Posted by Curt on 9 October, 2020 at 10:55 am. 2 comments already!


By Aaron Maté

The cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike rose to global prominence in mid-June 2016 when it publicly accused Russia of hacking the Democratic National Committee and stealing its data. The previously unknown company’s explosive allegation set off a seismic chain of events that engulfs U.S. national politics to this day. The Hillary Clinton campaign seized on CrowdStrike’s claim by accusing Russia of meddling in the election to help Donald Trump. U.S. intelligence officials would soon also endorse CrowdStrike’s allegation and pursue what amounted to a multi-year, all-consuming investigation of Russian interference and Trump’s potential complicity.

With the next presidential election now in its final weeks, the Democrats’ national leader, Nancy Pelosi, is seizing a different opportunity with the publicly traded firm. Recent financial disclosure filings show that the House speaker and her husband, Paul Pelosi, have invested up to $1 million in CrowdStrike Holdings. The Pelosis purchased the stock at a share price of $129.25 on Sept. 3. At the time of this article’s publication, the price has risen to $142.97.

Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said: “Speaker Pelosi is not involved in her husband’s investments and was not aware of the investment until the required filing was made.  Mr. Pelosi is a private investor and has investments in a number of publicly-traded companies.  The Speaker fully complies with House Rules and the relevant statutory requirements.”

The Pelosis’ sizeable investment in CrowdStrike could revive scrutiny of the company’s involvement in the Trump-Russia saga since the Democrats’ 2016 election loss.

After generating the hacking allegation against Russia in 2016, CrowdStrike played a critical role in the FBI’s ensuing investigation of the DNC data theft. CrowdStrike executives shared intelligence with the FBI on a consistent basis, making dozens of contacts in the investigation’s early months. According to Esquire, when U.S. intelligence officials first accused Russia of conducting malicious cyber activity in October 2016, a senior U.S. government official personally alerted CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch and thanked him “for pushing the government along.” The final reports of both Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee cite CrowdStrike’s forensics. The firm’s centrality to Russiagate has drawn the ire of President Trump. During the fateful July 2019 phone call that would later trigger impeachment proceedings, Trump asked Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky to scrutinize CrowdStrike’s role in the DNC server breach, suggesting that the company may have been involved in hiding the real perpetrators.

Pelosi’s recent investment in CrowdStrike also adds a new partisan entanglement for a company with significant connections to Democratic Party and intelligence officials that drove Russiagate.

DNC law firm Perkins Coie hired CrowdStrike to investigate the  breach in late April 2016. At the outset, Perkins Coie attorney Michael Sussmann personally informed CrowdStrike officials that Russia was suspected of breaching the server. By the time CrowdStrike went public with the Russian hacking allegation less than two months later, Perkins Coie had recently hired Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that produced discredited Steele dossier alleging a longstanding conspiracy between Trump and Russia.

CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry, who led the team that remediated the DNC breach and blamed Russia for the hacking, previously served as assistant director at the FBI under Robert Mueller. Since June 2015, Henry has also worked as an analyst at MSNBC, the cable network that has promoted debunked Trump-Russia innuendo perhaps more than any other outlet. Alperovitch, the co-founder and former chief technology officer, is a former nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, the Washington organization that actively lobbies for a hawkish posture toward Russia.

Campaign disclosures also show that CrowdStrike contributed $100,000 to the Democratic Governors Association in 2016 and 2017.

The firm’s multiple conflicts of interest in the Russia investigation coincide with a series of embarrassing disclosures that call into question its technical reliability.

In early 2017, CrowdStrike was forced to retract its allegation that Russia had hacked Ukrainian military equipment with the same malware the firm claimed to have discovered inside the DNC server.

During the FBI’s investigation of the DNC breach, CrowdStrike never provided direct access to the pilfered servers, rebuffing multiple requests that came from officials all the way up to then-Director James Comey.

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x