Yesterday’s congressional testimony by Robert Mueller may have hammered the final nail into the coffin of the RussiaGate “collusion” conspiracy theory, but that doesn’t mean that we are in the clear…not by a long shot.
The entire impetus for the investigation in the first place was that Russia absolutely did attempt to infiltrate our elections in 2016 – this is undisputed from either side of the aisle. We know that there were systemic and consistent attempts to derail the sovereignty of our democracy, in the name of Russia’s best interests.
Mueller’s testimony reaffirmed that, and the former Special Counsel was never more animated than when he was referring to the need to address this issue head on. Make no mistake about it, Russia will be trying again in 2020, and we need to be ready.
Now, a new bipartisan study shows just how powerful Russia’s attempts were.
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The Senate Intelligence Committee released the first volume of its long-awaited bipartisan report into Russian election interference efforts on Thursday, providing new details on how Russian government hackers “directed extensive activity against U.S. election infrastructure” — and potentially identified vulnerabilities that they can exploit in upcoming elections.
The partially redacted report also faulted the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for providing inadequate warnings to state governments. The panel found that alerts often went to the wrong people or contained insufficient information, and blended in with previous general warnings the states had received.
“DHS and FBI alerted states to the threat of cyber attacks in the late summer and fall of 2016, but the warnings did not provide enough information or go to the right people,” the report stated. “Alerts were actionable, in that they provided malicious Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to information technology (IT) professionals, but they provided no clear reason for states to take this threat more seriously than any other alert received.”
The good news is that the investigation turned up no evidence of vote tallies being altered by Russia.
That’s not to say that the Kremlin and their comrades won’t be more successful next time, however, and that’s something that all Americans should fear.
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