You set off to invade and disrupt the election process of a global competitor. Your desire is to weaken the other's government. Except for potentially being responsible for leaking emails obtained from political operatives of one party, it is acknowledged and confirmed by responsible parties that you failed in your efforts to change the voting in your competitor's election. You succeeded in hacking into zero voting apparatus of their election operation. Yet as a side effect you disrupt the state of your competitor's new government to an extent you could never ever contemplate. What a percipient plan?
If you ever thought Putin was an evil genius, then it appears he has succeeded beyond even his wildest dreams. Even though the head of the FBI stated in his testimony that the Russian attempts to intercede in our election started in 2015 and were aimed at both Republicans and Democrats, Putin finds the perfect foils. He finds Hillary Clinton, a leading candidate who set up a questionable email server that exposed her high-level state department information. He then finds the Democratic National Committee that sets up wholly inadequate protections for their email system. And lastly he finds one of the most prestigious and experienced political operatives in America, John Podesta, who sets up his email with a password of - password.
Luck plays into to Putin's hands. Luck that even a KGB operative could not dream of receiving. The leading candidate to win the election, Hillary Clinton, runs an abysmal campaign. As delineated in the book Shattered, written by two authorized, left-leaning journalists, it becomes clear that Clinton could never even establish a rationale for her candidacy. She has a cast of characters surrounding her campaign that would make the great Russian novel, War and Peace, seem easy to follow. She loses crucial Mid-Western states' votes to a disheveled Socialist, but never adjusts the campaign to win those voters in the general election six months later. She flat out ignores them. She raises a billion dollars, yet her campaign is always short of money.
Her campaign is so bad she losses to a first-time candidate in what shocked her and her party. They find her opponent uncouth and undeserving. Not only did she lose the election, but she lost to him.
Putin now has two willing accomplices, the Democrats and the American Press. He does not even have to raise a finger. The only thing being discussed in the adversary country is Russian interference in the election because the humiliation of losing to him and he being President is too much. Also, it serves their purposes to derail his political agenda. They have become such a minority party and their policies are so unpopular in the country that the only way they can succeed is by embracing him (Putin) and blaming him (Putin) for all crimes, thus accusing the new President and his allies of collusion with the Putin. After all, they could not have lost any other way. It does not matter whether evidence exists; we must search for that evidence for the next four years.
Putin then finds another willing accomplice in the form of the head of the national law enforcement agency of the country he so wishes to disrupt. That person makes himself a national spectacle by interceding in the election process inflaming the losing candidate and her party, antagonizing the victorious President, getting fired by said President and then testifying about it all in a self-serving manner.
But Director Comey exposes himself during his own testimony.
One of the biggest reveals of the Comey testimony is the Obama Administration's complicity in a cover-up and coordination with the Clinton campaign. Attorney General Loretta Lynch not only lied about her meeting with Former President Clinton on the tarmac, she specifically directed Comey to lie about the activities of the FBI by mischaracterizing the nature of the investigation. Comey displayed his true character by going along with the improper and unethical and possibly illegal order from the Attorney General. He neither protested nor pushed back on her or ignored her direct order.
Tellingly, Comey was concerned about the potential for Trump lying about his conversations between them, but did nothing about Lynch actually ordering him to lie.
Which leads one to believe what had happened to Comey from the time he built his legend by threatening to resign during the Bush Administration. He admitted to being told to lie to the public by the Attorney General (Lynch), but just rolled over. He then went forward to the public about the investigation into Clinton's emails telling us in detail why she should be indicted, but then established a new legal standard for obfuscating on the potential crimes involved. He runs to the press again after finding Clinton's chief aide had shared classified information with her husband on their joint computer, but quickly backs down from that investigation.
Yet then he gets scared by a president who Comey stated clearly never did anything wrong regarding the underlying matters, but Comey for once was unwilling to run to a microphone and tell the world that. He then gets fired and acts in a vengeful manner by calling into question his boss's actions that he would never question to his boss or to the proper authorities concurrent with the supposed events. He then leaks information of a meeting he had with the President while in a high position of public trust and states he had become a private citizen so he had a right to disclose that information.
Somewhere between the incident in 2004 and today Comey became a deeply confused man and/or a coward.
Putin sits in his seat of power relishing all this. He need not spend a dime as he watches his adversary self-destruct. He needn't order any more hacking.
Over 60 years ago, Nikita Khrushchev told Western diplomats "Whether you like it or not, history is on our side. We will bury you!" He might be feeling vindicated at this time and the Russians did not even have to fire a shot. They appear to be winning.