Today the DOJ, by way of its special counsel, issued its indictment from the grand jury of DC against 12 Russian military intelligence operatives. This is the same day that POTUS is planning on meeting with Putin.
These operatives were senior department heads and high ranking military officers. They all were apart of the Russian Federation’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU).
They are indicted for conspiracy to commit offenses against the US. Their crimes are as follows
- Using false identities online
- Hiding Russian identity.
- Providing information to Wikileaks (“organization 1”)
- Providing information to “DCleaks”
- Hacking into the Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, and the DCCC.
- Implanting malware onto the three entities above
- Releasing materials stolen from the hacked organizations (10s of thousands of documents)
- Laundering approximately $100,000 to fund their operation, primarily using bitcoin.
- Hacking into a state board of elections commission to access voter registration records
- Violating 18 USC 1030
- Violating 18 USC 1956
- Violating 18 USC 1030
- Violating 18 USC 371
The objective of this conspiracy was to interfere with the election by providing negative information to the US electorate.
The means of the conspiracy were spear phishing techniques to gain access and implant malware. URL-shortening apps were used. Open source searches were used to recon vulnerabilities of websites. GRU used an American based server to conduct the attacks.
The big picture
Is this the FBI screwing with diplomacy, or using a stick to get something in return?
This indictment, or the timing of its announcement, could be used to interfere with Diplomatic efforts. Those wishing to interfere would be holdouts in the intelligence community who wish to hamper Trump. We know that high level FBI officials tried to influence an election coup of their own.
However, this could also be used by Trump as leverage with Putin. Not only do we know about GRU operations within the US, we know their chains of commands, their operatives, and tactics. Couple that with their predicament in Syria, where we are routinely interfering with Russian PMC’s, and we have leverage over their foreign policy with Eastern Europe.
Also, does the shutting down of Chris Kobach’s efforts at a national voter registration cross-Check system have anything to do with hacking efforts?