Was the Pentagon’s research agency implicated in false allegations that Russians working for Donald Trump hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s email server in 2016?
That’s the question two Republican senators are demanding answers to after unearthing a new email showing links between the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and computer scientists investigating who was behind the cyberattack that rocked the presidential campaign.
The latest call for an investigation comes months after special counsel John Durham concluded there was no evidence Trump conspired with Moscow to help him defeat Hillary Clinton in a damning report.
Since then, the hunt for those responsible for spreading fabricated stories about Trump’s connection to the Kremlin to politicians and the press has intensified.
The hack led to a leak of damning emails for Clinton and the DNC, and some say it contributed to her loss to Trump.
The Moscow-linked hackers were initially believed to be the perpetrators, but Durham’s report sparked allegations that DARPA was behind the false account.
Two Republican senators demand answers from the Pentagon’s research arm over their investigative work into the 2016 Democratic National Committee email server hack
The claims stemmed from DARPA’s highly contested work with its research partner Georgia Institute of Technology and one of their computer scientists, Dr. Manos Antonakakis.
An email obtained by Durham revealed that Antonakakis, who was investigating DNC and Republican National Committee (RNC) databases, said “the only thing that motivates us is that we don’t like everything just not (Trump)”.
DARPA has continually denied being behind the allegations that Russia was involved in the hack.
But Republicans say a new email raises new questions about their claim and the origins of the now refuted claims.
Senators Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa said the new evidence proves that DARPA approved a project related to the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
DailyMail.com has exclusively obtained a letter they wrote this week to Dr. Stefanie Tompkins, Director of DARPA, demanding answers about the agency’s work with the Georgia Institute of Technology on the Enhanced Attribution (EA) program. related to the 2016 hack of DNC communications. .
The EA program probes for malicious cyberattacks.
Antonakakis’ email reads: “Friends, last night as I was thinking about what we could investigate I also realized that we don’t know much about the RNC and DNC networks. I wrote a job that runs (sic) overnight and I know (sic) that there are 292 networks *checked by hand* at this point that are related to RNC, DNC and all networks of local/state committees in the United States.
“An adversary would find these networks interesting for a number of reasons.
“So I think we should run a reverse Pythia and see what we can see. If you approve of this, (DARPA employee), I would like you to think about how we will break bad news to these people? If you can’t think of a clear, clean way to let them know (is that the role of DHS or FBI or USCC?), maybe we should let them stay infected.
If you approve of this, (DARPA employee), I would like you to think about how we will break bad news to these people? If you can’t think of a clear, clean way to let them know (is that the role of DHS or FBI or USCC?), maybe we should let them stay infected. Thank you Manos
DailyMail.com has exclusively obtained a letter they wrote this week to Dr. Stefanie Tompkins, Director of DARPA, demanding answers about the agency’s work with the Georgia Institute of Technology on the Enhanced Attribution (EA) program. related to the 2016 hack of DNC communications.
DARPA’s response was, “Sensitive stuff but yeah, I know who to talk to if we find anything.” Worth doing.’
Antonakis replied: ‘OK, then. I’ll work with those networks and see what I can find.’\
Democratic cybersecurity attorney Michael Sussman was indicted last year for allegedly concealing his clients, including 2015 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, when he pushed since-disproved allegations of a Trump Organization connection to the FBI. and the Russian bank Alfa.
In April 2018, the DNC filed a lawsuit accusing the Russian government, the Trump campaign, and Wikileaks of alleging that they colluded to influence the 2016 election with the hack.
It is not yet clear what is the source of the allegations regarding the allegation that the Trump team and Russia coordinated the DNC hack.
The latest development comes months after special counsel John Durham concluded there was no evidence Trump conspired with Moscow to help him defeat Hillary Clinton in a damning report.
The senators requested information on whether Antonakis had conducted work related to the DNC and RNC networks on behalf of DARPA and, if so, whether they had informed the committees that they were snooping on their networks.
They also requested all records of all work done by DARPA and Georgia Tech officials regarding the RNC or DNC.
In May of this year, Durham referred two cases to the Department of Defense Inspector General and the Defense Intelligence Agency, including “(a) matter involving the performance of a contract between DARPA and the Georgia Institute of Technology…” and a “separate case involving the 2016 improper conduct of two former Department of Defense employees.”
DARPA has denied any role in attributing the 2016 DNC hack to Russia after an email showed Special Counsel John Durham’s team asked Antonakis if DARPA played a role in the attribution of piracy.
Antonakis expressed dismay that the Durham team questioned whether DARPA should delve into the origins of a political entity hacker.
The emails first published by The Federalist said, “During one of my interviews with the special counsel attorney, Mr. DeFilippis asked me point-blank, ‘Do you believe DARPA should asking you to investigate the origins of a hacker (Guccifer 2.0) who hacked into a political entity (DNC)?’ Let this sync (sic) for a while, folks,’ Antonakakis wrote last summer. “Someone hacked into a political party (DNC, in this case), in the middle of an election year (2016), and the DOJ’s (sic) special counsel lead investigator would wonder if US researchers working for the DARPA should conduct investigations into this matter is acceptable’!’
Antonakakis added: “While I was tempted to answer him: ‘What if this hacker had hacked GOP? Would you like me to investigate him then?’ I kept my composure and told him that was a question for the Director of DARPA, not for me to answer.’
This email was sent to other Georgia Tech officials.
A DARPA spokesperson told the Washington Examiner last year “to our knowledge, no DARPA-funded researcher has investigated” the 2016 DNC hack, and the agency has not assisted investigations. FBI or Robert Mueller.
In 2016, the DNC’s computer network was hacked – a job that was attributed to the Russians by US intelligence officials. In December 2016, the CIA concluded that the hack was carried out to gather data on Democrats and help Donald Trump’s campaign. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied his country was behind the attack.
US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian agents with government ties provided stolen emails to Wikileaks.
Antonakis has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime.