security. It was assumed this would result in a “show of solidarity and bipartisan unity” to protest this threat to the integrity of the American democratic process.

That was an erroneous assumption. The Republicans refused to sign anything that implicated the Russian government, only agreeing to tell state elections officials to beware of “malefactors” attempting to hack election software. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly said he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly “an act of partisan politics.” That was that.

Since the election, when Republican officials aren’t actively helping the White House cover up and misdirect, as House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes did, with a few exceptions they still dismiss the scandal, even in the face of documentary evidence like the Donald Trump Jr. emails.

There’s a lot of punditry every day bemoaning the fact that President Trump refuses to admit that the Russian interference in the campaign happened, seeing it as a stubborn (and insulting) rejection of the U.S. intelligence community and a dangerous unwillingness to take needed action to prevent it happening again. But really, why is Trump the only one on the hook? The Republican leadership has turned a blind eye to what was happening since 2015. They knew. They may have even known more about it than Trump did, at least in the beginning. They did nothing about it then and have shown no signs that they plan to do anything in the future.

It’s not all on Donald Trump. He may been the principal beneficiary but the leaders of his party aided and abetted the crime. We may just learn that they benefited from it too. 

 

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Treason Most Foul

Yet another meeting by the Chumph Campaign team with Russian spies to get stolen info on Hillary Clinton…

 

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While the Chumph Kisses Putin’s Ass – Russian Hacker Attack US Nuclear Facilities

Putin’s Bitch was all smiley today. He got to meet his master Putin.

Meanwhile those Russians who “weren’t hacking” were busy trying to take down our Nuclear Plants…

Russian hackers are alleged to be targeting nuclear power plants

U.S. intelligence officials say Russia, emboldened since the 2016 presidential election, is going after new targets

Russian hackers are the chief suspects in recent efforts to meddle with the computer networks that run various nuclear power plants and other energy facilities.

If Russia is indeed responsible, it suggests that they could attempt to forcibly shut down parts of America’s power grid like they are believed to have done to Ukraine in the past, according to a report by Bloomberg.

This would also be consistent with a recent CNN report, which cites American intelligence officials describing an increase in Russian intelligence gathering activities since the 2016 presidential election. As one senior intelligence official told the site, “Russians have maintained an aggressive collection posture in the U.S., and their success in election meddling has not deterred them.”

The hackers, regardless of nationality, are believed to be responsible for breaching the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation in Kentucky among a number of other facilities since May, according to the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The New York Times confirmed the joint report with security specialists who have had to cope with the hacking attempts.

Although the report carried an urgent amber warning, which is the second-highest rating for a threat, it did not state whether the motivation for the attacks was espionage or simply creating mayhem. They also did not discuss how many energy facilities were breached by the hackers or the extent of the damage they’ve done, if any.

The report’s conclusion, however, was that the hackers were trying to map out computer networks for information they could use in future cyberattacks.

 

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New Report – The Russians Broke Into 39 State Voting Systems

All to make the Chumph win.

I don’t now, and have never bought the conclusion that the vote wasn’t tampered with.

Considering that some of these state systems are “isolated” with no connection to the Internet, and their only common connection to the Federal Voting database – how exactly did these guys get in?

The extensiveness strongly suggests local help.

The “mystery” of how the Chumph “won” gets clearer every day.

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Russian hackers breached voting systems in 39 states: report

A new report reveals that Russian hackers breached voting systems in 39 different states, which means that Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election appears far more widespread that what has been previously disclosed.

According to Bloomberg, Russian “incursions into voter databases and software systems” occurred in “almost twice as many states as previously reported.” Among other things, Bloomberg says that Russian hackers tried to delete or alter voter data in Illinois; successfully accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on election day; and accessed a campaign finance database in at least one state.

The report claims that investigators were most disturbed by failed Russian attempts to alter voter data in Illinois, as they believed that it was a trial run for what could have been a disruptive cyber attack on election day that would have thrown the entire process into mass chaos.

“That idea would obsess the Obama White House throughout the summer and fall of 2016, outweighing worries over the DNC hack and private Democratic campaign emails given to Wikileaks and other outlets, according to one of the people familiar with those conversations,” Bloomberg reports. “The Homeland Security Department dispatched special teams to help states strengthen their cyber defenses, and some states hired private security companies to augment those efforts.”

Read the whole report at this link.

 

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House Intelligence Member – “80,000 Voter Records Hacked in Illinois”

As I said to our resident Trumpazoid… The issue is a bit bigger than “spearphishing”.

