Difference between revisions of "Russian Interference in American Politics"

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This is a collaborative knowledge base; feel free to propose edits/additions that you believe are important for others to know. Contributions will be reviewed and approved based on quality and accuracy.
  
==Update from House Intelligence Committee Hearing==
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== [[File:fist.png | left | 50px | How You Can Resist | link= ]] How You Can Resist ==
Today the first public hearing was held on Russian interference in the US elections. Most of this committee’s work has gone on behind closed doors because of the nature of the information being examined.  
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*'''Call your representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives''' by dialing tel:844-6-RESIST and state:
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  “As my elected representative, one of your most important jobs is to ensure that we have free and fair elections. We need to know if the Putin regime interfered with the very foundation of our democracy. We need an Independent Commission, like the 9/11 Commission, to fully investigate possible Russian interference and the role that the Trump campaign may have played and to make the evidence publicly available."
  
===The questions this committee is exploring are:===
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*'''Find out''' when your Senators and US Representative are holding '''[https://townhallproject.com/ town halls]''' and come prepared with specific questions about possible Russian interference in our elections.
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*Find calls to action at the [http://whatdoidoabouttrump.com/action-hub/ Action Hub] and through the [http://actionalliance.co/ Action Alliance].
  
*What Russian cyber activity and other active measures were directed against the United States and its allies?
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== [[File:notification.png | left | 50px | Updates | link= ]] Recent Updates==
*Did the Russian active measures include links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns or any other U.S. Persons?
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[[File:Assange-1.jpg|200px|left]]
*What was the U.S. Government’s response to these Russian active measures and what do we need to do to protect ourselves and our allies in the future?
 
*What possible leaks of classified information took place related to the Intelligence Community Assessment of these matters?[http://intelligence.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=770]
 
  
A new line of questions were opened when President Trump tweeted out and then continued to repeat accusations that President Obama ordered surveillance on the Trump campaign and Trump tower.
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*4/22/17: [[Trump_Administration#Attorney_General_Jeff_Sessions|Attorney General Jeff Sessions]] announced that the Justice Department is preparing charges against WikiLeaks's Julian Assange for publishing stolen data. This suggests that the Trump administration may break with the usual practice, in which the person who committed the theft is legally liable but those who publish the information are not.[http://www.news4jax.com/news/national/sessions-wont-say-if-assange-charges-could-lead-to-prosecution-of-journalists]Similarly, [[Trump_Administration#CIA_Director_Mike_Pompeo|CIA Director Mike Pompeo]] recently described Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as '''a non-state hostile intelligence service.'''[http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/20/politics/julian-assange-wikileaks-us-charges/index.html]
Today’s hearing ran nearly six hours with just two witnesses being questioned:  
 
*FBI Director James Comey
 
*National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers.[http://intelligence.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=770]
 
  
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'''You can learn more at the [[Wikileaks Role in Election Interference]]''' page.
  
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==[[File:VotingRights.png | left | 50px | Voting Rights | link= ]] Russian Interference in US Politics==
  
===New Information revealed:[http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/20/politics/comey-hearing-russia-wiretapping/index.html][https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/20/fbi-director-comey-confirms-investigation-trump-russia]===
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'''Vladimir Putin is still heavily involved in attempts to influence the US.'''
*The FBI is investigating whether or not President Trump or any member of his campaign cooperated in any way with Russia in their interference in our election.
 
*There is no information that supports Trump’s accusation that he was wire tapped, or spied on in any way on orders of President Obama.
 
*That suggestions by Trump that Obama used British intelligence resources is completely untrue.
 
*That FBI investigation began in July of 2016, months before the election, but FBI only informed congress of this investigation recently, but he didn’t say how recently.
 
*That more than one person involved in the Trump campaign is under investigation.
 
*That Russian involvement in our election was "unusually loud" and that Russia did not care about being caught, or did not care if it was known that they interfered and to what extent.
 
*That it is certain that Russia will intervene again in 2018 and 2020.
 
*That one reason for this is that Russia understands that they were successful.
 
*That the US response has, so far, been weak which will only encourage further actions by Russians, and others to interfere.
 
*That the RNC and other Republican networks were hacked, but no data was made public.
 
  
===Confirmation of Previous Information[http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/20/politics/comey-hearing-russia-wiretapping/index.html][https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/20/fbi-director-comey-confirms-investigation-trump-russia]===
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Vladimir Putin personally ordered and directed a hostile campaign against the United States during the 2016 elections. This attack was intended to inflict damage to Hillary Clinton and her campaign and to promote Donald Trump's election as president.[https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf][https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/03/20/full-transcript-fbi-director-james-comey-testifies-on-russian-interference-in-2016-election/?utm_term=.98ffbc703008][http://intelligence.house.gov/]
*That Russian interfered extensively, and on a number of fronts, in the 2016 election.
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[[File:Putin-icon.jpg|200 px|right]]
*That Russia did so to damage the Clinton campaign and promote the Trump Campaign.
 
*That Russia also interfered in similar ways in other Democratic campaigns for seats in 2016.
 
  
==Action Items==
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Putin directed interference in the primaries of both the Democrat and Republican parties. All the Republican primary candidates except Trump were targeted by Russia in ways that reduced their chances of winning the nomination.[http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/30/politics/senate-intelligence-committee-hearing-russia/index.html]Within the Democratic party, Russia was already actively promoting negative stories about Hillary Clinton during the primaries.[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-fake-news-russia_us_58c34d97e4b0ed71826cdb36]
*Dial tel:(844)-6-RESIST to ask your member of Congress to support [https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/27?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22s.27%22%5D%7D&r=1 Senate bill S.27] for a bipartisan commission to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election. See [[How Impeachment Works]] for more information.
 
