President Barack Obama approved a statement by the U.S. intelligence community in October 2016 accusing Russia of stealing emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), despite the U.S. government not having obtained the DNC server images crucial to ascertaining whether Moscow was involved in the theft.
The DHS, ODNI, and the office of Barack Obama didn't respond to requests for comment.
The Oct. 7, 2016, statement said that the U.S. intelligence community, which is composed of more than a dozen agencies including the FBI, was “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 emails 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,” the statement said.
The lack of server images at the time the statement was released highlights the question of what the intelligence community used to establish Russia’s involvement.
On Aug. 31, 2016, CrowdStrike provided a report on the DNC hack to the FBI. The FBI special agent who reviewed the report called it “heavily redacted,” according to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the Russia investigation. FBI Assistant Director James Trainor was so frustrated with the redactions that “he doubted its completeness because he knew that outside counsel had reviewed it.”
The FBI never received the unredacted reports, according to a government court filing in the case against Roger Stone. According to the filing, lawyers for the DNC told prosecutors that “no redacted information” in the CrowdStrike reports “concerned the attribution of the attack to Russian actors.”
“There is no indication of any subsequent breaches taking place on the DNC’s corporate network or any machines protected by CrowdStrike Falcon,” the company told The Epoch Times in August 2020.
CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry, who was in charge of the firm’s work on the DNC intrusion, has told congressional investigators that his company didn't have concrete evidence that emails had been stolen from the DNC.
“We have indicators that data was exfiltrated. We did not have concrete evidence that data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated,” Henry told lawmakers on Dec. 5, 2017.
The alleged hacking of the DNC along with the subsequent release of the committee’s emails was the nexus of allegations of collusion with Russia that plagued the administration of President Donald Trump.