5 Times Foreign Governments Meddled in US Politics

Trafficking in secrets for political gain is nothing new

Men dressed up as the Spy vs Spy cartoon characters walk to John Stewart and Stephen Colbert's Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on the National Mall in Washington on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The cyberattack that cost embattled Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz her job — just as her party piled into Philadelphia to formally nominate Hillary Clinton as its presidential nominee — is just the latest example of foreign interests meddling in U.S. politics.  

Per media reports, the FBI is investigating the dissemination of embarrassing communications by DNC aides that some maintain was perpetrated by Russian agents.  

The leaked files included missives demonstrating DNC staffers’ contempt for the presidential campaign run by Sen. Bernie Sanders.  

[ Wasserman Schultz Shouted Down by Sanders Backers ]  

Getting one over on Uncle Sam has been a top priority ever since the U.S. came into being. Friends and foes alike have succeeded, to various degrees, in spiriting away sensitive information over the past few decades. Here are four other instances:

  • November 2015: Iranian hackers plumbed the personal accounts of State Department officials in retaliation for the Iranian nuclear deal
  • 1979-2009: State Department official Walter Kendall Myers and his wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers, relayed intelligence to Cuba for 30 years
  • 2008: Chinese hackers targeted the presidential campaigns of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain
  •  1986: Jonathan Pollard, an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, was convicted of spying for Israel. He was released last fall after 30 years behind bars.

Contact Rojas at warrenrojas@rollcall.com and follow him on Twitter at @WARojas .

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