For Democrat Hillary Clinton, protecting her backside appears to command a higher premium than protesting her campaign emails.
The Clinton campaign was warned by the FBI that it was a target of a cyberattack last March, but opted not to further cooperate with the bureau, according to Yahoo News, which added the claim’s sure to raise questions about why the campaign didn’t take the matter more seriously.
The warning came just weeks before the Democratic National Committee learned it had been penetrated by hackers, two sources familiar with the incident told Yahoo News. But Team Hillary was reportedly not willing to assist a federal probe into the matter:
One of the sources said agents conducting a national security investigation asked the Clinton campaign to turn over internal computer logs as well as the personal email addresses of senior campaign officials. But the campaign, through its lawyers, declined to provide the data, deciding that the FBI’s request for sensitive personal and campaign information data was too broad and intrusive, the source said.
The source said the FBI’s request to turn over the data came at an awkward moment for Team Hillary, as the candidate was still being investigated by the agency for sending classified emails through a private email server, according to Yahoo News.
There was talk at the time that the FBI investigation might expand to include the Clinton Foundation, and the campaign was afraid that turning over data may be help with that endeavor.
Campaign officials had reason to fear that any production of campaign computer logs and personal email accounts could be used to further such a probe. At the Brooklyn meeting, FBI agents emphasized that the request for data was unrelated to the separate probe into Clinton’s email server. But after deliberating about the bureau’s request, and in light of the lack of details provided by the FBI and the absence of a subpoena, the Clinton campaign chose to turn down the bureau’s request, the source said.
A second source said the campaign was already aware of attempts to penetrate its computers and had taken steps to thwart them.
With some pointing their fingers at the Russians for the intrusions, Yahoo News noted that the Clinton campaign should have been aware of such a possibility, given that Chinese hackers were widely reported to have breached both the campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain in 2008.
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