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Russians Also Reportedly Hacked RNC Computers, But Didn’t Release Data

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Senate Democratic Leader Calls For Congressional Investigation

American intelligence agencies have determined that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems this spring, but didn’t release the data, according to a report in The New York Times. 

This determination served as the basis for the agencies’ finding, first reported Friday by The Washington Post, that Russia intervened in the election with the goal of helping Donald Trump win.  

People with connections to the Russian government are believed to have provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee, which were released in the run-up to Nov. 8.   

“One senior government official, who had been briefed on an F.B.I. investigation into the matter, said that while there were attempts to penetrate the Republican committee’s systems, they were not successful,” the NYT reports. “But the intelligence agencies’ conclusions that the hacking efforts were successful, which have been presented to President Obama and other senior officials, add a complex wrinkle to the question of what the Kremlin’s evolving objectives were in intervening in the American presidential election.” 

A senior official told the NYT that the Obama administration has “high confidence that [the Russians] hacked the D.N.C. and the R.N.C., and conspicuously released no documents” from the RNC.

Obama has ordered a complete review of the cyber attacks targeting the 2016 presidential election, and directed that it be complete before he leaves office. 

Trump’s transition team responded to Friday’s bombshell report by mocking American intelligence officials, calling them “the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.” 

On Saturday, incoming Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called for a full bipartisan congressional investigation. 

Schumer said the idea that Russia “could be meddling in our elections should shake both political parties to their core.”

“Reports of the CIA’s conclusion that Russia actively sought to help elect Donald Trump are simultaneously stunning and not surprising, given Russia’s disdain for democracy and admiration for autocracy,” Schumer said in a statement. “It’s imperative that our intelligence community turns over any relevant information so that Congress can conduct a full investigation.” 

Meanwhile, a top Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn, downplayed the Russian hacking, saying it “has been going on for years” and is “serious, but hardly news.” 

In a related development, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is now the leading candidate to become Trump’s secretary of state. 

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CRIME

Giuliani, Graham, Eastman, Others Tied to Trump Subpoenaed by Grand Jury in Georgia Criminal Election Investigation

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Rudy Giuliani, Lindsey Graham, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, and several others including Cleta Mitchell have been subpoenaed by a Fulton County special grand jury convened to investigate possible criminal actions or interference in Georgia’s 2020 elections.

Giuliani, Eastman, Ellis, and Mitchell, along with Kenneth Chesbro, are all members of Donald Trump’s legal team or advised the former president “on strategies for overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s wins in Georgia and other swing states,” and are now being subpoenaed, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Senator Graham (R-SC) has publicly admitted to contacting the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Also subpoenaed is attorney and podcast host Jacki Pick Deason.

“The 23-person special grand jury has heard testimony in recent weeks from a parade of witnesses, including some who had direct contact with Trump and his associates. But Tuesday’s subpoenas are the closest jurors have gotten to the inner circle of the former president,” the Journal-Constitution adds.

Eastman, the infamous author of the “coup memo,” is a former law professor and the current chairman of the anti-LGBTQ group National Organization For Marriage (NOM), which has never disavowed his actions.

“A federal judge in March,” the AJC adds, “argued that ‘it is more likely than not that President Trump and Dr. Eastman dishonestly conspired to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021.'”

In the days after the November 2020 election, The Washington Post reported, Sen. Graham “questioned Raffensperger about the state’s signature-matching law and whether political bias could have prompted poll workers to accept ballots with nonmatching signatures, according to Raffensperger. Graham also asked whether Raffensperger had the power to toss all mail ballots in counties found to have higher rates of nonmatching signatures, Raffensperger said.”

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BREAKING NEWS

‘Planned for Weeks’: Highland Park Massacre Suspect Purchased Weapons Legally, Walked to Mother’s House After Shooting

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The 21-year-old man suspected of being the shooter in Monday’s Highland Park, Illinois massacre planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and  his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting, police said in a Tuesday press conference.

Six people died and over thirty others were wounded.

The “high-powered rifle” Robert Crimo used is “similar to an AR-15,” Christopher Covelli, a spokesperson for the Lake County major crimes task force told reporters. He used it to “fire more than 70 rounds into the crowd.”

RELATED: Who Is the Highland Park July 4th Mass Shooting Person of Interest? ‘Obsession With Mass Death and Nihilism’

Crimo later borrowed his mother’s car.

Police say there was no one else involved. They add they were aware of him through previous interactions but those were not violent.


 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Putin’s ‘Iron Doll’ Says Russia ‘Will Have to Think Whether to Re-Install’ Trump ‘Again’: Report

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A political commentator and television host on Russian state TV appears to have suggested Russia installed Donald Trump as president in 2016, attempted to do so in 2020, and has yet to decide whether or not to do so again.

Russia “will have to think whether to re-install him again as the American president. We haven’t decided yet,” declared Olga Skabeyeva, known as the “Iron Doll of Putin TV” due to her criticism of the Russian president’s opponents.

The Daily Beast’s Julia Davis, who is the creator of the Russian Media Monitor, posted the video to Twitter, as Mediaite reported.

RELATED: Five Years Ago Trump Secretly Celebrated Firing FBI Director, Gave Russians Classified Intel Inside the Oval Office

“The other day, Trump promised to destroy the Russian Federation,” Skabeyeva says, according to subtitles in the video Davis posted. “To destroy Putin’s hegemony, as he put it.” Skabeyeva suggested Trump might lose Putin’s support as a result.

Citing her “recent remarks about the onset of ‘World War III,'” that “raised eyebrows across the world,” Insider in April called Skabeyeva “one of Russian state media’s most prominent propagandists.”

A 158-page bipartisan and unanimous report published by the Republican majority Senate Intelligence Committee in 2020 revealed that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help Donald Trump win the White House.

 

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