By Chuck Ross
Twitter has suspended Guccifer 2.0, the account allegedly used by Russian military intelligence officials who were indicted Friday as part of the special counsel’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Guccifer 2.0 had operated since June 2016, when the account began linking to a website operating under the same name to release documents stolen from several Democratic organizations.
Special counsel Robert Mueller indicted Friday 12 Russian nationals who allegedly hacked into the computer networks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The Russians, who are officers in the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, disseminated the emails online under the names Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.
The indictment says the GRU created the Guccifer 2.0 persona on June 15, 2016, in response to a statement from the DNC that it had been hacked by Russian government actors. In online postings, Guccifer 2.0 denied being affiliated with the Russian government.
The indictment claims that Guccifer 2.0 also shared hacked DNC and Clinton campaign emails with a group identified only as “Organization 1.” The description of Organization 1 closely matches WikiLeaks, which published tens of thousands of emails stolen from the DNC and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Roger Stone, an informal campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, was in contact with Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks during the campaign. Trump critics have claimed that Stone’s contacts with the groups are evidence of collusion with the Russian government, however, Stone said Friday that his contacts with Guccifer 2.0 were “benign.”
Stone has already released records of his exchanges with Guccifer 2.0. The first one was on Aug. 14, 2016. Stone wrote in the message that he was “glad you are reinstated.” Twitter suspended Guccifer 2.0 on Aug. 13, 2016 for publishing documents that contained politicians’ private contact information.
A spokesman for Twitter said Saturday that Guccifer 2.0 has been suspended because of connections to other accounts that have violated the company’s terms of service.
“The accounts have been suspended for being connected to a network of accounts previously suspended for operating in violation of our rules,” Brandon Borrman told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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