*Find what your member of Congress has said about Sessions [https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1v_9y6y1X96_tEzyixPkNVBZi1nkotBjRaN7Sxc2e1Ik/edit?usp=sharing '''here'''] and dial tel:(844)-6-RESIST to tell your member of Congress to call for his resignation. See [[How Impeachment Works]] for more information.
 
  
==Recent Updates==
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Putin also directed interference in several races for the House of Representatives, including several in [[Florida]], an important swing state.[https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/us/politics/house-democrats-hacking-dccc.html?_r=0]
*3/15/2017 The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs holds a hearing at 10:30 am eastern time, “Assessing U.S. Sanctions on Russia: Next Steps.” The hearing can be viewed [http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=6E6A7296-02E4-4930-BCE6-378CACCF1C71 Hearing about Sanctions on Russia]
 
*3/15/2015 A sub-committee of the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Lindsay Graham, holds a hearing at 2:30 pm eastern to explore the ways in which Russia is interfering in western democracies, it can be viewed at [https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/the-modus-operandi-and-toolbox-of-russia-and-other-autocracies-for-undermining-democracies-throughout-the-worldHearing on Russian involvement in Western Democracies]
 
*3/15/2017 The Department of Justice announced today that two Russian spies, acting as Russian state-sponsored hackers, were responsible for stealing data from Yahoo in 2014.[http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/14/politics/justice-yahoo-hack-russia/index.html][https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/justice-department-charging-russian-spies-and-criminal-hackers-for-yahoo-intrusion/2017/03/15/64b98e32-0911-11e7-93dc-00f9bdd74ed1_story.html]
 
*3/14/2017 Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has informed the Trump administration that unless the committee receives a briefing from FBI Director Comey the committee will withhold approving any new appointments to the Attorney General's office, it's remarkable because Grassley is in the same party at the administration.[http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/14/grassley-holds-up-deputy-ag-nomination-until-hears-from-comey-on-russia.html]
 
  
==What We Know About Russian Influence on our Presidential Election of 2016==
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'''Government officials have warned that the success of Russian interference in the 2016 US election will embolden them to continue interfering, both here and abroad.'''[https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf][https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/03/20/full-transcript-fbi-director-james-comey-testifies-on-russian-interference-in-2016-election/?utm_term=.98ffbc703008][http://intelligence.house.gov/]
What we know with certainty comes from a declassified version of an Intelligence Community (IC) report that documented Russian interference in our electoral process, which concluded that Vladimir Putin personally ordered and directed a hostile campaign against the United States during the 2016 elections. And, the IC is certain that Russia will take what it learned from the election and apply to elections in other countries. Most importantly, they are certain that Russia will conduct a similar hostile action in future US elections.[https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf]
 
  
'''Russia’s campaign to influence the 2016 election was conducted in order to:'''
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==Why Russia Influenced the 2016 US Elections==
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Russia’s campaign to influence the 2016 election was conducted in order to:[https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf][https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/03/20/full-transcript-fbi-director-james-comey-testifies-on-russian-interference-in-2016-election/?utm_term=.98ffbc703008][http://intelligence.house.gov/]:
  
*Undermine the position of the US as the leader of western democracies;
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*Damage Hillary Clinton's campaign and assist Donald Trump's candidacy.     
*Undermine faith in the US democratic processes, both in the US and abroad;
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[[File:ClintonCampaign.jpg|150 px|left]]
*Denigrate Hillary Clinton and her campaign to harm her candidacy and, if she was elected, to harm her presidency;
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*Assist candidates whom Putin thought would be favorable to his agenda.
*Help the candidacy of Donald Trump
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*Damage candidates whom Putin thought would challenge his agenda.
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*Undermine faith in the US democratic process, both in the US and abroad.
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*Drive a wedge between the US's Intelligence Community and elected officials.
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*Undermine the US's position as the leader of western democracies.
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*Decrease the US's commitment to NATO.
  
'''Russian actions to support these goals followed a well developed strategy that includes:'''
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==How Russia Attempted to Influence the 2016 US Election==
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Vladimir Putin ordered a wide-ranging and large-scale attack against the US election process. He conducted a version of New Generation Warfare, which was popular during the Soviet era. During the time of the Soviet Union, this type of warfare was used to influence the course of events around the world without the use of active military measures. At that time, it included installing puppet regimes, blackmail, threats and intimidation, and assassination.[https://www.csis.org/analysis/kremlin-playbook][https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_measures] Today, this type of warfare includes both covert and overt techniques to promote the Putin regime's agenda.[https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/os-rgodson-033017.pdf][https://www.csis.org/analysis/kremlin-playbook]
  
*Covert actions such as stealing data from private computers in order to either blackmail victims or to embarrass people by giving that stolen date to outlets like WikiLeaks;
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'''Putin used the following tactics in the US''':[https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/os-cwatts-033017.pdf][https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf]:
*Using state run media to spread propaganda and paid social media trolls to create an epidemic of Fake News to make it difficult to identify what is true and what is false news.[https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf]
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*Cyber-crime
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*Weaponizing information
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*Propaganda
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*Kompromat (collecting or creating compromising information)
  
==What Russian Influence on the 2016 Election Means==
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'''Putin may have used the following tactics in the US''':
*John McCain (R-AZ) is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee states that the Russian cyber attack during the 2016 election can be seen as an act of war and that it threatened, and continues to threaten, the very foundation of our democracy.[http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/30/politics/mccain-cyber-hearing/index.html]
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*Corruption
*Russian interference in the 2016 US elections can be seen as an act of hybrid warfare where, rather than a physically violent act, the act of war was in the digital landscape.[https://www.baks.bund.de/sites/baks010/files/working_paper_2017_07.pdf]
 
