Jack Posobiec Central in Spreading Russian Intelligence-Led MacronLeaks Hack - 2021-01-29
The hack – waged to target Emmanuel Macron, then a candidate for president, and benefit his opponent, the far-right politician Marine Le Pen – spawned a series of criminal charges in 2020. On Oct. 19, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI charged six Russian military intelligence hackers from GRU with cybercrimes including "spearphishing campaigns and related hack-and-leak efforts targeting French President Macron (and his political party) … prior to the 2017 French elections."
Posobiec's contribution to the effort to spread the hacked material through Twitter follows a pattern of behavior by the influential far-right activist. It bears superficial similarities to two other online campaigns he promoted. The first is 2016's #Pizzagate, which manipulated the GRU-hacked emails of Hillary Clinton's campaign chair to create disinformation falsely linking Democratic Party officials to pedophilia. The other is a coordinated social media campaign targeting the personal life and business relationships of Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, that he promoted in October 2020. This campaign happened around the time authorities issued charges related to the hacking of Macron and his allies and before Hunter Biden announced that the DOJ is investigating his taxes. The following analysis lays out what Hatewatch knows about Posobiec's role in amplifying the May 2017 hack-and-leak campaign, which he dubbed "#MacronLeaks," and his associations with other extremists at the time he did it.
Hatewatch reached out to the DOJ about Posobiec and other American far-right extremists who pushed the GRU-hacked material on Twitter, but the agency declined to respond. Hatewatch also reached out to Posobiec for this story via email, but he did not respond. When Hatewatch launched a series of stories on Posobiec in July 2020, he responded to a request for comment by claiming to call the FBI – falsely suggesting the reporting constituted an attempt to kill his family.