Early in 2016, while America peacefully slept, the United States came under attack by the Russian Army targeting the highest level of our government, the presidency.

The purpose of the attack was to benefit Donald Trump, the candidate favored by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and to harm the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

The Russian Army’s cyber-attack succeeded. Putin’s choice ended up in the White House. We live in the era of cyber warfare, and this cyber decapitation attack is its greatest demonstrated success so far.

All of this sounds like a bad dream from which America can wake up. Unfortunately, that bad dream is reality as documented in the Mueller report.

The Mueller report, specifically the executive summary to Volume I, states the case succinctly. Starting in early 2016, the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Army, Unit 26165, focused its cyber warfare capacity on supporting candidate Trump and damaging the Clinton campaign.

The Russian Army accomplished this by hacking into the computers of the Clinton campaign and other Democratic Party sources and stealing hundreds of thousands of documents. The stolen documents were then selectively released to the American public in ways and at times most helpful to Trump. To this end, documents were initially released through fake sites created by the Russians, such as “D.C. Leaks” and “Guccifer 2.0.” Later, WikiLeaks became the main conduit for the stolen documents.

Mueller documents an example of the way in which the stolen documents were released at times most helpful to Trump.

On Oct. 7, 2016, the Washington Post released the infamous Access Hollywood video featuring Trump bragging about his sexual assaults on women and how his wealth and power allowed him to get away with it. In less than one hour WikiLeaks released stolen documents to divert attention away from the embarrassing tape.

Remember, it took only about 80,000 votes in three states to elect Trump. That small number is easily attributable to the Russian Army’s attack.

Are you OK with that, even if it gets you a temporary tax break?

John H. Burns

Willmar