*NATO’s most senior British officer has claimed that alleged Russian cyber attacks could be deemed an act of aggression that triggers the alliance’s principle that an attack on one nation is an attack on all of the nations (also known as collective defense).[http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-donald-trump-hacking-us-election-act-of-war-collective-defence-nato-commander-donald-trump-uk-a7609551.html]
 
  
==Why Russia is still an Enemy of the US==
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===Cyber-Crime===
Russia wants to expand its area of control and threatens many US allies throughout the world, especially in Europe where even our scandanavian allies are rapidly increasing their miliary capacity.[http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/03/02/sweden-reinstates-draft-over-concerns-russia/98641010/][http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/18/politics/marines-norway-russia/index.html]
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Vladimir Putin’s security services have several teams of hackers, some of which are known as CYBER BEARS.[http://www.cyinterview.com/2017/01/bestselling-author-malcolm-nance-discusses-his-book-the-plot-to-hack-america-how-putins-cyberspies-tried-to-steal-the-2016-election/]Two of these teams gained access to Republican and Democratic officials, private US citizens, think tanks, and political campaigns.[https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf][http://www.cyinterview.com/2017/01/bestselling-author-malcolm-nance-discusses-his-book-the-plot-to-hack-america-how-putins-cyberspies-tried-to-steal-the-2016-election/]They stole thousands of documents, emails, notes, and even voicemail messages.[http://www.cyinterview.com/2017/01/bestselling-author-malcolm-nance-discusses-his-book-the-plot-to-hack-america-how-putins-cyberspies-tried-to-steal-the-2016-election/]
  
Vladimir Putin rules Russia as an authoritarian dictator; he acquired this power by denying citizens the right to a free press, to assemble in protest, by denying the right for citizens to express themselves and by rewarding Russian billionaires, known as oligarchs. Although there are elections in Russia they are rigged to the advantage of the candidates that Putin prefers.
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Russian hackers targeted the voter registration databases of at least 24 states in the months before the election. At least four states' systems, which were vulnerable via their Internet connection, were successfully breached. (Most voting systems are not connected to the Internet.[http://abcnews.go.com/US/russian-hackers-targeted-half-states-voter-registration-systems/story?id=42435822])The states hacked by Russia include [[Florida]], [[Illinois]], and [[Arizona]].[http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/12/politics/florida-election-hack/index.html]This data may also have been used to shape social media attacks in key swing states including [[Wisconsin]], [[Michigan]] and [[Pennsylvania]].[http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/russia-hired-army-1000-web-trolls-make-fake-news-about-hillary-clinton-swing-states-1614574]
  
*Putin aggressively controls the press in Russia through manufacturing criminal charges and threats of violence and many journalists have been attacked, and while it is hard to verify every event, nearly 40 journalists have been murdered since Putin took power in 2000.[https://cpj.org/killed/europe/russia][http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/05/20/russia-crackdown-anti-putin-media-worsens/84583080/]
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===Weaponized Information===
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While information theft is common among most nations, Russian agents '''weaponized information''' in 2016, which is unusual.[https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/os-cwatts-033017.pdf]Using the persona of Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.com, agents released information publicly. They also used Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks, where the stolen information was released. Russian agents also released information directly to the media via their own RT and Sputnik newspapers and to members of the mainstream media.[https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf]
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[[File:Assange-1.jpg|200px|right]]
  
*Putin deploys excessive force to repress even small protests, in 2007 he deployed 9,000 troops to arrest 170 people who were participating in a protest that involved just a couple of hundred protestors.[http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0416/p07s02-woeu.html]
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You can learn more by at the [[Wikileaks Role in Election Interference]] page.
  
*Putin, in 2012, charged members of a punk rock band with “hooliganism” and sent two of the band members to spend two years in a hard labor camp.[https://newrepublic.com/article/105846/how-punk-rock-show-trial-became-russias-greatest-gonzo-artwork]
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===Propaganda and Putin’s Media Campaign===
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At least as early as 2014, Putin’s agents were trying to shape the US media landscape through creating fake or biased news and spreading it through Russia-owned media outlets like RT and Sputnik. They then expanded the audience for this propaganda by promoting it over social media, especially Twitter and Facebook.[https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/os-cwatts-033017.pdf]Putin instructed his security services to generate fake news, or propaganda, that could damage Hillary Clinton.[https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf][https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/03/20/full-transcript-fbi-director-james-comey-testifies-on-russian-interference-in-2016-election/?utm_term=.98ffbc703008]
  
==Overview of Trump, Trump's Campaign and Connections to Russia==
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Eventually this fake news appeared on media outlets, some of which are now under investigation by the FBI for their role in spreading Russian propaganda:[https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article139695453.html][https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf][https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/03/20/full-transcript-fbi-director-james-comey-testifies-on-russian-interference-in-2016-election/?utm_term=.98ffbc703008][http://intelligence.house.gov/][http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/fbi-investigating-right-wing-sites-role-campaign-hack-article-1.3004192]
  
The attempt by Russia to destabilize US democratic institutions and influence the election in the US included three separate elements, according to a declassified report on Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential election: [https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#]
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*RT, a Russian- and English-language news network
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*Sputnik News
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*Breitbart News, which was controlled by [[Trump_Administration#Chief_Strategist_Steve_Bannon|Steve Bannon]], who is now in the White House.
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*Infowars, an online program hosted by Alex Jones
  
*Coordination between Russia and associates of Donald Trump.
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These stories were amplified by internet trolls, people who create fake social media accounts and post and repost links to fake news stories. In St. Petersburg, Russia, just one “troll factory” alone employs about 1,000 such people, who are paid by the Russian government.[https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article139695453.html][https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf][https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/03/20/full-transcript-fbi-director-james-comey-testifies-on-russian-interference-in-2016-election/?utm_term=.98ffbc703008][http://intelligence.house.gov/][https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/magazine/the-agency.html]
*Hacking into computer networks and disclosure information at pivotal times;
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[[File:Trollfactory.png|200 px|left]]
*An organized influence campaign rooted in social media;
 
