Friday, March 31, 2017


Woman's March, San Francisco, 1/21/17

Excerpt from the opening remarks of Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), ranking member of U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, on the first day of hearings into the subversion of the 2016 election:

As this hearing begins, let’s take a minute to review what we know: Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a deliberate campaign carefully constructed to undermine our election. First, Russia struck at our political institutions by electronically breaking into the headquarters of one of our political parties and stealing vast amounts of information. Russian operatives also hacked emails to steal personal messages and other information from individuals ranging from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta to former Secretary of State Colin Powell. This stolen information was then "weaponized." We know that Russian intelligence used the “Guccifer 2.0” persona and others like WikiLeaks and seemingly choreographed times that would cause maximum damage to one candidate. They did this with an unprecedented level of sophistication about American presidential politics that should be a line of inquiry for us on this committee and candidly, while it helped one candidate this time, they are not favoring one party over another, and consequently should be a concern for all of us. Second, Russia continually sought to diminish and undermine our trust in the American media by blurring our faith in what is true and what is not. Russian propaganda outlets like RT and Sputnik successfully produced and peddled disinformation to American audiences in pursuit of Moscow’s preferred outcome. This Russian "propaganda on steroids" was designed to poison the national conversation in America. The Russians employed thousands of paid Internet trolls and bot-nets to push-out disinformation and fake news at high volume, focusing this material onto your Twitter and Facebook feeds and flooding our social media with misinformation. This fake news and disinformation was then hyped by the American media echo chamber and our own social media networks to reach – and potentially influence – millions of Americans. This is not innuendo or false allegations. This is not fake news. This is actually what happened to us, and understanding all aspects of this attack is important. -- , Watch the Top Democrat on the Senate Intel Committee Explain the Trump-Russia Scandal, Mother Jones, 3-31-17

From Laurence Tribe (Harvard University), one of our preeminent constitutional law scholars, on the day after the first U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the subversion of the 2016 election: