Donald Trump and the Russian government can deny it all they want, but now we finally have confirmation of what we’ve all long ago come to suspect: it was the Russian government who hacked the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election, and communicated about it with Trump campaign advisers like Roger Stone.
The U.S. intel community long ago announced its conclusion that the “Guccifer 2.0” hacker who broke into DNC servers was associated with the Russian intelligence community. But now, thanks to a slip-up by the hacker, he’s unwittingly revealed that he himself is a Russian government intel agent, as exposed by the Daily Beast (link). So now that this has finally been confirmed, where does it leave us?
For one thing, it now gives Special Counsel Robert Mueller the grounds to indict members of the Russian government intel community, if he believes it’ll help him to further his criminal case against Donald Trump. Mueller has already indicted thirteen Russians for having used illegal cyber means to try to alter the outcome of the election, and some of them had close ties to the Kremlin, but none of them were actual Russian government employees. But this also changes the framing of the Trump-Russia scandal when it comes to certain infamous participants on Trump’s side.
Donald Trump’s longtime close pal Roger Stone has admitted that he was in communication with Guccifer 2.0 during the election. He’s insisted that Guccifer 2.0 was not Russian. If it turns out Stone did know that Guccifer 2.0 was indeed a Russian intel officer, it’ll mean he was knowingly conspiring with the Russian government to alter the outcome of the election. That would make him guilty of conspiracy against the United States. Mueller already appears to have a clear path to nailing Stone for perjury, but now he could be looking at far more grave criminal charges.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report