House Intel Committee member: Russian hackers may have accessed over 80,000 Illinois voter records

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley said Monday that Russian operatives hacked into the State Board of Elections last year to view voter database files, a potential move toward trying to make voters distrust the state and federal election system.

Quigley, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, also warned of a potential “constitutional crisis” over executive privilege between President Donald Trump and the U.S. Supreme Court as part of multiple investigations into possible collusion between agents of the Russian government and Trump’s presidential campaign.

Quigley’s declaration of Russian involvement in the hacking of the state elections board marked the first time the country had been definitively identified as behind the attack last year, though it had been widely suspected.

“The Russians hacked into the Illinois State Board of Elections,” Quigley said after a meeting with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board.

“They got into the database,” he said. “I believe they’re on the doorstep to hacking into our voting systems. That is my educated guess.

“I’m not saying I know they’ll do this, (but) think about what you could do. You could check and say, ‘Oh no, all these people already voted, or these people voted absentee.’ Once you get into that, then there’s all kind of mischief,” Quigley said.

The Democrat, who represents the North Side and north and west suburbs, said the intelligence committee should look at classifying election systems as a “target” that should be hardened and given federal resources.

Ken Menzel, the general counsel of the State Board of Elections, said no voter information had been manipulated by hackers. The identification of 3,000 voters was viewed, and hackers may have viewed up to 80,000 more. Those 80,000 received letters letting them know that their driver’s license number or last four digits of their Social Security number may have been seen.

Menzel said the state elections board does not tabulate votes, something that occurs in each of the state’s 102 counties and seven special local election boards. Any toughening of tabulation would involve those local election officials. Menzel said that the manipulation Quigley theorized about would have minimal effect on balloting compared with normal human error at local precincts.

“A lot of election administrators would like more resources and more help, but what kind of help is he talking about? What kind of hardening of things? The election administrators would not be happy with a pile of additional unfunded mandates,” Menzel said.

As for the House Intelligence Committee investigation, Quigley said, “I am concerned we will face a constitutional crisis,” adding it was something he was not saying lightly.

 

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NSA Report

The interesting thing is why is this “recently discovered” shidt we already knew become public.

This is crap that folks like myself have been saying, even without access to any of the secured systems since the election.

The trail of how the machines were hacked, where they were hacked, and to whose benefit they were hacked has been glaringly apparent for some time – even without the benefit of going into the voting system itself.

So why is it, with unfettered access to the logs, data cards, machines, and tabulation systems…Are they just fucking figuring this out?

Somebody suppressed this shidt – and the real question is who and why.

Here is one of the dozen or so known ways to hack the system through the voting machines themselves –

TOP-SECRET NSA REPORT DETAILS RUSSIAN HACKING EFFORT DAYS BEFORE 2016 ELECTION

RUSSIAN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.

The top-secret National Security Agency document, which was provided anonymously to The Intercept and independently authenticated, analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light.

While the document provides a rare window into the NSA’s understanding of the mechanics of Russian hacking, it does not show the underlying “raw” intelligence on which the analysis is based. A U.S. intelligence officer who declined to be identified cautioned against drawing too big a conclusion from the document because a single analysis is not necessarily definitive.

The report indicates that Russian hacking may have penetrated further into U.S. voting systems than was previously understood. It states unequivocally in its summary statement that it was Russian military intelligence, specifically the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU, that conducted the cyber attacks described in the document:

Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate actors … executed cyber espionage operations against a named U.S. company in August 2016, evidently to obtain information on elections-related software and hardware solutions. … The actors likely used data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration-themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations.

This NSA summary judgment is sharply at odds with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denial last week that Russia had interfered in foreign elections: “We never engaged in that on a state level, and have no intention of doing so.” Putin, who had previously issued blanket denials that any such Russian meddling occurred, for the first time floated the possibility that freelance Russian hackers with “patriotic leanings” may have been responsible. The NSA report, on the contrary, displays no doubt that the cyber assault was carried out by the GRU.

The NSA analysis does not draw conclusions about whether the interference had any effect on the election’s outcome and concedes that much remains unknown about the extent of the hackers’ accomplishments. However, the report raises the possibility that Russian hacking may have breached at least some elements of the voting system, with disconcertingly uncertain results.

The NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence were both contacted for this article. Officials requested that we not publish or report on the top secret document and declined to comment on it. When informed that we intended to go ahead with this story, the NSA requested a number of redactions. The Intercept agreed to some of the redaction requests after determining that the disclosure of that material was not clearly in the public interest.

The report adds significant new detail to the picture that emerged from the unclassified intelligence assessment about Russian election meddling released by the Obama administration in January. The January assessment presented the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusions but omitted many specifics, citing concerns about disclosing sensitive sources and methods. The assessment concluded with high confidence that the Kremlin ordered an extensive, multi-pronged propaganda effort “to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”

That review did not attempt to assess what effect the Russian efforts had on the election, despite the fact that “Russian intelligence obtained and maintained access to elements of multiple US state or local electoral boards.” According to the Department of Homeland Security, the assessment reported reassuringly, “the types of systems we observed Russian actors targeting or compromising are not involved in vote tallying.”

The NSA has now learned, however, that Russian government hackers, part of a team with a “cyber espionage mandate specifically directed at U.S. and foreign elections,” focused on parts of the system directly connected to the voter registration process, including a private sector manufacturer of devices that maintain and verify the voter rolls. Some of the company’s devices are advertised as having wireless internet and Bluetooth connectivity, which could have provided an ideal staging point for further malicious actions.

 

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NSA Leaked Document Shows Russians Hacked Election Machines

The interesting part of this is the cover up on the arrest of the NSA Contractor who stole the document and leaked it instead of the content of the document.

The NSA has long denied and shut down any attempt by anyone to investigate if the election machines or databases were hacked by the Russians. Claiming that any such hacking would not have affected the end result, any effort to look at the obvious places which either statistically or algorithmically show the probable result of hacking.

When confronted with evidence that both the results in North Carolina and Florida showed signs of serious tampering – the door was slammed shut to any further analysis and access to the systems was shut down.

Meaning, those who had a good idea of how the system was compromised, and how – were to to sit down and STFU.

The purloined document shows that the NSA knew of an attempt at compromising over 100 local systems by the Russians all along.

So why is this being covered up?

And why did the “Contractor” leave such an obvious, well lit,  trail? The coding of serial numbers on printed documents is extremely well known in the tech industry. As is the collection of “Print Logs”. And anyone with a high enough security clearance to pull this level of secured document down, knows damn well their every keystroke is monitored. Edward Snowden beat the system. There are ways to beat the system, which fall under the category, “If I knew how, I wouldn’t tell you.”.

Something isn’t right here.

 

The easy trail that led the feds to Reality Winner, alleged source of NSA leak

Criminal investigations into national security leaks tend to be long, complicated and delicate affairs. Sources generally cover their tracks, especially in an era when even the most innocuous computer activity leaves an electronic trail. Leaks are common, but prosecutions aren’t.

Edward Snowden took extraordinary precautions when he leaked troves of classified information on surveillance activity by the National Security Agency to journalists and was charged only after he publicly revealed himself to be the source. Thomas Drake, a former NSA executive, wasn’t indicted for several years after he passed on details about fraud and waste at the agency to the Baltimore Sun. Originally accused of felony espionage, Drake pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of exceeding authorized use of a computer.

In the case of Reality Leigh Winner, a government contractor accused of sending a top-secret document to a news outlet, federal authorities brought charges less than a week after being tipped off.

Winner, 25, was charged Monday with gathering, transmitting or losing defense information, as The Washington Post reported. Court documents did not identify the document that was leaked or the news outlet that received it, but the criminal complaint against Winner was unveiled shortly after the national security site the Intercept published a story containing an NSA report on Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.

The Post has reported that the charges are related to the ­Intercept’s story, which describes how Russian military intelligence used hacking techniques against a U.S. voting software supplier and more than 100 local election officials in the days before voters went to the polls. The Intercept called the classified document the “most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light,” saying it indicated that Russian hacking may have gone deeper than previously known.

A search warrant affidavit filed and accessible to the public in federal court in Georgia reveals how it took just a few days for investigators to single out Winner as the alleged source of the leak.

It started on May 30, when the news outlet showed authorities the printed materials and asked them to comment, according to the affidavit.

“The U.S. Government Agency examined the document shared by the News Outlet and determined the pages of the intelligence reporting appeared to be folded and/or creased,” the affidavit reads, “suggesting they had been printed and hand-carried out of a secured space.”

An internal audit showed that six people had printed out the top-secret materials after they were published at the beginning of the month. One of them was Winner, who worked for Pluribus International at a facility in Georgia, the affidavit says.

 

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