Top House Dems Call for FBI Action on Trump Campaign’s Advance Knowledge of Ongoing Russian Cyber Hacking to Affect Election
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 14, 2016)—Today, Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, John Conyers, Jr., Eliot L. Engel, and Bennie G. Thompson, the Ranking Members of the House Committees on Oversight and Government Reform, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs, and Homeland Security, issued the following statement in response to evidence that the Trump campaign apparently knew months beforehand about the hacking of emails from the account of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta:
“Troubling new evidence appears to show that the Trump campaign not only was aware of cyber attacks against Secretary Clinton’s campaign chairman, but was openly bragging about it as far back as August. For months, we have been asking the FBI to examine links between the Trump campaign and illegal Russian efforts to affect our election, including interviewing Trump advisor Roger Stone. In light of this new evidence—and these exceptional circumstances—we call on the FBI to fully investigate and explain to the American people what steps it is taking to disrupt this ongoing criminal activity. Elections are the bedrock of our nation’s democracy and a model we hold out to the world, so we must counter any foreign or domestic efforts to threaten the integrity of our electoral process.”
Roger Stone’s Public Statements About Upcoming Podesta Attacks
This past August, Trump adviser Roger Stone sent out messages on Twitter indicating that he had been informed personally about upcoming cyber attacks on campaign chairman John Podesta.
On August 21, 2016, Stone tweeted: “Trust me, it will soon the [sic] Podesta’s time in the barrel.#CrookedHillary”
This followed a tweet on August 14, 2016, in which Stone wrote: “@JohnPodesta makes @PaulManafort look like St. Thomas Aquinas Where is the @NewYorkTimes?”
On October 3, 2016, Stone tweeted: “I have total confidence that @wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon #LockHerUp.”
Four days later, October 7, 2016, WikiLeaks publicly released emails illegally hacked from Podesta’s email account.
Roger Stone’s Public Statements About Backchannel Communications with WikiLeaks
Stone has stated repeatedly in public appearances that he communicates directly and through back channels with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
On August 8, 2016, Stone stated publicly that he “communicated with” Assange about the upcoming release of illegally-hacked emails. Stone made these statements during a Republican campaign event while answering a question about a potential “October surprise.”
On August 13, 2016, Stone stated publicly that his own email accounts had been hacked “as soon as it became publicly known that I was in communication with Julian Assange.”
On October 12, 2016, Stone stated publicly: “I do have a back-channel communication with Assange.”
Previous Letter to FBI About Allegations of Coordination Between Trump Campaign and Russians
On August 30, 2016, Reps. Cummings, Conyers, Engel, and Thompson sent a letter to FBI Director James Comeyrequesting that the FBI assess whether connections between the Trump campaign and Russian interests contributed to cyber attacks against the Democratic campaign organizations to interfere with the election. The letter stated: “It is unclear whether U.S. law enforcement authorities have interviewed Mr. Stone about his communications with Mr. Assange or about his knowledge of how WikiLeaks obtained the illegally-hacked documents.”
On September 28, 2016, FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Judiciary Committee, but would not directly answer questions about any investigation regarding these matters. Instead, he stated that the FBI is examining “just what mischief is Russia up to in connection with our election.”
On October 7, 2016, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint statement concluding:
“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”