Kompromat (Hardcover)

How Russia Undermined American Democracy

By Jeff Pegues

Prometheus Books, 9781633884298, 287pp.

Publication Date: July 10, 2018

List Price: 24.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A timely and essential book from the CBS correspondent who has led their coverage of Russia election interference and the FBI counterintelligence investigation into whether the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russians.

In this compelling account of how the Russians hacked the 2016 election, CBS News Justice and Homeland Security Correspondent Jeff Pegues reveals how far the Kremlin poked into voter databases and why it happened. He also investigates the steps taken to shore up election systems in states across the country ahead of the 2018 midterm and indeed the 2020 Presidential election.
     Based on exclusive interviews with officials from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and cybersecurity experts, Pegues takes readers behind the scenes and into the minds of investigators following the case. He delves into the shadowy world of Russian spies, unraveling the complicated web of contacts between Russian operatives and Trump representatives during the campaign. In one chapter, he focuses on Valeri Gerasimov, widely believed to be the mastermind behind a Russian cyber strategy designed to influence and disrupt democracies. Evidence is presented showing that the Russians infiltrated not only Democratic Party computer networks in the US, but networks in the Ukraine and Europe as well.
     Consulting with representatives of top cyber security firms, the author discusses what states are doing to protect voting systems in the next midterm elections and beyond.
     Fascinating and chilling at the same time, Kompromat opens a window into the murky world of espionage, digital warfare, and a newly aggressive Russia brazenly inserting itself into U.S. politics.

About the Author

Jeff Pegues is the author of Black and Blue: Inside the Divide between the Police and Black America and Kompromat: How Russia Undermined American Democracy. He is the justice and homeland security correspondent for CBS News. In this capacity he has participated in closed-door interviews with former FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. In the aftermath of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, Pegues orchestrated an interview with the chiefs of police representing four major U.S. cities. In 2015, he covered all angles of the Charleston, South Carolina, church killings, beginning with the manhunt for the suspect and culminating with a special report analyzing President Obama's eulogy at the funeral of State Senator Clementa Pinckney. Previous to joining CBS News, Pegues spent ten years at WABC-TV in New York. He is the recipient of three Emmy Awards, numerous Emmy Award nominations, and the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Praise For Kompromat: How Russia Undermined American Democracy

“A must-read. Kompromat reads like a fast-paced thriller. Only in this case, it is real. Jeff Pegues sheds much-needed light upon Russia’s campaign to undermine American democracy through a combination of high-tech cyber means and ‘old-school’ deceptive KGB tactics.”
—Frank Cilluffo, associate vice president and director at the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, and former special assistant to the president for Homeland Security

"Incredible! Excellent research and detail.”
—Erroll Southers, former FBI agent and former California deputy director of Homeland Security
“Provides an insider’s look into the mind of an investigative journalist and takes the reader down dark corridors of compromising information to assemble the facts behind the Russian interference in the 2016 US election. Highly recommended for anyone trying to understand a very dark period of our recent history.”
—Eric O’Neill, former FBI counterintelligence operative
“Both a great read and an unmatched account of Russia’s brazen attack on American democracy. The range and the depth of insights from an expert like Jeff Pegues provide unrivaled detail for understanding this painful chapter in America’s history.”
—James Lewis, senior vice president, Center for Strategic and International Studies
“Chilling… [the] interviews create a vibrant atmosphere that gives the book the feel of an espionage thriller…. Accessible.”

—Foreword Reviews