Politics

The Insane Reason the FBI Is Investigating the DNC Email Leak

July 25th 2016

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is making a bold accusation about the source of Friday's leak of internal Democratic National Committee emails — "Russian state actors."

Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, told CNN's "State of the Union" that forensic experts told the DNC that hackers affiliated with the Russian government were responsible not only for stealing the files, but also for facilitating the leak "for the purpose of helping Donald Trump."

"I don't think it's coincidental that these emails were released on the eve of our convention here, and I think that's disturbing," Mook told "State of the Union." Mook, citing Trump's statements in The New York Times that he would not necessarily uphold NATO commitments to defend Baltic states such as Estonia against Russian expansion, said that a Trump presidency would benefit Russian President Vladimir Putin. Combined with the timing of the leak, between the Republican and Democratic conventions, Mook said it paints a damaging picture of Russian cooperation with the Trump campaign.

The leaks, which bolstered suspicions of bias against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders among his supporters, have sent tremors through the DNC on the eve of its national convention.

Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign in response to the controversy.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

"I think when you put all this together, it's a disturbing picture, and voters need to reflect on that," Mook said.

Understanding the DNC Leak

Two separate Russian hackers are suspected in the breach of the DNC files, according to CNN.

"The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter," the FBI said in a statement, according to CNN. "A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace."

The ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said it wouldn't surprise him if the Russian government was trying to help Trump.

Despite Mook's eagerness to pin the blame on the Russian government for the leaks, important questions remain unanswered. As The New York Times reports, though metadata obtain by U.S. security firms suggest Russian hackers are behind the hack, "It is unclear how WikiLeaks obtained the email trove."

vladimir-putin-donald-trump

Putin endorsed Trump for president last year, calling him "very talented." Trump called it a "great honor" to receive his support. In an emailed statement to ATTN:, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said the hack is being investigated and that Trump's "well-known admiration for Putin" could be a factor.

"If the hack is linked to Russian actors, it would not be the first time cyber intrusions linked to the Kremlin and its supporters have sought to influence the political process in other countries. Given Donald Trump's well known admiration for Putin and his belittling of NATO, the Russians have both the means and the motive to engage in a hack of the DNC and the dump of its emails prior to the Democratic convention. That foreign actors may be trying to influence our election — let alone a powerful adversary like Russia — should concern all Americans of any party."

However, Trump's top communications adviser, Jason Miller, said in a statement to CNN that the accusations from Clinton's team "are a joke."

"This shows that Hillary Clinton will do and say anything to win the election and hold onto power in the rigged system," Miller said.

Trump's campaign manger, Paul Manafort, also released a statement on the campaign website Sunday, slamming Clinton for her own leaked email scandal.

"Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned over her failure to secure the DNC's email servers and the rigged system she set up with the Clinton campaign. Now Hillary Clinton should follow Wasserman Schultz's lead and drop out over her failure to safeguard top secret, classified information both on her unauthorized home server and while traveling abroad. Wasserman Schultz's emails only put the Democratic Party at risk, but Hillary Clinton's emails put all of America at risk."

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