  
===People Close to Trump with Connections to Russia===
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===Kompromat/Compromising Information===
  
The connections between Donald Trump, his business, his campaign, and Russian businesses and financiers and agents of the Russian government are complex. The following infographics are a helpful guide.
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===Corruption===
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According to the authors of the report The Kremlin Playbook, corruption is the use of power, position, or resources to influence business, individuals, or government through non-transparent and questionable means, not necessarily illegal.[https://www.csis.org/analysis/kremlin-playbook]While there is now no clear evidence that Trump and the Trump Organization have done anything illegal related to Russia, inquiries are now being made into their financial connections with Russia.[https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/20/us-intelligence-investigating-russian-links-of-leading-trump-associates-report]. Trump has refused to release his tax returns, so it is difficult to detail his financial ties, including with Russia.[http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/23/senate-may-force-trump-to-turn-over-tax-returns.html].  
  
[[File:RussiaConnection.jpg| 600px | link=]]<br>
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See [[Financial Connections Between Trump Organization and Russia]] to learn more.
  
Click on the person's name for their ties: [https://www.resistancemanual.org/Trump_Administration#Russian_Connections Wilbur Ross], [https://www.resistancemanual.org/Trump_Administration#Russian_connections_2 Rex Tillerson], [https://www.resistancemanual.org/Trump_Administration#Russian_connections_3 Jeff Sessions], [https://www.resistancemanual.org/Trump_Administration#Russian_Connections_4 Jared Kushner] and [https://www.resistancemanual.org/Trump_Administration#Russian_Connections_5 Michael Flynn].
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==Communications and Possible Collusion between Trump and Putin==
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FBI Director James Comey stated that the FBI is investigating the Russian government's interference into the US presidential election, including direct communication between Trump's campaign and the Russian government:[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/03/20/full-transcript-fbi-director-james-comey-testifies-on-russian-interference-in-2016-election/?utm_term=.98ffbc703008]  
  
===Impact of Russian Interference in 2016 Election===
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  "I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed."
While it's difficult to estimate the exact impact the release of stolen data had on the election, national polls show that Trump won among voters who waited until October to choose between the two candidates, by '''51 percent to 37 percent'''[http://www.cnn.com/election/results/exit-polls], when Wikileaks was a major national story. <br>[[File:FBIwikileaks.png | thumb | left | 320px | Wikileaks was a major national story in October 2016[https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/wikileaks-hillary-clinton/].]]
 
<br clear=all>
 
  
===Timeline of Communication (possible coordination) between Trump Campaign and Russia===
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Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, stated that there is significant evidence of these links:[https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/schiff-there-is-more-than-circumstantial-evidence-now/520509/]
  
*Donald Trump met with Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, on April 27, 2017 immediately prior to a speech Trump gave on foreign policy; in this speech Trump asserted that he would improve US-Russian relations.[https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-goes-his-own-way-with-vladimir-putin-1463172396]
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  “I can tell you that the case is more than that. And I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now. … I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial, and is very much worthy of investigation.
*On February 20th, 2017 a journalist published a [https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RbpBxJ3QNyvts_w16UcSSGeH7cSrXK9U3wIq0OOq-Xs/mobilebasic document] attempting to confirm the contents of the dossier created by the former British intelligence officer establishing collusion between Trump, his campaign, and Russia.
 
*On February 14th, 2017, the New York Times published information from interviews with multiple senior members of the US Intelligence Community, confirming (but without naming any specific officials) the claims in the dossier that Trump campaign aides had repeated contact with Russian intelligence officials. The article clearly stated that the intelligence officials did not comment on the content of those communications.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/politics/russia-intelligence-communications-trump.html]
 
*On February 13, 2017 Michael Flynn was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the content of his conversations with Sergey I. Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States.[http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/justice-department-warned-administration-michael-flynn-could-be-blackmailed-official-n720476]Administration officials had previously denied that Flynn had discussed sanctions on that call, and Flynn may have given false testimony to the FBI.[http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/justice-department-warned-administration-michael-flynn-could-be-blackmailed-official-n720476][http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/16/flynn-reportedly-lied-to-fbi-about-sanctions-talk-with-russian-envoy.html]
 
*February 10, 2017 Some elements of the dossier had been confirmed, primarily related to specific communications.[http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-russia-dossier-details-2017-2]
 
*On January 26, 2017 Department of Justice's Acting Attorney General Sally Yates reported to the new Trump administration that Flynn could be the subject of blackmail because he had lied about the content of the calls with the Russian Ambassador.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/justice-department-warned-white-house-that-flynn-could-be-vulnerable-to-russian-blackmail-officials-say/2017/02/13/fc5dab88-f228-11e6-8d72-263470bf0401_story.html?utm_term=.7775e97ef5e1][https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/02/14/the-fall-of-michael-flynn-a-timeline/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.48f197da8b81]
 
*On January 12, 2017 then President-Elect Trump and President Obama were briefed on a report drafted by Director of National Intelligence (DNI).[http://www.salon.com/2017/01/12/kellyanne-conways-wrong-dni-james-clapper-says-donald-trump-was-briefed-about-russia/]The report, a declassified version released on 1/6/2017 and drawing on intelligence from the CIA, FBI and NSA, and other agencies, 19 in all, disclosed a coordinated Russia campaign to interfere in the US election, to create a favorable environment for Trump and a negative impact on Clinton, and the clandestine campaign blended covert intelligence actions, like computer hacking, with overt Russian government actions via state-run media propaganda units like Russian Television (RT), and paid social media users known as trolls.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#]They did not assess the impact of that involvement on the outcome of the election.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#]Intelligence officials also included a two page summary of a series of memos, now known as the dossier, that purported to show that Russia had compromising information on Trump, that would make him vulnerable to blackmail.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/intelligence-chiefs-briefed-trump-and-obama-on-unconfirmed-claims-russia-has-compromising-information-on-president-elect/2017/01/10/9da3969e-d788-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html]
 
