The presidential election victory of Donald Trump in 2016 may not be the only thing made illegitimate by Russian tampering. It seems that the GOP own legitimacy may also be called into question thanks to our Russian “friends.”
According to the New York Times:
The impact of the information released by the hackers on candidates like Ms. Taddeo in Florida and others in nearly a dozen House races around the country was largely lost in the focus on the hacking attacks against the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. But this untold story underscores the effect the Russian operation had on the American electoral system.[…]
The intrusions in House races in states including Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, Illinois, New Mexico and North Carolina can be traced to tens of thousands of pages of documents taken from the D.C.C.C., which shares a Capitol Hill office building with the Democratic National Committee.
“This is not a traditional tit-for-tat on a partisan political campaign, where one side hits the other and then you respond,” said Kelly Ward, executive director of the D.C.C.C. “This is an attack by a foreign actor that had the intent to disrupt our election, and we were the victims of it.”
The information gathered in this cyber attack was then fed to a Florida PAC supporting Paul Ryan, according to a Salon report:
After Florida Democratic House candidate Joe Garcia appeared at a primary debate against opponent Annette Taddeo with a printout of some of the hacked DCCC documents to attack Taddeo, the National Republican Campaign Committee and The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with close ties to House Speaker Paul Ryan, used the hacked documents to defeat him in the general.
And it appears many in Washington have known about the attacks for a while:
After Guccifer 2.0 targeted the chair of the DCCC, New Mexico’s Ray Lujan, the Democrats sent a letter to his Republican counterpart on Aug. 29 arguing that “the NRCC’s use of documents stolen by the Russians plays right into the hands of one of the United States’ most dangerous adversaries,” and if the National Republican Campaign Committee continued using the materials, the GOP “will be complicit in aiding the Russian government in its effort to influence American elections.”
Let that sink in for a minute: “The GOP will be complicit in aiding the Russian government in its effort to influence American elections.” While Paul Ryan may be officially out of office, he may not be officially out of legal trouble.