Nearly Seven Months Went by Without Top DNC Officials Being Informed
There are manyÂ who believe that FBI Director James Comey‘s letter to Congress eleven days before the election announcing it had found emails on a computer shared by top Hillary Clinton advisor Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, is a defining moment that likely led to Hillary Clinton losing the election.Â
Here’sÂ FiveThirtyEight’sÂ Nate SilverÂ on the issue:
I’ll put it like this: Clinton would almost certainly be President-elect if the election had been held on Oct. 27 (day before Comey letter).
â€” Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) December 11, 2016
But it was another action the FBI took, or rather, inaction, 13 months earlier, in part, that led to the Comey letter which led to Clinton losing the election.
The New York Times reports the FBI in Sept. of 2015 contacted the Democratic National Committee to tell them hackers linked to the Russian government had infiltrated DNC computer systems. But the person, a tech support contractor the FBI contacted at the DNC took weeks to take the phone call seriously, in part because they weren’t sure the call was actually from the FBI, and not a prank caller.
“Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks. His first moves were to check Google for ‘the Dukes,'”Â The New York Times explains, referring to the name of the Russian hacking group, “and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion.”
“By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks â€” in part because he wasnâ€™t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.”
To be fair, the FBI did their job, they told the DNC they had been hacked. But it’s not unreasonable to think the FBI could have picked up the phone to call, say, then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, or another top DNC official, and not rely on a third-party private contractor who clearly was out of their depth. Why didn’t the FBI walk in to DNC headquarters?Â Or call someone who could direct appropriate action?Â
Even the Times places a portion of blame on the FBI, but what’s even more stunning is the amount of time between the point the FBI contacted the DNC andÂ top DNC officials were finallyÂ informed Russian government operativesÂ had hacked them: almost seven months.
“The low-key approach of the F.B.I. meant that Russian hackers could roam freely through the committeeâ€™s network for nearly seven months before top D.N.C. officials were alerted to the attack and hired cyberexperts to protect their systems,” the Times writes. “In the meantime, the hackers moved on to targets outside the D.N.C., including Mrs. Clintonâ€™s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, whose private email account was hacked months later.”
There are many “what-ifs” and what’s done is done (although congressional investigations, which may not take place, are essential) but what’s clear is the FBI did not work especially hard to get the attention of top decision makers at the DNC, and the DNC clearly was horribly mismanaged.
One more reason, on top of all of these, that the DNC chairmanship must be held by a full time profession with no other job, like being a sitting Congressman.
Some responses via Twitter:
Astounding DNC technical naivetÃ© and mystifying FBI laxity are hallmarks of this tour-de-force on the hacks that have upended U.S. politics. https://t.co/xEQKnYZl5I
â€” Frank Bajak (@fbajak) December 14, 2016
Perfect Weapon: Russian Hackers Invaded U.S. through a 7 months comedy of errors between lazy FBI and DNC underling. https://t.co/iCxNTMkVkV
â€” Jerry Barrett (@JerryPolitex) December 14, 2016
Story also makes FBIâ€™s assertion that they canâ€™t say if the hack helped Trump quite laughable. They knew for 7 months, did little to stop it
â€” Jason Fagone (@jfagone) December 13, 2016
Low-key FBI approach let Russian hackers roam freely through DNC files for 7 months before DNC leaders were alerted. https://t.co/LyIFkUQlVg
â€” Warren Bass (@warren_bass) December 13, 2016
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‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order
Just hours after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order and directed Donald Trump to remove his social media post targeting and attacking, by name, the judge’s law clerk, the ex-president Tuesday evening issued an attack targeting the legal system, and apparently, by extension, Attorney General Letitia James.
Judge Engoron’s Tuesday order barred Trump from “posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” as Politico reported. The judge’s gag order did not extend to any officer of the court, witnesses, or anyone else involved in Attorney General James’ $250 million civil fraud case against Trump.
“Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” Engoron said Tuesday afternoon. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions.”
Judge Engoron had announced in court: “This morning one of the defendants posted to his social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff.”
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances,” Engoron added.
Politico described Trump’s social media post as “a message alleging [the law clerk] ‘is running this case against me.’ The message was pulled from an account on X with fewer than 200 followers. Trump then linked to an Instagram account for Greenfield’s campaign for a judgeship in Manhattan civil court.”
“’How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!’ Trump added. He also posted a photo of her alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as ‘Schumer’s girlfriend.'”
And while the judge ordered the social media post taken down, there’s nothing that can be done about the email blast Trump sent to “millions” of his supporters that included the post, as The New York Times reported.
Tuesday evening, despite having already been given one gag order, Trump appeared to tear into the legal system and Attorney General Letitia James in a series of false claims.
After claiming James’ civil lawsuit against him was unconstitutional and election interference, Trump wrote the decision to apply that statute to him “was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know.”
