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Russian Conspiracy Theory Thrown Out To Distract From DNC Email Leak

As the Democratic Party gathers in Philadelphia to officially nominate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as the party’s nominee for president, Wikileaks released nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails, which show the DNC consistently worked behind the scenes to sabotage the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders.

The emails are so embarrassing and incendiary that DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation as chair to prevent the Democratic convention from being even more contentious. Today, according to the Associated Press, Schultz was heckled at a party breakfast with delegates from Florida, her home state. It got so bad Schultz ultimately had to be escorted out with her security.

While the damage is still being done from the substance of the emails, with reporters following the money trail and the ethics of journalists kowtowing to DNC demands, the party and its supporters have struck back in a novel way.

Rather than simply try to play down the content of the emails and re-litigate the language (aka spinning), they are trying to claim the Russian government is behind the entire affair and is doing so on behalf of the Trump campaign.

Partisan pundit Josh Marshall laid out what was supposed to look like a restrained and sober analysis of Russian involvement, only to be comprehensively refuted again and again.

The ruse didn’t work, and Marshall gave up the stoic pretense and began yelling at people on social media, calling anyone who did not see the conspiracy an “idiot.”

Partisan maneuvering aside, there has been some technical analysis that points to Russians being part of the intrusion into DNC, but it is exceedingly circumstantial. The most vocal “expert” claiming the hack was the work of sophisticated Russian intelligence services is the very firm that failed to protect DNC computers: CrowdStrike. CrowdStrike is also associated with the Atlantic Council, an organization that sees Russia as an enemy.

CrowdStrike has held fast to this claim even after a self-proclaimed independent hacker, “Guccifer 2.0,” took responsibility and said he/she had no Russian intelligence affiliations. CrowdStrike responded by suggesting Guccifer 2.0 was part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Regardless of who hacked the DNC and what their motives were, the DNC emails make it clear there was a concerted effort to sabotage the Sanders campaign and that, in the collective mind of the DNC, there was never a doubt Clinton would be the nominee.

As early as April, the DNC was drafting “end of primary” messages to congratulate Hillary Clinton. In one email, DNC Chair Schultz said explicitly Sanders won’t president. Another email shows DNC Deputy Communications Director Mark Paustenbach asking, “Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess.”

While many have said they already believed the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz were out to get Senator Sanders from the beginning of the primaries, seeing documentary evidence of the plot takes it to another level. Will those people vote for Clinton if they believe the process that brought her the nomination was corrupted?

Protesters at the DNC March For Bernie. Photo by Rania Khalek.
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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.