It’s almost as if we have seen this story before.
Russian military intelligence officers reportedly hacked the Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Holdings, as the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump was shifting into overdrive in the House of Representatives back in early November.
November, you may recall, was the month when numerous Trump administration officials began testifying publicly before Chairman Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) House Intelligence Committee. According to the New York Times, it was also the month that Russian hackers began hacking the firm where Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden used to be a board member.
What on earth could Russia have been looking for and why? Unsurprisingly, it was suggested that Russia was looking for dirt on the Bidens, in a manner reminiscent to all of Russia’s widespread 2016 election interference — particularly that which targeted the DNC and Hillary Clinton. Per the Times:
The Russian tactics are strikingly similar to what American intelligence agencies say was Russia’s hacking of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential campaign. In that case, once they had the emails, the Russians used trolls to spread and spin the material, and built an echo chamber to widen its effect.
Oren Falkowitz, co-founder of Area 1 — the group that detected the hacks — not only said the hacks were “successful,” but also said the “timing of the Russian campaign mirrors the G.R.U. hacks we saw in 2016 against the D.N.C. and John Podesta.”
“Once again, they are stealing email credentials, in what we can only assume is a repeat of Russian interference in the last election.” he told the Times.
Russian interference in the 2016 election was, of course, the subject of one volume of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report. When Mueller testified publicly on July 25, he warned that Russia was interfering “as we sit here.” The very next day, President Trump got on the phone and asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into the Bidens and the debunked CrowdStrike conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election.
President Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s quest for dirt on the Bidens and related efforts to get the Ukrainian government to announce “investigations” are at the very heart of the impeachment inquiry.
The CrowdStrike conspiracy theory is a “fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves,” former National Security Council (NSC) official and Russia expert Dr. Fiona Hill testified during the impeachment hearings in November.
[Image via Harry Engels/Getty Images]