*On January 10th, 2017, Buzzfeed News publicly posted a dossier, compiled by a former British intelligence official, which contained allegations that Russian intelligence services had been working to turn Trump into an asset and had compromising material which could be used as leverage over Trump. [https://www.buzzfeed.com/kenbensinger/these-reports-allege-trump-has-deep-ties-to-russia?utm_term=.mcMeN2q1X#.xxXMeEGRX][https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html]
 
*On January 10, 2017 it was reported that the FBI applied for a warrant from the FISA court (court established under the Foreign Intelligent Service Act) to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contact with Russian officials.[https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts]According to reports those four people are Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Michael Flynn, and Roger Stone.[http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/33-questions-about-donald-trump-and-russia/ar-AAn8pJH?li=BBnb7Kz]
 
*In December 2016, US intelligence agencies picked up communications between Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey I. Kislyak; such conversations may break a federal statute depending on their content, which has not as yet been made public.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/us/flynn-is-said-to-have-talked-to-russians-about-sanctions-before-trump-took-office.html]
 
*September 2016 US intelligence officials and received a copy and those who knew of Steele’s reputation began to systematically verify elements of the dossier, including several people associate with the Trump organization/campaign, communications, and a salacious account of potential blackmail evidence.[http://www.businessinsider.com/timeline-russia-trump-sex-blackmail-golden-shower-dossier-2017-1]
 
*Justice Department sources have told reporters that Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke twice during the 2016 campaign with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislak.[https://www.wsj.com/articles/investigators-probed-jeff-sessions-contacts-with-russian-officials-1488424871?mod=djemalertPolitics][https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-spoke-twice-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-presidential-campaign-justice-officials-say/2017/03/01/77205eda-feac-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_no-name%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.4f97bccb372f] In addition to being Russian ambassador, Kislyak has also been identified as a top spy and spy recruiter for Russia.[http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/01/politics/jeff-sessions-russian-ambassador-meetings/] Spokespeople for Attorney General Sessions said that he had met with the ambassador in his capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and not as a representative of the Trump campaign.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-spoke-twice-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-presidential-campaign-justice-officials-say/2017/03/01/77205eda-feac-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f_story.html?pushid=breaking-news_1488420257&tid=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.0924f68e7337] All of the 26 other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee told the Washington Post that they had not met with Kislyak in 2016.[https://twitter.com/adamentous/status/837390959193309186] The Clinton campaign confirmed that they had no contact with Russia during the campaign.[http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc-news/watch/robby-mook-clinton-campaign-has-no-contact-with-russia-889619523542] Sessions stated, under oath, that he had had no contact with the Russian government during the course of Trump's campaign.[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd60gaqIJfE][https://www.c-span.org/video/?420932-1/attorney-general-nominee-jeff-sessions-testifies-confirmation-hearing][https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-spoke-twice-with-russian-ambassador-during-trumps-presidential-campaign-justice-officials-say/2017/03/01/77205eda-feac-11e6-99b4-9e613afeb09f_story.html?utm_term=.3f951dcee479]
 
*July 2016: Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski revealed that he knew and approved of Carter Page’s trip to Russia [http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/322850-report-lewandowski-gave-trump-adviser-ok-to-visit-moscow-as-private-citizen]
 
*A dossier and then a series of memos were written by a former MI6 intelligence officer with expertise in Russia; his company was hired in spring 2016 by a Republican, and later a Democrat who wanted information on Trump’s relationship with Russians.[http://www.businessinsider.com/timeline-russia-trump-sex-blackmail-golden-shower-dossier-2017-1][http://www.businessinsider.com/christopher-steele-brit-behind-trump-dossier-terrified-for-his-safety-2017-1]
 
  
=== Timeline of Russian Interference of U.S. elections ===
+
The connections between Donald Trump, his businesses, his campaign, and Russian businesses and financiers and agents of the Russian government are complex. The following infographics are a helpful guide.
*January 6, 2017 the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) submitted a declassified version of its report, drawn from the CIA, FBI and NSA, on Russian involvement in the US Presidential election of 2016; they did not assess the impact of that involvement on the outcome of the election.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#] That report disclosed a coordinated Russia campaign to interfere in the US election, to create a favorable environment for Trump and a negative impact on Clinton, and the clandestine campaign blended covert intelligence actions, like computer hacking, with overt Russian government actions via state-run media propaganda units like Russian Television (RT), and paid social media users known as trolls.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#]
 
*December 29, 2016 President Obama expelled 35 Russians and shuttered two compounds related to Russian intelligence in response to Russian involvement in the US election.[http://www.npr.org/2016/12/29/507436692/obama-expels-35-diplomats-imposes-retaliatory-sanctions-against-russia-for-hacki]
 
*Russia intentionally contributed to negative coverage of Hillary Clinton during the month of October - a critical month before the election[http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/read-us-intelligence-report-russian-hacking-2016-campaign].
 
