It turns out the Feds now has a new star witness in the Trump-Russia scandal, and he’s a voluntary one. When Russian hackers stole emails from the Democratic National Committee in order to rig the election, they used a malware program written by a Ukrainian hacker. Now that hacker has decided to give himself up to the FBI and fully cooperate, meaning that we may be about to get a whole boatload of answers to longstanding Trump-Russia questions.
The hacker in question is taking the position that he wasn’t involved with the Russian hacking of the DNC. But because his hacking program was used by those Russian hackers, he has unique insight when it comes to how that tool works, and how to use it to trace those hacks back to their sources, according to the New York Times (link). The United States intel community long ago determined that the hackers in question were tied to the Russian government. But tracking down the details could go a long way to determining who on the American side may also have been involved.
So many senior members of the Donald Trump campaign have lied about having ties to the Kremlin, it’s difficult to recite the long list from memory. Most of them have gone on to lie about those ties, some of them under oath, in an effort to cover up whatever was really going on between the campaign and Russia during the election. All of them have asserted that they didn’t conspire with Russia to influence the outcome of the election, but those claims have strained credulity.
So now the FBI will find out what all the Ukrainian hacker can bring to the table. What stands out is that the Kremlin used a malware program written by someone from Ukraine, whose government now views Russia as a hostile enemy, making it predictable that it would end up backfiring in this fashion. Was it sloppiness or hubris by Vladimir Putin and company?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report