In a busy news week (but aren’t they all these days?) I can barely keep up to read what’s going on, never mind look more deeply into an issue and analyze it. However, certain things stick out. And with the latest Mueller indictment of 12 Russian GRU Cyber warriors, a couple of things stuck out.
The Reuters headline to the story, “U.S. indictments show technical evidence for Russian hacking accusations,” was eye popping because I’m not familiar with indictments actually containing evidence, but it wasn’t just a headline blurb that some editor pasted on someone else’s story, it was in the body of the story too:
“SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – U.S. indictments against a dozen Russian intelligence officers on Friday provided detailed technical evidence to back up allegations of Russian hacking and leaking of information to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
The indictment tells a compelling and detailed story, but no evidence. But such is the strength of Reuter’s reputation that I had a weekend long online argument about whether the indictment consists of “evidence” or not. But the story in the indictment is good that I didn’t believe that Mueller’s team could have gotten this information. It had to come from US intelligence sources. If there is any “evidence’ it resides there, as the article seemed to admit further down:
“Some researchers said the indictment might have depended on U.S. signals intelligence, the fruits of which are rarely revealed, because it quotes electronic messages sent to an unidentified organization presumed to be London-based WikiLeaks.”
Signals Intelligence from the NSA or some other agency makes more sense, but how in the world would that end up in a Justice Department Independent Counsel indictment? Was it declassified? Where did it come from?
Well according to Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House select committee on intelligence, in a Daily Caller article:
“…an Intelligence Committee report released to the public on April 27 contained “almost everything” laid out in Mueller’s indictment, which was handed down Friday.
The indictment accuses military intelligence officers with Russia’s GRU of hacking into the DNC and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton campaign’s computer networks and releasing stolen documents through the fake online personas, Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.
Nunes said in an interview on “Fox Sunday Futures” that much of the information was included in Chapter 2 of the House Intelligence Committee’s report, but it was heavily redacted in response to requests from the Department of Justice and intelligence community.”
“Nunes said that the committee’s investigators have had information on the Russian spies for over a year. The committee began investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign back in January 2017. Committee Republicans ended their investigation on March 12, saying that they found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Nunes said that if the information in the Intelligence Committee’s report had been declassified, “the American people would have known we basically wrote the indictment for Mueller.””
So Nunes is claiming that virtually the entire indictment was lifted from the classified portion of his committee’s report. A couple of questions come to mind.
Did Mueller get those portions of the report declassified so he could include it on his indictment?
If so, why couldn’t the House Intelligence Committee release these portions of their report?
If Mueller didn’t get the story of the indictment from the House report, where did he get it from? An intelligence community leak?
If this information wasn’t declassified, didn’t someone or multiple someone’s release that information illegally?
In any case, whether the release was legal or not, it seems the only place this could have come from was the intelligence community, meaning the actual evidence, sources and methods and classified reports, would NEVER be used in an open court. There is no way to actually prosecute these 12 Russians, even if you get them in the United States and standing before a judge.
It’s Concord Management all over again.
So this is not only fake news, it’s a fake indictment as well. It’s a good thing that I no longer concentrate on every detail of these investigations in the same way I used to do. It seems every time I do, I discover I’ve wasted my time on fake news and fake investigations.