*That data was disclosed at pivotal moments during the primaries and general election via Guccifer 2.0, DC Leaks and Wikileaks, run by Julian Assange.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#]
 
*August, September and October of 2016 the Democratic National Committee made numerous requests of the FBI and Intelligence committees to investigate the relationship between Trump and Russia.[http://www.businessinsider.com/timeline-russia-trump-sex-blackmail-golden-shower-dossier-2017-1]
 
*On July 27, 2016 Donald Trump openly invited Putin to hack Hillary Clinton.[http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article92106122.html]
 
*Originally the Russian plan was to discredit the US electoral system, but by summer 2016 Putin and the Kremlin expressed a clear preference for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#]
 
*In July of 2015 Russian hackers gained access to the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and remained actively engaged in data collection until July of 2016.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#]
 
*In 2015 Putin and the Kremlin expressed a clear preference for Donald Trump.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#]
 
*As early as 2015 Russian directed hackers gained entry into networks connected with candidates for the Presidential primaries, think tanks, and lobbying groups they understood as being likely to influence policy on Russia.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#]
 
*In 2014 Russian intelligence began actively gathering information on the US election system, and hacked into local and state electoral boards, no evidence has been found that they accessed actual voting machines or vote tally systems.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#]
 
  
===Timeline of Social Media Campaign to Influence Election===
+
[[File:RussiaConnection.jpg| 600px | link=]]<br>
*During the summer of 2015 Russian directed social media trolls began supporting Trump’s presidency.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#] The goal at that time was to undermine faith in the US electoral system and democracy in general.[https://www.scribd.com/document/335885879/DNI-Declassified-Report-on-Russian-Hacking#]
 
 
 
== Financial Connections between Trump Organization and Russia ==
 
 
 
Inquiries are also ongoing with regard to Donald Trump and the Trump Organization’s financial connections with Russia.[https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/20/us-intelligence-investigating-russian-links-of-leading-trump-associates-report]. Trump has refused to release his tax returns so it is difficult to detail his financial ties, especially with Russia.[http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/23/senate-may-force-trump-to-turn-over-tax-returns.html].
 
 
 
On November 13, 2016 Scott Dworkin, of the Democratic Coalition, submitted a preliminary report to President Obama, and the Democratic leadership, in which he identified and documented significant ties between Donald Trump and Russia.[https://www.scribd.com/document/330989098/Dworkin-Report-Trump-Russian-Ties-Unabridged-11-13-2016]:
 
 
 
*Trump has 250 business registered in Russia.[https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SqqL_KIUv8DOZVtEjglcXCFYYNU0eK6afypmaqT65LQ/edit#gid=0]
 
*Beginning at least as early as 1987, before the collapse of the USSR, Trump travelled to Russia frequently; in 1987 he met with then leader of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev to discuss construction of Trump properties in Moscow, and again pursued building in Moscow in 1996.[http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn88074101/1987-12-20/ed-1/seq-26/][http://photos.pennlive.com/patriot-news/2016/03/mikhail_gorbachev_with_donald.html] His most recent trip was in 2013 when his Miss Universe pageant was held in Moscow.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2016/08/10/another-trump-adviser-with-deep-ties-to-russia/?utm_term=.3127f9969956][http://deadline.com/2013/10/nbc-news-lands-great-angle-as-msnbc-anchor-thomas-robert-signs-to-co-host-miss-u-pageant-in-russia-615072/]
 
*Trump himself has previously confirmed that he has a relationship with Vladimir Putin.[http://deadline.com/2013/10/nbc-news-lands-great-angle-as-msnbc-anchor-thomas-robert-signs-to-co-host-miss-u-pageant-in-russia-615072/]
 
*Trump, and his son Eric, admitted to having significant business involvement in Russia.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/inside-trumps-financial-ties-to-russia-and-his-unusual-flattery-of-vladimir-putin/2016/06/17/dbdcaac8-31a6-11e6-8ff7-7b6c1998b7a0_story.html?utm_term=.3bc70c1e7cd8][https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM7v2aeDdT8]
 
*Trump’s financial difficulties in the 1980s and 1990s diminished his ability to borrow money from traditional lenders so he turned to alternate sources of financing, many of which have links to Russia and Russian Oligarchs.[http://time.com/4433880/donald-trump-ties-to-russia/][http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-boot-trump-russian-connection-20160725-snap-story.html?][http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1997/05/19/trump-solo]
 
*One example of Trump’s connection to Russian financiers has been detailed in a court case over Trump Soho, which was financed by Bayrock, a Russian affiliated criminal enterprise involved in money laundering and tax evasion; and Bayrock has been involved in financing several other Trump properties.[http://time.com/4433880/donald-trump-ties-to-russia/]
 
*One of the law firms representing Trump has substantial connections to Russia. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP has an established office in Russia [https://www.morganlewis.com/locations/moscow?p=1], and the firm was named "Russia Law Firm of the Year," in 2016. [https://www.morganlewis.com/news/chambers-partners-names-morgan-lewis-as-russia-law-firm-of-the-year?p=1].
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
==Active Legislative Response to Russia's Interference==
 
*3/2/2017 All Democratic members of the House Committee on the Judiciary wrote to FBI Director Comey and the U.S. Attorney of the District of Columbia calling for an immediate criminal FBI investigation into Sessions' statements to Congress as well any involvement or knowledge of the Trump administration and Trump campaign.[https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/837353364736335872] The Senate Judiciary Chair rejected calls from Senate Democrats calling for Sessions to clarify his statements.[http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/senate-judiciary-chairman-sessions-clarify-russia-statements/story?id=45898257&cid=social_twitter_abcnp]
 
*2/24/2017 Democratic calls for an independent investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election gained momentum this weekend when key Republicans, Lindsey Graham and Darrel Issa, agreed.[http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/contact-trump-campaign-russian-intel-officials-game-changer/story?id=45505386]
 
*2/23/2017: Senate and House Republicans have blocked efforts by Democrats to force Trump to release his taxes, but Susan Collins (R-Maine) who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee has suggested the committee may use its subpoena power to obtain the tax information in order to assess Trump's ties with Russia.[http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/02/23/senate-may-force-trump-to-turn-over-tax-returns.html]
 
*1/10/2017: Senators propose new bipartisan sanctions against Russia, as well as a provision that would require congressional approval to lift sanctions currently in effect.[http://www.wsj.com/articles/senators-propose-new-sanctions-on-russia-1484082480?mod=e2tw][http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/03/politics/russia-sanctions-senate/index.html]
 
*1/04/2017: [https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/27?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22s.27%22%5D%7D&r=1 Senate bill S.27] is submitted to establish an independent commission to examine and report on the facts regarding the extent of Russian official and unofficial cyber operations and other attempts to interfere in the 2016 United States national election, and for other purposes.
 
