The WSJ revealed today that a GOP operative named Aaron Nevins requested and received confidential files stolen from the Democrats by hacker Guccifer 2.0 last year.
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Nevins, a former aide to Florida State Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, confessed to the Journal that not only did he receive files stolen from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the documents, which contained Democratic voter turnout analysis, weren’t just slid under his door by some anonymous benefactor.
Nevins admits that he propositioned the hacker Guccifer 2.0 for the files privately on Twitter; “I just threw an arrow in the dark,” he said. (US intelligence chiefs say Guccifer 2.0 is an attribution front for a Russian-backed hacking group, but there are some noteworthy reasons to dispute that.) What Guccifer 2.0 sent in response was a proverbial goldmine.
“Basically if this was a war, this is the map to where all the troops are deployed,” Nevins told the hacker in one exchange. “This is probably worth millions of dollars.” The Journal did not provide screenshots of this conversation, unfortunately.
The stolen files were then posted to the website blog HelloFLA, which Nevins admits to running. They include a “vulnerabilities” assessment of Randy Perkins, a Democratic candidate who ran to fill a congressional seat vacated by incumbent Democrat Patrick Murphy, with details such as: “Randy Perkins has donated $1.6 million to Republicans” and “Perkins has been sued by contractors for non-payment. (Perkins lost the election to Brian Mast, a Republican.)
Though Nevins told the Journal that he isn’t convinced Russia was behind the hacks, his response to the idea that he may have collaborated with the Russian government to undermine a congressional race was telling. “If your interests align,” he said, “never shut any doors in politics.” That’s a stunning display of honesty from a Florida Republican. He’s essentially saying there’s nothing wrong with partnering up with criminals to win an election because, hey, it’s just politics.
But it’s not totally out of character for Nevins, who appears to be a total fucking crackpot.
On election day, according to the Sun Sentinel, Nevins tried to shut down a highway in Broward County, Florida, by asserting his right to hold an “amateur car race.” The highway, US 441, serves as a corridor through “many black communities,” the paper says. And while the race was scheduled to run from 7am to 7pm, or exact voting hours, Nevins asserted that his intent was never to stop likely-Democratic voters from reaching the polls. He just wanted to race and, you know, that was the only time he could do it.
It seems likely the good people of Broward County decided they’d had enough of Nevins’ crazy bullshit. The sheriff’s office responded to his car race request with a long list of necessary permits and Nevins subsequently withdrew it.