The stolen documents contained highly valuable and sensitive voter targeting research compiled by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and pilfered through illegal computer hacking by "Guccifer 2.0" a hacker who according to an official United States intelligence assessment is not a real person at all but, in fact, a "legend" - that is, a fabricated persona - created by Russian intelligence services.
A Wall Street Journal report published on Thursday revealed that Republican operative Aaron Nevins made a plea previous year to Guccifer 2.0, the same hacker who is accused of helping Trump by revealing stolen Democratic National Committee emails. After Nevins published some of the files on his blog, Guccifer 2.0 sent the content to Roger Stone, an informal adviser to President Donald Trump for at least some portions of the campaign, according to The WSJ.
The DCCC documents that were leaked to Nevins analyzed voters in key Florida districts, breaking down how many people were considered dependable Democratic voters, undecided Democrats, Republican voters and the like.
Guccifer 2.0 apparently agreed to the appeal and sent Nevins 2.5 gigabytes of documents from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Hacker Guccifer 2.0 reportedly shared vital Democratic information on specific Florida districts.
While it was known that the blog had received the hacked documents, it wasn't known that Nevins was the recipient - nor the vast amount of information he received.
"I just threw an arrow in the dark", Nevins, who set up a Dropbox account for Guccifer 2.0 to transfer data, told the Journal. Nevins said he "realized it was a lot more than even Guccifer knew that he had". Florida GOP strategist Aaron Nevins told the paper that he reached out to the hacker in September, two months after the initial reports surfaced revealing that the hacker was merely a front for agents of the Russian government.
"Basically if this was a war, this is the map to where all the troops are deployed", Nevins told the hacker in one note.
Anthony Bustamante, a campaign consultant for U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), told the Journal he ramped up his TV ad buys and dialed back a mailer effort: "I did adjust some voting targets based on some data I saw from the leaks". Nevins told the Journal that the hackers didn't understand what they had until he explained the data's value.
The DNC breach has been attributed by a variety of means to attackers tied to Russian intelligence-specifically, to Russia's GRU (the country's foreign intelligence organization). "If your interests align", he said, "never shut any doors in politics".