The United States intelligence community has no evidence that the Russian government interfered with voting machines used in the 2016 election, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch contended Thursday.
Speaking in Washington D.C. at a Politico event, Lynch explained that the United States intelligence community had been investigating who was responsible for hacking for months. While government agencies were apprehensive about publicly disclosing their findings, they ultimately concluded Russia was responsible for infiltrating both the Democratic National Committee and the email account of top Clinton aides.
“This was a grave concern to us, so we began in the summer to look at what we could say publicly about this issue, and that is why you saw the intelligence community release its report in October, before the election, Letting the American people know that the intelligence community had determined that Russia was behind the hacks [of the DNC] itself,” Lynch said.
WikiLeaks published the DNC messages in July and the Podesta messages in October. The messages revealed efforts by DNC officials to rig the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders. Former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign after leaked emails evidenced her effort to undermine Sanders.
When asked about what the government is doing to maintain confidence in the election process, Lynch said maintaining fair and honest electoral system “is an ongoing process.”
“We’ve been talking about this now for some time since the summer when we began the investigation into the hacks of the DNC and the DCCC and trying to ascertain who was behind that,” she explained. “There’s a number of things we do, a lot of which we talk about publicly, a lot of which we don’t talk about publicly in terms of just investigation and the responses that we have.”
The federal government actively and thoroughly worked prior to Election Day to protect the electoral system and found no evidence of Russian interference.
“The Department of Homeland Security was involved in reaching out to every state to make sure that they had access to every resource they needed to protect the state electoral system as well,” she said. “Fortunately, we didn’t see the sort of technical interference that I know people had concerns about, also, in terms of voting machines and the like.”
While the Obama administration continues to allege Russian hackers infiltrated the Democratic National Committee and the email account of top Clinton aide John Podesta, WikiLeaks associate Craig Murray claimed Wednesday that he received leaked Clinton campaign emails from a “disgusted” Democrat whistleblower.
“Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,” Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close acquaintance of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told Daily Mail. “The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.”
The leakers were motivated by “disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders,” he said. “I don’t understand why the CIA would say the information came from Russian hackers when they must know that isn’t true. Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents WikiLeaks published did not come from that.”
President-elect Donald Trump has raised doubts about the reports claiming Russia is responsible for the email leaks, claiming it is an “excuse” by Democrats to explain Clinton’s November loss.