New Guccifer 2.0 dump highlights ‘wobbly Dems’ on Iran deal

Guccifer 2.0, the hacker behind the recent Democratic National Committee breach, has shared a new batch of documents from the DNC servers with The Hill. 

The enigmatic hacker has already publicly released opposition research on Donald Trump, a counter strategy for the Republican convention and the personal information of 20,000 donors. This is the second cache of documents sent exclusively to The Hill. 

{mosads}The new files cover political strategies, the upcoming Democratic National Convention and fundraising. 

One, titled “March 26, 2015 — Plans for Recess” appears to be notes from a call with the political consultancy Democracy Partners. It covers political tactics for that year’s April Congressional recesses that would start the next day. 

The call centers around five issues — the budget, immigration, gun violence, partisan stalling of the attorney general nomination and the Iran nuclear framework, which would be announced a week later.

Notes on the Iran deal describe the then upcoming announcement as a “good deal to protect national security” but notes that “wobbly [D]emocrats want to scratch this thing.” 

“Wobbly Dems — booker, Casey, warner, peters, man chin and gillibrand — cold run up the score on Menendez bill and could torpedo this,” the notes read, likely referring to Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Mark Warner (Va.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kristen Gillibrand (N.Y.) and a pending sanctions bill co-written by Bob Menendez (N.J.). 

Notes on immigration point out that no one would “mov[e] anything in this Congress” and mention an upcoming report that this was “the most anti-immigrant congress.” The immigration section also includes the lines “People are confused back home” followed by “Chicago Mayor’s race is taking a lot of our efforts right now,” suggesting that Democracy Strategies Chicago office was included on the call. 

Other notes push pro forma strategies hitting Republicans on a budget that “gut[ted] Medicaid,” gun control and the stalled confirmation of the attorney general despite then-Attorney General Eric Holder’s plan to step down two weeks after the Democracy Strategies call.  

The other documents include a memo sent on March 24, 2015 — weeks before presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had announced her candidacy — to political operatives on how to legally solicit money for pro-Clinton super-PACs. The memo was sent to political consultant John Podesta, now Clinton’s campaign chairman; Clinton fundraising guru Dennis Cheng; and campaign manager Robby Mook. 

In a footnote, the memo mentions, “Nothing in this memo suggests that Secretary Clinton has made a decision whether to run.”

The new cache of files leaked by Guccifer 2.0 also contains a folder of files with publicly available information correlating the banks that received bailout funds with Republican and Democratic donations. 

Another folder is of documents related to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. One memo assesses the suitability of various Philadelphia Area Hotels for the discerning convention clientele. Some do well: “Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia … Notes: It’s a Ritz-Carlton, so pricey, super fancy, and not necessarily the most economy-oriented hotel. Still, it is a Ritz-Carlton.” Others not as much: “Holiday Inn Express … Notes: It’s a Holiday Inn Express. We are not Chingy,” a reference to the rapper Chingy’s 2003 hit single “Holidae In.”

The convention folder also includes a copy of the contract for the convention center, a general, preliminary schedule for the event from September of last year. 

The cache also contains multiple files full of donor information, including the names, phone numbers, and physical and email addresses of thousands of major donors and party volunteers, including entertainment figures, such as David Geffen, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Judd Apatow; various major business figures, such as the chief executives of Taskrabbit, 23andMe, J. Crew and Oracle; and others, including Magic Johnson, Norman Lear and Stanford’s University’s dean of public health. 

Guccifer 2.0 is still largely a mysterious figure. He has claimed to be an apolitical Romanian. But there is an ever-growing list of reasons to believe none of that is true. He might not even be a single person. 

Interviewers who have tested Guccifer 2.0’s knowledge of his supposed home language have suggested that he doesn’t actually know Romanian. The security experts called in to investigate the attack said it bared the tell-tale signs of two known Russian intelligence hacking teams. And Guccifer 2.0’s choices of documents to leak show a detailed knowledge of recent American politics down to lesser-known scandals in a way uncommon for Americans, let alone a European. 

One theory is that Russian President Vladimir Putin is attempting to influence American politics by embarrassing the DNC and tipping off the Republican National Committee of strategy-related documents. Another, floated by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, is that the hack was actually a “false flag” operation performed by the DNC to generate negative publicity for his campaign.

The name Guccifer 2.0 is an homage to Marcel Lazăr Lehel, a hacker who went by Guccifer. Lehel hacked a series of political aides to Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, Clinton confidants and a few celebrities. He was later caught and is currently in prison. 

Guccifer 2.0 is not known for any hacks other than of the DNC.  

The DNC declined to issue a new comment but reiterated a prior statement from a senior official. 

“Our experts are confident in their assessment that the Russian government hackers were the actors responsible for the breach detected in April,” that statement read, “and we believe that the subsequent release and the claims around it may be a part of a disinformation campaign by the Russians. We’ve deployed the recommended.”

Tags Bob Casey Bob Menendez Democratic National Committee Donald Trump Eric Holder Guccifer 2.0 Hillary Clinton Iran nuclear deal Joe Manchin Mark Warner
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