CrowdStrike, the outside firm relied upon by James Comey’s FBI to conclude Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee’s servers, was brought in to oversee the matter for the DNC by Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Perkins Coie was also the firm that paid Fusion GPS on behalf of Clinton’s campaign and the DNC to produce the infamous Christopher Steele dossier that reportedly served as part of the roadmap for the FBI to investigate ultimately disproven Russia collusion charges. The same dossier, which contained wild and unsubstantiated charges, was cited as purported evidence in four successful FISA court applications to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The FBI needed to rely upon CrowdStrike’s conclusions since the DNC did not allow the FBI to gain access to servers that were suspected of being hacked, instead coming to an arrangement with the federal agency in which CrowdStrike carried out forensics on the servers and shared details with the FBI.
Declassified testimony from Shawn Henry, president of CrowdStrike Services, confirms that Perkins Coie recruited CrowdStrike to handle the investigation of the DNC’s servers.
Henry also revealed that CrowdStrike’s contract on the matter was directly between his firm and Perkins Coie, which represented the DNC.
It was previously reported that Perkins Coie helped draft CrowdStrike to aid with the DNC’s allegedly hacked server. Henry’s testimony provides more specifics, including the detail about the contract being signed between CrowdStrike and Perkins Coie.
The December 5, 2017 executive session with the House Intelligence Committee was conducted at the height of Russia collusion furor — almost seven months after Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel to probe the eventually discredited Russia collusion claims.
Yet Henry’s testimony remained classified until it was released last week by Rep. Adam Schiff’s committee after public pressure from Richard Grenell, acting national intelligence director. Grenell reportedly informed Schiff the transcripts were ready to be more fully released.
Henry said he was recruited to work on the alleged DNC hack by Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussman. Henry said he knew Sussman from the period where Sussman worked at the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Henry worked at the FBI’s Cyber Division.
During his testimony, Henry conceded the FBI may have been in a better position to draw conclusions if the agency was provided direct access to the DNC servers, which the DNC reportedly refused to do.
Henry was asked whether it would have been “better” if the FBI had accessed the servers.
He carefully replied: “As an investigator, and I’ve been an investigator for almost 30 years, the more information you have access to, the better in any investigation. But it doesn’t mean that a lack of a piece of information precludes you from coming to a conclusion.”
Henry made clear there was no smoking gun evidence that Russia hacked the DNC servers but he explained the conclusion was purportedly drawn with a “high degree of confidence” based on a number of circumstantial and historic factors.
We did some forensic analysis in the environment. We deployed technology into the environment. Into the network software called Falcon that essentially looks at the processes that are running on different computers in the environment.
We also looked historically at the environment, using a different piece of software to look backwards at what was happening in the environment. And we saw activity that we believed as consistent with activity we’d seen previously and had associated with the Russian Government.
We said that we had a high degree of confidence it was the Russian Government. And our analysts that looked at it that had looked at these types of attacks before, many different types of attacks similar to this in different environments, certain tools that were used, certain methods by which they were moving in the environment, and looking at the types of data that was being targeted, that it was consistent with a nation-state adversary and associated with Russian intelligence.
Henry admitted that “there are other nation-states that collect this type of intelligence for sure.” However, he said that “what we would call the tactics and techniques were consistent with what we’d seen associated with the Russian state.”
“I think that when you’re looking at attribution, it’s — you look at an aggregate across many different attacks over a long period of time. Years in many cases, and the intelligence that you collect leads you to a certain conclusion.”
“I think that’s the case here,” he added.
In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in January 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey confirmed the FBI registered “multiple requests at different levels” to review the DNC’s hacked servers.
Ultimately, the DNC and FBI came to an agreement in which a “highly respected private company”—a reference to CrowdStrike—would carry out forensics on the servers and share any information that it discovered with the FBI, Comey testified.
A senior law enforcement official stressed the importance of the FBI gaining direct access to the servers, a request that was denied by the DNC.
“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” the official was quoted by the news media as saying.
“This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier,” the official continued.
In his extensive report, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller notes that his investigative team also did not “obtain or examine” the servers of the DNC in determining whether those servers were hacked by Russia.
As this reporter previously documented, CrowdStrike was financed to the tune of $100 million from a funding drive by Google Capital.
Google Capital, which now goes by the name of CapitalG, is an arm of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company. Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Alphabet, has been a staunch and active supporter of Hillary Clinton and is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party.
CrowdStrike is a California-based cybersecurity technology company co-founded by experts George Kurtz and Dmitri Alperovitch.
Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council. The Council takes a hawkish approach toward Russia and has released numerous reports and briefs about Russian aggression.
The Council is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc., the U.S. State Department, and NATO ACT.
Another Council funder is the Ploughshares Fund, which in turn has received financing from billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
Breitbart News previous documented the common threads that run through both CrowdStrike and an organization repeatedly relied upon in the so-called whistleblower’s complaint about President Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky
CrowdStrike was mentioned by Trump in his call with Zelensky.
According to the transcript, Trump told Zelensky, “I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people…The server, they say Ukraine has it.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow.
Joshua Klein contributed research to this article. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKlein
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