The New York Times reported on Monday that hackers from the Russian military intelligence unit known as the GRU succeeded in hacking Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company that Hunter Biden sat on the board of, and that Joe Biden protected from investigation by withholding $1 billion in aid unless Ukrainian officials fired the prosecutor investigating the company.
GRU is responsible for other high-profile hacks of the DNC and John Podesta. Seven GRU officers were indicted in 2018 for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 election.
The hacking attempts against Burisma began in early November, as the Democrats’ impeachment efforts increased the profile of the company and Biden’s conflict of interests.
It is not yet known what the hackers found or what they were looking for. The New York Times says that “experts say the timing and scale of the attacks suggest that the Russians could be searching for potentially embarrassing material on the Bidens.”
The GRU hackers succeeded in attacking the company through a phishing scam that sent their employees to bogus login pages, from which the employees’ login credentials could be obtained.
So what does this mean? Scott Rosenburg of Axios believes that awareness of the hacks “cuts both ways politically.” There are huge negative implications for Joe Biden and his presidential campaign, since “it means document dumps could happen at any time, with accompanying media frenzy and potentially damaging revelations.” Many on the left still believe—despite all evidence to the contrary—that Trump colluded with Russia in 2016, so Russian involvement with the hacks “means that any such revelations will come pre-tainted with a Russian label,” according to Rosenburg.
Despite the Russian connection, should damaging information be revealed, Biden’s campaign has the most to lose, as his repeated denials of knowledge of his son’s business dealings could be undercut by documentary evidence. New details about how Hunter Biden’s position on the board gave Burisma access to the White House during the Obama years may also be brought to light.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis