Reality Winner, The Intercept, and Comey Testimony
On June 8, 2017, James Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee the following.
A transcript of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8.
Full text: James Comey testimony transcript on Trump and Russia
By POLITICO STAFF 06/08/2017
… BURR: Do you have any doubt the Russian government was behind the cyber intrusion in the state voter files?
Five days earlier, reality Winner was arrested.
… Winner was arrested on June 3, 2017. The U.S. Department of Justice announced her arrest on June 5, shortly after The Intercept published an article describing Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election by hacking a U.S. voting software supplier and sending spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before the November 8 election. The Intercept's story was based on a top-secret May 5, 2017, National Security Agency (NSA) document leaked to them anonymously...
Three days before Comey's testimony, The Intercept published the following:
TOP-SECRET NSA REPORT DETAILS RUSSIAN HACKING EFFORT DAYS BEFORE 2016 ELECTION
Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle, Ryan Grim
June 5 2017
RUSSIAN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.
The top-secret National Security Agency document, which was provided anonymously to The Intercept and independently authenticated, analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light.
While the document provides a rare window into the NSA’s understanding of the mechanics of Russian hacking, it does not show the underlying “raw” intelligence on which the analysis is based. A U.S. intelligence officer who declined to be identified cautioned against drawing too big a conclusion from the document because a single analysis is not necessarily definitive…
This week, today having been a year since their publishing of the NSA analysis, The Intercept has published two articles soliciting compassion for Reality Winner as a whistleblower,
The comments to both articles are rich with meaningful debate. I recommend all of it, if only for the strength it takes to maintain focus on what's backed up by evidence and what's hot air from the deep recesses of our clandestine blow hard machine.
But I want to state here that whatever the reality, whether Reality Winner was a dupe or perp, and whether The Intercept was a dupe or a perp, the leaking and publishing of this so-called document is the basis for Comey's testimony above.