  
== Ongoing Investigations ==
+
More details about individuals' ties to Russia:
 +
*[[Trump_Administration#Russian_connections_2|Rex Tillerson]]
 +
*[[Trump_Endorsers_and_Influencers#Carter_Page|Carter Page]]
 +
*[[Trump Endorsers and Influencers#Paul Manafort|Paul Manafort]]
 +
*[[Trump Administration#Attorney General Jeff Sessions|Jeff Sessions]]
 +
*[[Trump_Administration#Russian_Connections_5|Michael Flynn]]
 +
*[[Trump_Administration#Russian_Connections_4|Jared Kushner]]
 +
*[[Trump_Endorsers and Influencers#Roger Stone|Roger Stone]]
 +
*[[Trump_Administration#Russian_Connections|Wilbur Ross]]
  
While Congress has the authority to conduct some investigative inquiry into alleged abuses of power by the executive branch, since 1999, '''the power to appoint a special prosecutor (an independent attorney not affiliated with the government) belongs to Assistant United States Attorney Dana Boente''' [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/counsel/office/history.html] now that AG Sessions has recused himself from investigations concerning the Trump campaign.
+
Trump and his associates have repeatedly said that they did not have any contact with Russian officials before the election.[https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/us/politics/russia-intelligence-communications-trump.html]Now that campaign members are publicly admitting to having had meetings with Russian officials, Trump and his associates are denying that there was anything inappropriate about the meetings.[http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/02/politics/russia-donald-trump-meetings-ambassador/index.html]
  
*Senate Intelligence Committee is conducting an investigation into Russian involvement in the election and contacts between the Trump campaign, or supporters, and Russians. They are also examining communications between Mike Flynn and Russia at the time the Obama administration expelled several Russian intelligence officers.[http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/here-s-how-congress-handling-russia-investigations-n722661]
+
For more information, please visit [[Timeline of Communication between Trump and Russia]].
**3/2/2017 There are reports that the Senate Intelligence Committee has approached Christopher Steele, author of the Trump/Russia dossier, to testify to their committee. Although Steele is unlikely to travel to the United States, Senate Republicans and Democrats have both been working to arrange a meeting with Steele elsewhere.[http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-russia-christopher-steele-dossier-us-senate-intelligence-hotel-british-spy-mi6-evidence-a7608456.html]
 
*House Intelligence Committee is conducting a less robust investigation and Republican members are lukewarm about aggressively pursuing the wide range of questions.[http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/here-s-how-congress-handling-russia-investigations-n722661]
 
*House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has an inquiry into whether or not Mike Flynn’s payment for a speech in Russia violated any Department of Defense rules, or laws regarding payments by foreign governments.[http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/here-s-how-congress-handling-russia-investigations-n722661]
 
*Senate Judiciary Committee leadership on both the Democratic and Republican side has requested that the committee receive a briefing from the FBI on the events leading up to the departure of Mike Flynn.[http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/here-s-how-congress-handling-russia-investigations-n722661]
 
*Intelligence Community investigations are on going, with regard to both Russian interference in the election and financial ties between Trump, Trump Organizations, Trump supporters, but little has been revealed publicly.[http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/here-s-how-congress-handling-russia-investigations-n722661][https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/20/us-intelligence-investigating-russian-links-of-leading-trump-associates-report]
 
*Several federal agencies, including the Intelligence Community (IC) and the Treasury Department are investigating allegations that the Russian government covertly sent money to aid President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign by using a system for routinely paying thousands of Russian-American pensioners.[http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/01/18/fbi-5-other-agencies-probing-possible-kremlin-cash-to-trump.html?via=desktop&source=copyurl].
 
*One of the current investigations by the FBI is whether or not Russia has compromising information on Donald Trump.[http://abcnews.go.com/US/fbi-investigating-unconfirmed-claims-trump-compromised-election/story?id=44693343]
 
*Another FBI investigation is exploring the communication between the Trump campaign and Russia.[http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/politics/fbi-refused-white-house-request-to-knock-down-recent-trump-russia-stories/index.html]
 
*By the day of Trump's Inauguration a task force had been established involving CIA, FBI, NSA, and other agencies to take an over arching view of all the possible actions and interactions with Russia.[http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/06/trump-putin-and-the-new-cold-war]
 

Latest revision as of 08:50, 24 April 2017

This is a collaborative knowledge base; feel free to propose edits/additions that you believe are important for others to know. Contributions will be reviewed and approved based on quality and accuracy.

How You Can Resist
How You Can Resist
[edit]

  • Call your representatives in the Senate and House of Representatives by dialing tel:844-6-RESIST and state:
  “As my elected representative, one of your most important jobs is to ensure that we have free and fair elections. We need to know if the Putin regime interfered with the very foundation of our democracy. We need an Independent Commission, like the 9/11 Commission, to fully investigate possible Russian interference and the role that the Trump campaign may have played and to make the evidence publicly available."
  • Find out when your Senators and US Representative are holding town halls and come prepared with specific questions about possible Russian interference in our elections.
  • Find calls to action at the Action Hub and through the Action Alliance.

Updates
Recent Updates
[edit]

Assange-1.jpg
  • 4/22/17: Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department is preparing charges against WikiLeaks's Julian Assange for publishing stolen data. This suggests that the Trump administration may break with the usual practice, in which the person who committed the theft is legally liable but those who publish the information are not.[1]Similarly, CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently described Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as a non-state hostile intelligence service.[2]

You can learn more at the Wikileaks Role in Election Interference page.

