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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

The House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Justice Department are now investigating whether the Trump campaign assisted Russia in targeting voters and spreading fake news about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.

According to McClatchy, investigators are specifically evaluating if the digital operation headed by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner directed Russian cyber operatives to particular voting jurisdictions in key states where support for Clinton was waning. Investigators are also probing whether the Trump campaign helped Russia release thousands of emails from Democratic leaders through Wikileaks.

A Russian cyberattack during the campaign of “unprecedented scale and sophistication” spread fake news about Clinton to the Twitter and Facebook accounts of millions of voters. The operation used computer commands called bots to expand the reach of negative and fake news about Clinton, including a fabricated piece claiming the Democratic nominee ran a pedophile ring at a Washington pizzeria.

Russian bots were at work during the primaries as well. According to FBI special agent Clint Watts, human “trolls” were employed to post positive comments about Trump in news stories and on social media.

California representative Adam Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee told McClatchy he wants to know if the Trump campaign helped Russia “time its cyberattacks or target certain voters, and whether there was any exchange of information, any financial support funneled to organizations that were doing this kind of work.”

Kushner, who is now a senior adviser to the president, is currently the only White House aide deemed a person of interest in the Justice Department’s investigation. He is also under scrutiny for his real estate dealings, as well as his meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and the head of a sanctioned, Russian state-controlled bank in December.

This latest development comes on the heels of a New York Times report that Donald Trump Jr. received emails about the Russian government’s efforts to aid the Trump campaign. The emails led to a meeting attended by Trump Jr., Kushner, Paul Manafort and a lawyer for the Russian government, who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton. The Times investigation was corroborated by screenshots of the emails voluntarily published by Trump Jr. on his Twitter account Thursday.

According to Time, congressional investigators are also exploring whether Russian spies who penetrated voter registration systems in several states shared any of the collected data with the Trump campaign last year. Several of the targeted states, such as Wisconsin and Michigan, helped him win the election.

Kushner has publicly volunteered to disclose to Congress information about his Russia contacts and answer any questions pertaining to their investigation.

Celisa Calacal is a junior writing fellow for AlterNet. She is a senior journalism major and legal studies minor at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. Previously she worked at ThinkProgress and served as an editor for Ithaca College’s student newspaper. Follow her at @celisa_mia.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

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5 responses to “Jared Kushner Under Investigation For Helping Coordinate Russian Cyberattacks: Bombshell Report”

  1. FireBaron says:

    So, Teflon Donnie’s golden boy may be headed for a fall.

  2. I of John says:

    It is getting pretty rotten here and we have just begun.

  3. Putin mistakenly thinks he’s immune to blow-back for his nefarious efforts; Jared and the Trump boys think they were being cute back then, and think they’re in the clear; and of course, Donald thinks he’s untouchable, can lie non-stop without fear of retribution of some kind or another, and he thinks he can even take on God by trampling over all norms of decency and proper behavior without penalty.

    The scene is being set for a grand tragedy to befall the protagonists in this sordid and depraved act being played out these past few years. While in the background, the GOP is involved in its own Shakespearean as it tries to destroy itself by forcing a dreadful “DeathCare” plan on the public.

    Neither Donald and his clan, the GOP and other partisans, extremists media, and the lies flying around, are aware of the hidden yet manifest forces at play, and the past 8 years have demonstrated clearly the darkness enveloping the planet. This ongoing debate about Russian interference is just a small sample of a bigger tragedy building up.

  4. Although the statement “The Promise of World Peace” was written and addressed to the leaders and peoples of the world in 1985, its import seems even more pressing given the current state. For that reason, I thought it might be helpful to think about how all this Trump mess fits in the larger scheme of things, by looking at a few excerpts from that letter of 1985 delivered at the General Assembly at the UN:

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    “The winds of despair”, Bahá’u’lláh wrote, “are, alas, blowing from every direction, and the strife that divides and afflicts the human race is daily increasing. The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appears to be lamentably defective.” This prophetic judgement has been amply confirmed by the common experience of humanity. Flaws in the prevailing order are conspicuous in the inability of sovereign states organized as United Nations to exorcize the spectre of war, the threatened collapse of the international economic order, the spread of anarchy and terrorism, and the intense suffering which these and other afflictions are causing to increasing millions. Indeed, so much have aggression and conflict come to characterize our social, economic and religious systems, that many have succumbed to the view that such behaviour is intrinsic to human nature and therefore ineradicable.

    With the entrenchment of this view, a paralyzing contradiction has developed in human affairs. On the one hand, people of all nations proclaim not only their readiness but their longing for peace and harmony, for an end to the harrowing apprehensions tormenting their daily lives. On the other, uncritical assent is given to the proposition that human beings are incorrigibly selfish and aggressive and thus incapable of erecting a social system at once progressive and peaceful, dynamic and harmonious, a system giving free play to individual creativity and initiative but based on co-operation and reciprocity.

    As the need for peace becomes more urgent, this fundamental contradiction, which hinders its realization, demands a reassessment of the assumptions upon which the commonly held view of mankind’s historical predicament is based. Dispassionately examined, the evidence reveals that such conduct, far from expressing man’s true self, represents a distortion of the human spirit. Satisfaction on this point will enable all people to set in motion constructive social forces which, because they are consistent with human nature, will encourage harmony and co-operation instead of war and conflict.

    To choose such a course is not to deny humanity’s past but to understand it. The Bahá’í Faith regards the current world confusion and calamitous condition in human affairs as a natural phase in an organic process leading ultimately and irresistibly to the unification of the human race in a single social order whose boundaries are those of the planet. The human race, as a distinct, organic unit, has passed through evolutionary stages analogous to the stages of infancy and childhood in the lives of its individual members, and is now in the culminating period of its turbulent adolescence approaching its long-awaited coming of age.

    A candid acknowledgement that prejudice, war and exploitation have been the expression of immature stages in a vast historical process and that the human race is today experiencing the unavoidable tumult which marks its collective coming of age is not a reason for despair but a prerequisite to undertaking the stupendous enterprise of building a peaceful world. That such an enterprise is possible, that the necessary constructive forces do exist, that unifying social structures can be erected, is the theme we urge you to examine. …”

    http://www.bahai.org/documents/the-universal-house-of-justice/promise-world-peace

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