“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about! Under this Section of the law, I am not even entitled to a JURY (there is no checking of a box alternative!).This was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
As The New Yorker reported last week, the law Trump is referring to was “passed at the behest of one of” James’ “Republican predecessors, Jacob Javits.”
‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster
After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven of fellow far-right House Republicans voted to oust their own Speaker of the House for supporting a bipartisan vote to keep the federal government of the United States from a shutdown, a powerful Senate Republican and Democrat are both strongly denouncing the work of the few GOP extremists who toppled Kevin McCarthy.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a hard-core Republican of Texas and a former member of the Senate Republican leadership team, blasted the eight House Republicans for their “terrorist attack,” and warned it will happen again.
“We saw a similar thing happen to Boehner, Ryan, and now McCarthy. I’m sure the next speaker is going to be subjected to the same terrorist attacks,” Senator Cornyn said, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.
Responding to a Texas radio talk show host from his official social media account, Sen. Cornyn added, “A handful [of] House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process. Sad.”
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called the ouster “a deeply embarrassing moment for America. A consequence of a Republican Party that has become so radicalized that it can no longer function as an organized political party.”
“Nobody should be rooting for this circus,” added Sen. Murphy in video recorded as he watched the House voting to remove McCarthy as Speaker. He warned that the ouster of McCarthy will now take the House away from the critical work of keeping the government open after November 17, “instead of working on a budget.” And he warned that no new funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war have been authorized.
“These are life and death stakes,” Murphy said, lamenting this “makes us look so weak and foolish around the world.”
Let me tell you about the real world consequences of Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as Speaker. No one should celebrate this day. This level of dysfunction is terrible for America. pic.twitter.com/7NsQrz7Pro
— Chris Murphy 🟧 (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 3, 2023
Watch Sen. Murphy’s remarks above or at this link.
McCarthy Ousted as Speaker in Historic First as Republicans Vow Vengeance Against Gaetz: ‘Kiss My A–’
U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been ousted as the elected Speaker of the House of Representatives after a weeks-long campaign by his fellow Republican, Congressman Matt Gaetz. The Republican Florida lawmaker vowed over the weekend to put a “motion to vacate” on the House floor, which he did Monday night. Tuesday afternoon McCarthy lost the support of the majority in a full House vote.
No Speaker of the House has ever been ousted by a motion to vacation, according to the Associated Press, until McCarthy.
“The Office of the Speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives is hereby declared vacant,” the presiding Republican lawmakers declared. The final vote was 216-210.
🚨🚨 BREAKING — THE HOUSE HAS VOTED TO REMOVE KEVIN MCCARTHY AS SPEAKER.
8 Republicans and all Democrats present voted to oust McCarthy after 269 days as speaker.
The House, once again, is in a state of chaos.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 3, 2023
No Democrats voted to support McCarthy as Speaker.
Overall House Republicans are furious with Gaetz, with some vowing to expel him should the House Ethics Committee submit a negative report on their investigation into his alleged, possible sexual misconduct, unlawful drug use, and public corruption.
In addition to Gaetz, other House Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy include Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Bob Good, Nancy Mace, and Matt Rosendale.
“After talking to a few House Republican lawmakers and aides,” during the vote to oust McCarthy as Speaker, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reported he “would not be surprised to see someone move to have Gaetz expelled from the House Republican Conference.”
U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) in a profane rant slammed Gaetz, in a recorded video, saying, “You want to come at me and call me a RINO you can kiss my ass! You go around talking your big game and thumping your chest on Twitter. Come in my office and have a debate mother —!”
Chip Roy goes after Gaetz: “You want to come at me and call me a RINO you can kiss my ass! You go around talking your big game and thumping your chest on Twitter. Come in my office and have a debate mother —-!” pic.twitter.com/mk6Qv6PfC6
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) October 3, 2023
U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-LA) help up his phone while delivering remarks against Gaetz, chastising him for fundraising off his efforts to oust McCarthy.
“Using official actions to raise money. It’s disgusting!” he told his colleagues.
Republican Rep. Graves calls out Matt Gaetz for fundraising on speaker fight
“Using official actions to raise money. It’s disgusting!” pic.twitter.com/LgoQWxBiiN
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) October 3, 2023
What happens next? According to The New York Times on Tuesday, “If McCarthy is removed, the House would be paralyzed.”
“A vacancy in the speaker’s chair would essentially paralyze the House until a successor is chosen, according to multiple procedural experts. An interim speaker would be chosen from a list prepared by Mr. McCarthy and his staff at the beginning of the year, but staff intimately familiar with House rules say the role of that person would be to oversee a speaker election and little more.”
As for McCarthy, he has said if removed as Speaker he would not resign from Congress. On Tuesday he suggested he would definitely run again for Speaker.
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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