Voting Rights
Russian Interference in US Politics
[edit]

Vladimir Putin is still heavily involved in attempts to influence the US.

Vladimir Putin personally ordered and directed a hostile campaign against the United States during the 2016 elections. This attack was intended to inflict damage to Hillary Clinton and her campaign and to promote Donald Trump's election as president.[3][4][5]

Putin-icon.jpg

Putin directed interference in the primaries of both the Democrat and Republican parties. All the Republican primary candidates except Trump were targeted by Russia in ways that reduced their chances of winning the nomination.[6]Within the Democratic party, Russia was already actively promoting negative stories about Hillary Clinton during the primaries.[7]

Putin also directed interference in several races for the House of Representatives, including several in Florida, an important swing state.[8]

Government officials have warned that the success of Russian interference in the 2016 US election will embolden them to continue interfering, both here and abroad.[9][10][11]

Why Russia Influenced the 2016 US Elections[edit]

Russia’s campaign to influence the 2016 election was conducted in order to:[12][13][14]:

  • Damage Hillary Clinton's campaign and assist Donald Trump's candidacy.
ClintonCampaign.jpg
  • Assist candidates whom Putin thought would be favorable to his agenda.
  • Damage candidates whom Putin thought would challenge his agenda.
  • Undermine faith in the US democratic process, both in the US and abroad.
  • Drive a wedge between the US's Intelligence Community and elected officials.
  • Undermine the US's position as the leader of western democracies.
  • Decrease the US's commitment to NATO.

How Russia Attempted to Influence the 2016 US Election[edit]

Vladimir Putin ordered a wide-ranging and large-scale attack against the US election process. He conducted a version of New Generation Warfare, which was popular during the Soviet era. During the time of the Soviet Union, this type of warfare was used to influence the course of events around the world without the use of active military measures. At that time, it included installing puppet regimes, blackmail, threats and intimidation, and assassination.[15][16] Today, this type of warfare includes both covert and overt techniques to promote the Putin regime's agenda.[17][18]

Putin used the following tactics in the US:[19][20]:

  • Cyber-crime
  • Weaponizing information
  • Propaganda
  • Kompromat (collecting or creating compromising information)

Putin may have used the following tactics in the US:

  • Corruption

Cyber-Crime[edit]

Vladimir Putin’s security services have several teams of hackers, some of which are known as CYBER BEARS.[21]Two of these teams gained access to Republican and Democratic officials, private US citizens, think tanks, and political campaigns.[22][23]They stole thousands of documents, emails, notes, and even voicemail messages.[24]

Russian hackers targeted the voter registration databases of at least 24 states in the months before the election. At least four states' systems, which were vulnerable via their Internet connection, were successfully breached. (Most voting systems are not connected to the Internet.[25])The states hacked by Russia include Florida, Illinois, and Arizona.[26]This data may also have been used to shape social media attacks in key swing states including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.[27]

Weaponized Information[edit]

While information theft is common among most nations, Russian agents weaponized information in 2016, which is unusual.[28]Using the persona of Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.com, agents released information publicly. They also used Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks, where the stolen information was released. Russian agents also released information directly to the media via their own RT and Sputnik newspapers and to members of the mainstream media.[29]

Assange-1.jpg

You can learn more by at the Wikileaks Role in Election Interference page.

Propaganda and Putin’s Media Campaign[edit]

At least as early as 2014, Putin’s agents were trying to shape the US media landscape through creating fake or biased news and spreading it through Russia-owned media outlets like RT and Sputnik. They then expanded the audience for this propaganda by promoting it over social media, especially Twitter and Facebook.[30]Putin instructed his security services to generate fake news, or propaganda, that could damage Hillary Clinton.[31][32]

Eventually this fake news appeared on media outlets, some of which are now under investigation by the FBI for their role in spreading Russian propaganda:[33][34][35][36][37]

  • RT, a Russian- and English-language news network
  • Sputnik News
  • Breitbart News, which was controlled by Steve Bannon, who is now in the White House.
  • Infowars, an online program hosted by Alex Jones

These stories were amplified by internet trolls, people who create fake social media accounts and post and repost links to fake news stories. In St. Petersburg, Russia, just one “troll factory” alone employs about 1,000 such people, who are paid by the Russian government.[38][39][40][41][42]

Trollfactory.png

Kompromat/Compromising Information[edit]

Corruption[edit]

According to the authors of the report The Kremlin Playbook, corruption is the use of power, position, or resources to influence business, individuals, or government through non-transparent and questionable means, not necessarily illegal.[43]While there is now no clear evidence that Trump and the Trump Organization have done anything illegal related to Russia, inquiries are now being made into their financial connections with Russia.[44]. Trump has refused to release his tax returns, so it is difficult to detail his financial ties, including with Russia.[45].

See Financial Connections Between Trump Organization and Russia to learn more.

Communications and Possible Collusion between Trump and Putin[edit]

FBI Director James Comey stated that the FBI is investigating the Russian government's interference into the US presidential election, including direct communication between Trump's campaign and the Russian government:[46]

 "I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed."

Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, stated that there is significant evidence of these links:[47]

 “I can tell you that the case is more than that. And I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now. … I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial, and is very much worthy of investigation.”

The connections between Donald Trump, his businesses, his campaign, and Russian businesses and financiers and agents of the Russian government are complex. The following infographics are a helpful guide.

RussiaConnection.jpg

More details about individuals' ties to Russia:

Trump and his associates have repeatedly said that they did not have any contact with Russian officials before the election.[48]Now that campaign members are publicly admitting to having had meetings with Russian officials, Trump and his associates are denying that there was anything inappropriate about the meetings.[49]

For more information, please visit Timeline of Communication between Trump and Russia.