Why this 2018 Republican Party email hack is so dangerous

Today we learned that the National Republican Congressional Committee was hacked during the 2018 midterm elections, and emails were stolen from top Republican officials. It’s tempting to say that the Republican Party had this coming, after the GOP and Donald Trump stole the White House partly by relying on emails stolen from the Democrats. But this new hack is probably the last thing the Resistance needs right now, because of what it may be about to lead to.

There is the theoretical possibility that some vigilante hacker stole these Republican emails in order to publish them and expose the party’s worsening corruption. But it’s far more likely that some criminal entity stole these emails in order to use them as blackmail material for controlling the Republicans going forward.

For instance, GOP Senator Lindsey Graham has publicly acknowledged that when he ran for president in 2016, hackers stole his personal emails. Those emails were obviously never released. That means someone is sitting on them, and if they contain anything incriminating or embarrassing, that person is in position to use it as blackmail. Graham has since inexplicably and cartoonishly transformed from Trump hater to Trump defender, raising the question of whether Trump is in possession of Graham’s emails, and is using them against him.

Robert Mueller and the House Democrats are about to expose Donald Trump’s crimes for all to see. Republicans in Congress will each have to make the strategic decision about whether to selfishly help throw Trump overboard, in the hope of insulating themselves from his crimes. But if pro-Trump hackers just got their hands on dirt that can be used to control the GOP, that could complicate things significantly. These kinds of hacks of one party don’t tend to end well for either party.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report

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