Alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election has resulted in three separate FBI investigations. This according to sources with “direct knowledge of the situation” according to Reuters.
The most advanced investigation concerns the hacking of DNC emails which revealed collusion on the part of the DNC and Clinton campaign to damage the insurgent campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders and ensure that Secretary Hillary Clinton received the Democratic nomination despite fierce grassroots opposition to her candidacy. The material revealed in the leaks was so damaging it forced the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The revelation of the effort to undermine Sanders may also have hurt Clinton in the general election, as it turned Sanders supporters against her and possibly threw support to Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein.
According to a pair of sources, the DNC investigation is the furthest along though an indictment is not forthcoming.
A second investigation seeks to establish the identities of the people behind the “Guccifer 2” persona who are believed to have hacked emails from John Podesta, chairman of Clinton’s campaign, and distributed them to Wikileaks. While the intelligence community has expressed “high confidence” that Russian state actors are responsible for the Podesta leaks, to date no actual decisive evidence has been released to support this claim. Two reports issues by the intel community late in 2016 were roundly criticized by internet security experts as lacking evidence to support the claims made.
However, President Trump, who initially cast doubt upon the notion of a Russian connection to the Podesta hack, has moderated his views hinting that perhaps information not released to the public is more convincing.
FBI counterintelligence agents in Washington D.C. are also looking at communications and financial transactions involving individuals associated with the Trump campaign and administration and Russian officials, though the identities of the persons under investigation have not been revealed.
And while these contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials are reported to be a topic of investigation, to date no evidence has been released indicating any Russia/Trump collusion to influence the 2016 race.
President Trump and his campaign have been routinely accused by both opposition politicians and media figures as having cooperated with the Russian government on their efforts to influence the 2016 election.
Leaks of phone calls between former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak revealed Flynn had misrepresented the content of those calls to Vice President Mike Pence, a breach of trust severe enough that Flynn was forced to resign.
And while the resignation ignited a firestorm of speculation in the media and among opponents of the Trump administration, media outlets including The New York Times have reported that no evidence of criminal behavior has yet been released while CNN reports that no charges against Flynn are forthcoming at this time.
The Flynn episode is just the latest in what the Trump administration has called political attacks by “Deep State” interests.
College liberal turned conservative once he started paying taxes, Matthew has been active in the gun-rights and conservative movement for years. The author of the thriller Waypoint, (available on Amazon) he’s proud to live in the one county in downstate New York which went for Trump by 17 points.