Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein just announced indictments of twelve Russian intelligence officers for hacking the DNC, the DCCC, and others on the Clinton campaign, stealing data, and then weaponizing it on behalf of Putin’s active measures and cyberwarfare campaign to harm Secretary Clinton’s campaign in order to promote the President’s campaign. Rosenstein also made it clear that he briefed the President on this earlier in the week, which explains why he was at the White House before the President left for the NATO summit. DAG Rosenstein, in his announcement today, took a swipe at the GOP members of Congress, as well as conservative commentators, who have been trying to downplay Putin’s activities or outright trying to get the Special Counsel’s investigation stopped through a variety of means, by emphasizing that this was an attack on the US and the response transcends partisanship.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) July 13, 2018
You can read the entire indictment here.
As is usual, Special Counsel Mueller is teasing where he’s going. For instance, apparently the GRU took the President’s campaign exhortation to find Secretary Clinton’s emails to heart. This is what they did after he asked them to find them:
July 27, 2016, Trump: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."
Indictment: That evening, Russian operatives targeted Clinton campaign emails "for the first time." pic.twitter.com/fanyaAxwfJ
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) July 13, 2018
The GRU hacked HRC and the DNC. They stole documents. They used Wikileaks and Trump-related associates to publish the docs and spread the word.
There was collusion.
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) July 13, 2018
Before everyone gets too wound up that this isn’t really news, that this doesn’t actually hold any of the Americans involved to account, etc, let me provide a few thoughts informed from my professional experience. First, if you’ve been watching what the Special Counsel has been doing, this makes sense. Simply put he has method, not madness. His first indictment of nineteen Russian nationals set up this indictment about who actually stole the information. This indictment, like the one that preceded it, is setting up the next one. Special Counsel Mueller is working methodically to build not just a set of related cases, but to have the indictments and the cases tell his narrative of what happened.
As someone who’s both done and taught how to do network based targeting, if I was working for Mueller, I’d be advising that he hold off on the American (and British – Cambridge Analytica/SCL, etc) indictments on this stuff as long as possible as I want to see what the rest of the network, especially the Americans and the British portions start to do now that this indictment has been announced. Even the way that DAG Rosenstein made the announcement is intended to get the rest of the network to respond. By stating that no Americans are indicted in today’s indictment, but that the investigation is ongoing, Rosenstein and Mueller are looking to see what the response will be. Specifically, today’s indictment and announcement are intended to get the too cute by half guys like Stone or Parscale or Don Jr or Giuliani and Prince, and the people they’re connected to – inside and outside of the US (remember the Israelis, the Emiratis, and the Saudis appear to be up to their eyeballs in all of this too), to do something in response that can be tracked through all the links and nodes of the network. This also includes Assange and Wikileaks. The counterintelligence officers who work for Special Counsel Mueller have the network mapped out. They are very good at what they do and will be watching to see what happens to and within and throughout the network now that they’ve grabbed a bunch of nodes and links and given them a good, sharp pull.
It is important to remember that the Special Counsel and his team have the best and clearest view and understanding of what happened, what is still happening, who was and/or is involved, and why. They also have new information and evidence coming in every day to further clarify and enhance their understanding. I know everyone is stressed and anxious, but the overall objective here is safeguarding and securing the US. That takes time. And as much as we’d all like a full, complete accounting right now, it requires secrecy and discretion. Special Counsel Mueller is conducting a spy hunt as much as he’s conducting a criminal investigation. To move from an intelligence to a naval analogy: he’s going to stay rigged to run silent and at depth until he’s ready to move on a target.