FBI to investigate DNC email hacking as protesters descend upon Philadelphia
By Evan Lips | July 25, 2016, 13:15 EST
WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced Monday it is launching an investigation into the apparent hacking of a trove of Democratic National Committee emails, a string of which have indicated that party bosses worked behind the scenes to tip the nomination in the direction of Hillary Clinton over rival Bernie Sanders.
“The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter,” the statement read. “A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace.”
The announcement comes weeks after FBI Director James Comey announced the agency would not calling for charges to be filed against Clinton following a lengthy investigation into her use of an unsecured, private email server while carrying out her duties as Secretary of State.
The hacked emails have resulted in the resignation of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz the day before the party kicked off its convention in Philadelphia, the theme of which was supposed to focus on unity.
Wasserman Schultz’s resignation is not official until after the conclusion of this week’s convention. When addressing California delegates at a Monday breakfast, the Florida lawmaker was subjected to chants of “Bernie!” and was subsequently booed off stage:
— Kendrick Sampson (@kendrick38) July 25, 2016
Another speaker tried to plead with the angry delegates, asking the crowd, “are we a Democratic family here?,” with a large portion of those attending responding with shouts of “No!”
— Sarah Collins (@sarahdoreenc) July 25, 2016
Wasserman Schultz later told the Florida Sun Sentinel she has elected not to gavel-in the DNC proceedings.
“I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention,” she told the newspaper.
Clinton’s camp has responded by questioning whether Russia may be behind the hacking and insinuating that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s apparent fondness for Russian President Vladimir Putin may have played a role.
“What’s disturbing to us is that experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails and other experts are now saying that Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” Clinton campaign chairman Robby Mook told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.
Michael Caputo, a former adviser to Trump, is also blaming the Russians:
— Michael Caputo (@MichaelRCaputo) July 25, 2016
Meanwhile, an anonymous hacker who goes by the handle Guccifer 2.0 is claiming credit for the hacks — a claim that Clinton’s camp has discredited. The emails were first released by the cyber group WikiLeaks:
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 23, 2016
WikiLeaks is denying Russian involvement:
Clinton campaign pushing lame conspiracy smear that we are Russian agents. Last time we were Mossad. Get it right. https://t.co/WrTt175zfe
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 24, 2016
Meanwhile, Sanders supporters appear to be taking cues from those who chanted “lock her up” regarding Clinton at last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland:
— Jim Dalrymple II (@JimDalrympleII) July 25, 2016
As of Monday afternoon, protesters continued to hold marches under sweltering conditions. The official Twitter account for the Philadelphia Police Department is advising those electing to participate in protest activities to be cautious:
— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) July 25, 2016