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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

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Anthony Coley to lead Justice Department public affairs

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, has tapped Anthony Coley, an Obama-era Treasury Department official, to serve as a senior adviser and to lead public affairs at the Department of Justice, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: As the public face of the DOJ, Coley will help explain — and defend — the department's actions, from sensitive cases to prosecutorial decisions, including the investigation into Hunter Biden.

AP: Justice Dept. rescinds "zero tolerance" policy

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the U.S.-Mexico border wall in San Ysidro, California, in Nov. 2018. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a memo on Tuesday to revoke the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which separated thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, AP first reported.

Driving the news: A recent report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz emphasized the internal chaos at the agency over the implementation of the policy, which resulted in 545 parents separated from their children as of October 2020.