Robert Mueller is currently building a criminal case against Russians involved in the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee and subsequent dissemination of stolen materials, as first reported by NBC News.
The latest news illustrates Mueller’s focus on a prominent aspect of the Russia investigation, which is the Russian-backed hacking into the DNC’s emails, and then the distribution of those stolen emails via the Russia-linked hacker “Guccifer 2.0” and the self-proclaimed pro-transparency group WikiLeaks.
Though the hack was just one aspect of the elaborate Russian meddling into the 2016 election — it is an important one. US intelligence agencies have stated that the orders for the hacking came directly from the Kremlin.
The DNC announced in July 2016 that Russian hacking groups known as “Cozy Bear” and “Fancy Bear” had somehow infiltrated its servers. After the DNC’s system in was hacked in 2016, Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear disseminated thousands of emails.
US intelligence agencies believe Guccifer 2.0 is actually just an elaborate front for covert Russian military intelligence, and that WikiLeaks — despite framing itself as staunchly against this sort of thing — is a propaganda tool of the Russian government. WikiLeaks published the first batch of the hacked just one day before the Democratic National Convention, causing major fighting between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
A couple of months later , WikiLeaks released a batch of emails belonging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta.
Curiously, the release of Podesta’s hacked emails came after Roger Stone, a Republican strategist and longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, tweeted in August 2016, “Trust me, it will soon the [sic] Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary”
Roger Stone had an uncanny ability to foresee the contents of various Wikileaks shenanigans well before they were released. Smart money says that Robert Mueller has taken a hard look at Stone and he may indeed find himself in “the barrel” — whatever that means.