Russian hackers try repeat of 2016 by hacking Ukrainian company for dirt on Biden

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Senior Democratic lawmakers only found out about the hacking from a report in the New York Times.

Russian military hackers are trying once again to meddle in a U.S. election, hacking into Ukrainian gas company Burisma to try to get damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden to hurt his presidential bid, the New York Times reported Monday night.

The New York Times reported that the hacking began in early November — the height of the impeachment inquiry in which Donald Trump was being investigated for trying to force Ukraine to announce an investigation into Biden.

Trump and his GOP allies allege that Biden ousted a prosecutor in Ukraine because the prosecutor was investigating Burisma, a company that his son Hunter sat on the board of. It's an accusation that's been proven false, and the attempt to force the investigation into Biden's role in the prosecutor's ouster is what ultimately got Trump impeached.

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According to the New York Times, it's unclear whether the Russian military hackers found anything in their hacking attempts.

However, just the fact that the Russians are once again illegally hacking entities in order to damage Democratic candidates and boost Trump's reelection is noteworthy and worrying for Democratic lawmakers — who have been warning about Russia and how the country may once again try and influence the outcome of an American presidential election.

In 2016, Russia infamously hacked into the campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, as well as the Democratic National Committee, and selectively leaked hacked materials in a way that would cause maximum harm to Clinton's chances at victory, former special counsel Robert Mueller wrote in the final report of the Russia investigation.

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — both of whom are members of the "Gang of 8" on Capitol Hill, members of Congress who are privy to top secret national security information — told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday night that they only learned about the hacking attempts from the New York Times' report.

Schiff — who led the impeachment inquiry into Trump and who has been calling for more resources to prevent Russian election interference — said he is "distressed" that he didn't know about this information until the Times report. Schumer also called for more resources to prevent future Russian hacking and election interference.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.