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Democrats prod Republicans to run fair probe of Russian hacking

Russian-sponsored efforts to hack into systems to sway the U.S. election included relentless “phishing” attacks and hundreds of shady emails, but the key that unlocked the proverbial gates to tens of thousands of emails from top Hillary Clinton staffers was simply an innocuous typo written by a campaign aide, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

In a wide-ranging analysis of how the hacking scandal — which may have helped turn the race for Donald Trump and which is now the subject of intelligence agency investigations — unfolded, The Times traced one of the Russians’ most successful penetrations of Clinton’s orbit to an email written from Charles Delavan, an aide to the Democratic nominee.

In March 2016, Delavan flagged what clearly appeared to be a phishing-scam for other Clinton aides, including John Podesta, directing them to change their passwords, but his warning included a typo that may have altered the course of history.

“This is a legitimate email. John needs to change his password immediately, and ensure that two-factor authentication is turned on his account,” he wrote in an email, obtained by The Times, to other aides for Podesta and Clinton after identifying a clear phishing attempt.

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PHOTO TAKEN FEB. 27, 2015

In a written statement, No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer (pictured) of Maryland and the top Democrats on six House committees said they wanted a congressional probe of Moscow’s interference.

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Delavan, however, had meant to type “illegitimate,” he told The Times.

But it was too late.

The Russians subsequently gained access to tens of thousands of Podesta’s emails, leaked them to WikiLeaks, and watched chaos ensue as American voters gobbled up stories about the email’s juicy revelations.

The latest revelations of the hacking saga came a week after the CIA itself reportedly concluded that Russia definitely hacked various systems in the U.S. in an attempt to meddle in the election in Trump’s favor.

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As a result, Congressional Democrats have pushed their Republican counterparts to conduct their own investigations into the intelligence community’s assertions.

In a written statement Tuesday, No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer of Maryland and the top Democrats on six House committees said they wanted a congressional probe of Moscow’s interference “that is truly bipartisan, that is comprehensive, that will not be restricted by jurisdictional lines.”

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Trump (pictured) on Sunday called the CIA’s contention “ridiculous” and blamed the disclosures of the agency’s assessment on Democrats who he said were embarrassed over losing last month’s election.

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Monday that they, too, backed investigations by each chamber’s intelligence committee into the CIA’s finding that Russia interfered with the election.

McConnell, however, declined to say whether he agreed with the CIA assertion that Russian hacking and public release of Democrats’ emails during the presidential campaign were designed to aid Trump.

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But in a noteworthy departure from Trump’s rejection of that conclusion, McConnell said the Senate Intelligence Committee would study the issue.

The remarks by McConnell and Ryan contrasted with Trump’s oft-repeated praise of Putin (c.) and the president-elect’s scoffing at the CIA’s findings.

The remarks by McConnell and Ryan contrasted with Trump’s oft-repeated praise of Putin (c.) and the president-elect’s scoffing at the CIA’s findings.

(NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump on Sunday called the CIA’s contention “ridiculous” and blamed the disclosures of the agency’s assessment on Democrats who he said were embarrassed over losing last month’s election.

With News Wire Services 

Tags:
russia
hackers
donald trump
donald trump transition
mitch mcconnell
paul ryan
vladimir putin

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