Twelve Russian military officers have been indicted for breaking into the Democratic Party's computers, stealing compromising information and selectively releasing it to undermine candidates https://t.co/I8toBG9Vcf
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) November 25, 2019
There was a lot of testimony during this past week’s impeachment inquiry about foreign interference in our 2016 election, including the president’s assertion that Ukraine was involved. But the president’s own intelligence agencies say it was the Russians who “hacked” the 2016 elections. Special counsel Robert Mueller spelled it out in his report.
Now the Justice Department has at least two open cases against Russian citizens for interfering with our presidential and congressional races, we decided to take a closer look at one of them – the case against 12 Russian military officers accused of breaking into the Democratic Party’s computers, stealing compromising information, and selectively releasing it to undermine Democratic candidates. There’s no evidence of similar operations against Republicans in 2016. With the 2020 election approaching, the story of “The Russian Hack.”
Robert Anderson: The Russians never left. I can guarantee you in 2016 after this all hit the news, they never left. They didn’t stop doing what they’re doing.
Bill Whitaker: This wasn’t just a one-time thing?
Robert Anderson: No way. Russia doesn’t do it that way.
Robert Anderson should know. He spent 21 years inside the cloak and dagger world of spies and hackers overseeing the FBI’s counterintelligence and cyber Divisions and tracking Moscow’s spy agencies, an alphabet of artifice, the FSB, SVR, and, especially, the GRU.
Robert Anderson: The GRU is military intelligence. So when we look at the attacks that happened during our presidential races in 2016 you had military organizations inside of Russia attacking our infrastructure…
These are the hacker-soldiers from GRU unit 26165 who, according to the Justice Department, were responsible for “breaking and entering” into the Democratic Party’s computers remotely, from Moscow. Their names, ranks and faces are now on the FBI’s most wanted list for stealing, among other things, the Democrats’ strategic plans, detailed targeting data, and internal polling. GRU Colonel Aleksandr Osadchuk commanded a separate unit, 74455. One of his officers was in charge of spreading the stolen material to political operatives, bloggers and the media. Another hacked state election boards.
Bill Whitaker: It wasn’t some 400-pound guy in his parent’s basement?
Robert Anderson: No. This was a well-choreographed military operation with units that not only were set up specifically to hack in to obtain information, but other units that were used for psychological warfare were weaponizing that. This is not an operation that was just put together haphazardly…
Bill Whitaker: Do you ever expect to get the 12 Russian officials to trial?
John Demers: I would be surprised. But the purpose of the indictment isn’t just that, although that’s certainly one of the purposes. The purpose of this kind of indictment is even to educate the public.
For a legal document, the 29-page indictment is a page-turner. It details how U.S. intelligence agencies tracked each defendant’s actions, sometimes by the keystroke, revealing the fictitious names and phony emails used to infiltrate the Democrats’ computers, and tracing the stolen data on its circuitous route from Washington, D.C. to Moscow…
Much more, including video clips, at the link.
Trump's obsession with the Crowdstrike fever dream has the effect of directly undercutting the open federal case, brought by Trump's own justice department, against these 12 Russian spies, all of whom are considered fugitives. https://t.co/d3ofdkiRAB
— Zeddy (@Zeddary) November 25, 2019
Journalist defends reporting that used Russian-hacked documents https://t.co/Rng7cnxZFj
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) November 25, 2019
Star turn for Politico comer!
Marc Caputo: This is a state where elections are decided by a percentage point or so. A coin toss. Add the Russians onto that and you’re looking at a real problem.
Marc Caputo has covered Florida politics for 20 years. The senior writer for Politico was one of the reporters who received and wrote about the hacked documents.
Bill Whitaker: Not a lot of people know that the Russians interfered in five congressional races here in Florida. When did you first get wind of it?
Marc Caputo: Well, I’d been paying attention, like the rest of the press corps, that Russia had been hacking and Russia had been trying to interfere in our election system. And then out of the blue I got contacted by this blogger, Hello Florida…
Bill Whitaker: You played a role in disseminating this stolen information.
Marc Caputo: I have a role to play as a reporter covering campaigns. And sometimes that information comes to us from a variety of sources. And in this case, it came to us from a source right at the edge of being unusable. But ultimately we decided, “Well, this tells a legitimate story about how these campaigns view their own candidates.” And voters have a right to that information.
Robert Anderson: This operation was a huge success…
Reporters ask their subjects to own their mistakes all the timeI’m glad they hold the powerful accountable for their errors.But there probably would be a lot less cynicism towards the press in our country if they, as a group and individuals, turned their scrutinizing gaze inward https://t.co/p69CFAsaDE
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) November 25, 2019