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FBI Investigating DNC Email Leak

| by Sarah Zimmerman
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of FloridaDemocratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into a recent hacking of the Democratic National Committee. More than 20,000 emails were released from the DNC and some U.S. officials, including presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, believe Russia is behind the attack. 

On July 22, the anonymous organization WikiLeaks released 20,000 emails and 8,000 file attachments from within the DNC. This is the first of a series of what the group called "Hillary Leaks," according to The Washington Post. 

The emails span from 2015 to late May and show that the DNC was favorable to Hillary Clinton winning the nomination. Under mounting pressure, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced she is stepping down from her position at the end of the convention

"The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter," said the organization in a statement, reports Politico. "A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace."

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Many believe Russia played a key role in this incident and researchers confirmed that two groups associated with the Russian government had breached party internet servers, reports The Washington Post.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told CNN the attack came after "changes to the Republican platform to make it more pro-Russian."

"I don't think it's coincidental that these emails were released on the eve of our convention here, and I think that's disturbing," he said.

Republican nominee Donald Trump rejected the idea that Russian President Vladimir Putin was involved in the hack to help his campaign.

"The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me," Trump tweeted.

Russian spy agencies have in the past released embarrassing information to influence political events in other countries, CNN reports. But, Russian officials have denied all involvement, saying the hack probably occurred to due the DNC's own incompetence.

"Usually these kinds of leaks take place not because hackers broke in, but, as any professional will tell you, because someone simply forgot the password or set the simple password 123456," said German Klimenko, Putin's top internet adviser, according to The Washington Post. "Well, it's always simpler to explain this away as the intrigues of enemies, rather than one's own incompetence."

CNN reports that officials expect more confidential and private data from the DNC to be leaked in the near future, as hackers were in the system for about a year.

Sources: Politico, The Washington Post (2), CNN (2) / Photo credit: Flickr

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