The California-based threat intelligence company CrowdStrike was mentioned for the second time this week in documents relating to President Donald Trump’s controversial phone call with the president of Ukraine — an incident that has led to an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives.
The House Intelligence Committee released a declassified whistleblower complaint Sept. 26 that alleged Trump explicitly asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to locate servers used by the Democratic National Committee. Trump claims those servers are located in Ukraine.
“The president pressured Mr. Zelenskyy [sic] to ... assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election originated in Ukraine, with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee and examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstrike,” the whistleblower alleged, citing conversations they had with “White House officials with direct knowledge of the call.”
In 2016, CrowdStrike was hired by the DNC to investigate breaches of DNC servers. It concluded that the Russian government-backed hackers were behind the attacks, which U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed. Trump has repeatedly questioned whether the Russian government was responsible for the hacks.
“With regards to our investigation of the DNC hack in 2016, we provided all forensic evidence and analysis to the FBI. As we’ve stated before, we stand by our findings and conclusions that have been fully supported by the U.S. intelligence community,” a CrowdStrike spokesperson said in a statement.
A footnote from the whistleblower noted that the government employee did not know why Trump associated the server with Ukraine.
The second reference to CrowdStrike came a day earlier after Trump mentioned the company in a phone call with Zelensky. Transcripts from part of that call were released by the White House Sept. 25.
“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike ... [sic] I guess you have one of your wealthy people ... [sic] The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation,” Trump told Zelensky.
It’s unclear what Trump was referencing in regard to CrowdStrike on the call. The White House did not respond to a request for clarification..
The documents are part of an allegation against Trump that he pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden and his business dealings in Ukraine.
Andrew Eversden covers all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. He previously reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.