Mueller Appoints Cyber Expert to Trump Probe Team

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The high-profile investigation into possible collusion between the Trump election campaign team and the Russian government has been given added weight by the appointment of a prosecutor well versed in cybersecurity, it has emerged.

Ryan Dickey was actually appointed by special counsel Robert Mueller in early November, joining the growing 16-strong team from Department of Justice Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

Dickey joins a team well-versed in public corruption, money laundering and fraud, but his expertise in cybercrime signals the growing importance of this strand of the investigation.

He’s participated in several high-profile cyber-cases including one against controversial file-sharing site Megaupload, and the investigation of notorious Romanian hacker Guccifer, who was finally arrested in 2014.

It was this investigation that revealed that Hillary Clinton had been using a private email server for official business when secretary of state – a fact not lost on the Russian authorities. The online moniker “Guccifer 2.0” was given to the ‘individual’ who leaked damaging Democratic Party emails ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

US intelligence believes this was the work of Russian intelligence. The job now ahead of Mueller and his team is proving the Trump team colluded with Moscow to influence the election.

In many ways, it’s surprising that a cybersecurity expert has up until now not been appointed to the investigation, given the importance of this strand of the inquiry.

It’s still unclear what the outcome will be, although legal experts have told the Washington Post that prosecutors could pursue a charge of conspiracy to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, if they can prove collusion in the Guccifer 2.0 operation to influence the election result.

For his part, President Trump has continually protested his innocence, describing the investigation as “the single greatest Witch Hunt in American history,” while Republican lawmakers have begun to grumble that Mueller’s team is filled with Democrat-leaning lawyers.

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