Right now is a critical time for the 2020 Presidential election. Electronic voting, non-paper ballot voting, is at risk of Foreign Intervention. Remember the line, “Russian meddling ‘wasn’t a single attempt. They’re doing it as we sit here’ from Mueller’s testimony before Congress.
Currently we have two principal individuals standing in the way of Election security, Mitch McConnell and our President of the United States.
In the Introduction to Volume 1 of the Mueller Report states:
“The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a sweeping and systematic fashion. Evidence of Russian government operations began to surface in mid-2016.
In June, the Democratic National Committee and its cyber response team publicly announced that
Russian hackers had compromised its computer network.
Releases of hacked materials-hacks
that public reporting soon attributed to the Russian government-began that same month.
Additional releases followed in July through the organization WikiLeaks, with further releases in
October and November.”
In late July 2016, soon after Wiki-Leaks’s first release of stolen documents, a foreign government contacted the FBI about a May 2016 encounter with Trump Campaign foreign policy
advisor George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos had suggested to a representative of that foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. That information prompted the FBI on July 31, 2016, to open an investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump Campaign were coordinating with the Russian government in its interference activities.
That fall, two federal agencies jointly announced that the Russian government “directed recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including US political
organizations,” and, ” [t]hese thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.” After the election, in late December 2016, the United States imposed sanctions on Russia for having interfered in the election. By early 2017, several congressional committees were
examining Russia’s interference in the election.
Within the Executive Branch, these investigatory efforts ultimately led to the May 2017 appointment of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III. The order appointing the Special Counsel authorized him to investigate “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in 2016 presidential election,” including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign.
As set forth in detail in this report, the Special Counsel’s investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election principally through two operations. First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working on the Clinton Campaign and then released stolen documents.
The investigation also identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign. Although
the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian the government in its election interference activities.” 1
Kushner and the Russia reconciliation plan
One of the more striking episodes of contact between Russians and Trump associates that Mueller details came in the transition period, when Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, was attempted to make contact with the incoming administration.
According to Mueller’s report, a business associate steered Dmitriev to Erik Prince, a Trump campaign supporter and friend of Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon, and Dmitriev and Prince later met in January 2017 and discussed U.S.-Russia relations. Around that same time, according to Mueller’s report, a business associate introduced Dmitriev to a friend of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.
The report alleges that Dmitriev and the Kushner friend collaborated on a “short reconciliation plan for the United States and Russia, which Dmitriev implied had been cleared through Putin.” It says the friend “gave that report to Kushner before the inauguration, and Kushner later gave copies to Bannon and incoming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.” (page 7-Volume 1 Mueller report).
— Matt Zapotosky