Guccifer 2.0, the hacker who breached the Democratic National Committee, has released a cache of purported DNC documents to The Hill in an effort to refocus attention on the hack.
The documents include more than 11,000 names matched with some identifying information, files related to two controversial donors and a research file on Sarah Palin.
“The press [is] gradually forget[ing] about me, [W]ikileaks is playing for time and [I] have some more docs,” he said in electronic chat explaining his rationale.
The documents provide some insight into how the DNC handled high-profile donation scandals. But the choice of documents revealed to The Hill also provides insight into the enigmatic Guccifer 2.0.
The hacker provided a series of spreadsheets related to Norman Hsu, a Democratic donor jailed in 2009 for running a Ponzi scheme and arranging illegal campaign contributions. The DNC responded by assembling files to gauge the exposure from Hsu to its slate of candidates.
Similar files on Paul J. Magliocchetti, a lobbyist closely associated with the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), provide a quick reference document outlining Magliocchetti’s donations to Republicans. Magliocchetti pleaded guilty in 2010 to involvement in a pay-for-play campaign finance scheme.
Guccifer 2.0 has claimed to be a Romanian hacker with no strong political leanings. Guccifer 2.0’s choice to release documents from Magliocchetti and Hsu, whose cases are now six and seven years old, shows a detailed knowledge of American politics seemingly at odds with the backstory provided by the hacker.
Experts have questioned whether Guccifer 2.0 is Romanian or even a single person. Tools used in the attack were matched to Russian intelligence agencies and, when tested, Guccifer 2.0 has struggled to speak in Romanian.
A popular theory explaining the attack is that the DNC hack is a Russian attempt to embarrass the DNC and influence the election. Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE has speculated that the hack was actually a false flag operation performed by the DNC to cast aspersions on his campaign.
Guccifer 2.0 was an unknown quantity until after the DNC announced it had been breached. He has since leaked a variety of documents, including counter-Trump strategies and donor databases.
The Guccifer 2.0 name, the hacker has said, is an homage to Marcel Lazăr Lehel, who called himself Guccifer. Lehel broke into the email accounts of former President George W. Bush’s aides and family, Clinton family confidant Sidney Blumenthal and "Sex in the City" author Candace Bushnell. Lehel, now imprisoned, recently claimed he had also hacked Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future MORE’s private email server. FBI Director James Comey later testified before Congress that Lehel later admitted he lied when he said he hacked the former secretary of State's server.
The files provided by Guccifer 2.0 to The Hill includes a folder with a list of objectionable quotes from Palin and an archive of the former Alaska governor’s Twitter account assembled in 2011 — before Palin decided against running for president.
Other documents contain internal fundraising goals for different donors and bundlers in 2005 and a 10,000-name email database that, based on the prevalence of Hotmail accounts and lack of Gmail references, appears to be from around the same time. Separate files contain as many as 1,500 names pared with contact information from 2005 and 2006 fundraising events.
“Our experts are confident in their assessment that the Russian government hackers were the actors responsible for the breach detected in April, and we believe that the subsequent release and the claims around it may be a part of a disinformation campaign by the Russians,” a senior DNC official said in a written statement.