Our 2016 presidential election will long be remembered for the upset victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. It will also be remembered for the unprecedented level of controversy over computer hacking and the release of confidential documents on the internet by groups such as WikiLeaks.
One other feature of this election was the allegation of Russian cooperation with the Trump campaign in an attempt to swing the election in favor of Mr. Trump. This allegation remains just a theory devoid of evidence, however there is evidence of Russian spying on parties connected to our election.
The NSA complied information on Russian military hacking into our election systems. Of course, this was highly classified material. This top-secret information was leaked to the media, and we’ve learned that a federal contractor named Reality Leigh Winner has been arrested for the crime. Trump caught his first deep state leaker!
“A 25-year-old Federal contractor was charged Monday with leaking a top secret NSA report — detailing how Russian military hackers targeted US voting systems just days before the election.”
“The highly classified intelligence document, published Monday by The Intercept, describes how Russia managed to infiltrate America’s voting infrastructure using a spear-phishing email scheme that targeted local government officials and employees.”
“She was charged with removing and mailing classified materials to a news outlet, DOJ officials said.”
The report details some incredibly sophisticated electronic spying by the Russians, however there is no evidence at this point that any of this affected the outcome of the elections. Still, it is worrisome that this electronic infiltration occurred. And revealing the NSA’s investigation to parties not entitled to see such classified documents is a serious crime.
“‘Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government,’ Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein explained in a statement. ‘People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation.'”
“Winner, who works as contractor at Pluribus International Corporation, allegedly leaked the report in early May. A federal official told NBC News that she had, in fact, given it to the Intercept.
“According to the document, it was the Russian military intelligence that conducted the cyber attacks last year.”
While anyone would be naive to think that spying is rare or one-sided, this is serious in that it can generate concerns about the integrity of our elections.
We’ve also wondered where leaks of classified information are coming from. In this case it looks like the Trump administration just found one. Aggressive investigations will no doubt reveal more. Aggressive prosecutions will no doubt cause others to think things over more carefully before betraying their responsibilities to guard America’s classified materials.
Source: New York Post