According to information from the newspaper De Volkskrant, specialists from the Dutch secret service have uncovered explosive details about the Russian hacker attack on the computer center of the Democrats. Citing six sources, the paper claims that cyber spies from the Netherlands succeeded in summer 2014 in identifying and observing a computer network belonging to the Russian hacker group “Cozy Bear”.
This had been housed in a university building near the Red Square in Moscow. The Dutch spies, through their access to Russian computers, witnessed the theft of thousands of e-mails and documents from the US Democratic computer center. According to the Dutch media, the government in The Hague had alerted the relevant authorities in Washington to the attacks. It would have taken months before they understood how great the extent of the Russian operation had been in influencing the presidential election.
The information certainly attracts much interest in the special investigator in the Russia affair, Robert Mueller, who is looking for evidence of coordination between Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russia. Whether the information contained in the Dutch evidence of direct collusion between Trump and the Russians, initially remained unclear.
On the sidelines of the Davos World Economic Forum, the US President denied an exclusive New York Times report that Trump wanted to fire the Special Investigator last June. “Fake News, People, Fake News,” the president responded to reporter questions.
The tale remains in its depiction, which is based on four well-known sources within the White House. According to the lawyer of the President, Donald F. McGahn, refused to give Mueller the passport. The lawyer, who worked for many years for the Republican Party and during the election campaign as Trump’s legal advisor, threatened to resign. McGhan feared that Mueller’s expulsion would “have a catastrophic effect” on the presidency, making Trump even more suspect.
At the time, White House Judiciary opposed the president’s personal legal advisor, Marc E. Kasowitz, who had advised Mueller to take a tough stance. The Times further reports that in the end, Trump was not brave enough to fire the special adviser himself, but had added little.
The incident may explain why Trump later split from Kasowitz and replaced him with Washington insider Ty Cobb. Cobb convinced the president he had nothing to gain from a confrontation with the special investigator.
Shortly before Trump left for Davos, Cobb had the experience of consulting a client who cared little about his experts. So, in a briefing of “White House High Representative” for immigration reporters, the president blurted out to talk about the state of the investigation into the Russia affair. The president said he was looking forward to meeting with Mueller. Cobb’s team, negotiating details of Trump’s Special Investigations questionnaire, plumped the president’s promises. “He’s ready to meet with them,” Cobb explained. “But he will be guided by the advice of his legal adviser.”