The U.S. claims that Iran is behind threatening emails to Democratic voters, purportedly from the Trump-allied Proud Boys, in an effort to harm Trump. Skeptical? Me too.
October 22, 2020

I previously wrote about a barrage of emails from “Proud Boys” to Democrats telling them to vote for Trump “or we will come after you.”

John Ratcliffe, Trump’s unqualified, loyalist DNI made a statement implying that the Proud Boys emails came from Iran, but did not actually say so:

RATCLIFFE: We would like to alert the public that we have identified that two foreign actors, Iran and Russia, have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections.

First, we have confirme that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran and, separately, by Russia. This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy.

To that end, we have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump. You may have seen some reporting on this in the last 24 hours or you may have even been one of the recipients of those emails.

Ratcliffe never mentioned the Proud Boys or their emails.

It appears that an anonymous source fingered the Proud Boys. From The Washington Post:

The emails claimed to be from the Proud Boys, a far-right group supportive of Trump, but instead were engineered by someone working at the behest of the Iranian government, according to a U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity. The operation appeared to exploit a vulnerability in the group’s online network.

Now, why would a “U.S. official” leak the connection to The Post, claiming sensitivity, when DNI Ratcliffe clearly implied it? I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it's because Ratcliffe couldn't make the connection. The Daily Beast notes, “Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher did not supply specific evidence connecting Iran to the Proud Boys impersonation.”

Another odd thing is that in August, U.S. intelligence said that Iran doesn’t want Trump to win a second term, which seems like a no-brainer. So why would Iran send emails trying to strong arm Democrats into voting for Trump and threatening them if they don’t?

The Post goes on to explain some of the details of the vulnerability in the Proud Boys’ online network. I don't know enough about that sort of thing to comment.

But it’s pretty obvious that Donald Trump and his cronies installed in the Intel Community would jump at an opportunity to acquit Trump’s white nationalist pals and blame Iran.

I’ll just leave it there for now. I look forward to having the Democrats on the Congressional intelligence committees review and report on this material.

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