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Russian honour guards march during the military parade at Red Square, Moscow, 2018. Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images

A Justice Department official outlined to CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday why the department believes 12 Russian agents indicted during the Russia investigation hacked the Democratic Party's computers in 2016. And a cybersecurity expert and former FBI official warns there's a real threat that Russia could interfere in the 2020 election.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
"[The hacking] really happened. And we believe that if we had to we could prove that in court tomorrow using only admissible, non-classified evidence to 12 jurors. I would be surprised [if the agents' cases go to trial]. But the purpose of the indictment [is also] to educate the public.
The U.S. says one team, working out of a building in Moscow called the 'Tower,' created a website and a provocative character to disseminate the stolen material: Guccifer 2.0. What it gives them is plausible deniability, right? They don't need for it to work 100% as long as the Russians can say: 'Wasn't us.'"
— Assistant Attorney General John Demers on "60 Minutes"

What they're saying: The "60 Minutes" interview was broadcast hours after White House counselor Kellyanne Conway appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation," where she was played a clip of Assistant Attorney General John Demers' comments to journalist Bill Whitaker that the evidence shows Russia was "behind the hacking and dumping of the Democratic campaign in 2016" and "we could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt."

  • CBS' Margaret Brennan asked Conway why the president doesn't "believe his own Justice Department and intelligence experts" after Conway defended him for repeating on Fox News Friday a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.
  • "The president has said he accepts that," replied Conway before moving on to say "there are plenty of ways to interfere in elections."
"If we're doing this, we're back to Mueller, and we've already spent two and a half years and $35 million taxpayer dollars for a Mueller report that was produced in March. It was a big bomb."
— Kellyanne Conway on CBS' "Face the Nation"

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.