Ever since Legal Insurrection broke the story that NY-23 Democratic challenger Martha Robertson sent a fundraising email claiming that “GOP Ops” had been “caught” trying to take down her website, Robertson has been on the defensive.

The Robertson campaign has not provided any proof that GOP operatives attempted to hack her website and has backed off that claim.  The website never was down, and the “hacking” claim may have been nothing more than routine server problems.  A local Republican leader asked for an investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office as to whether the Robertson campaign violated any laws.

Now even Roll Call is raising the issue, Democrat Will Hire Cybersecurity Firm for Alleged Website Hack:

Tompkins County Council Chairwoman Martha Robertson, a Democrat challenging GOP Rep. Tom Reed in New York’s 23rd District, called the recent brouhaha over an alleged hacking of her campaign website “a distraction” from the race in an interview with CQ Roll Call earlier this month.

Republicans have been pressuring Robertson to provide proof that GOP operatives attempted to hack her campaign website. Robertson made that claim in a Sept. 30 fundraising email.

“We’re working to hire a cyber-security firm to take a serious look at that and investigate everything that happened. Beyond that it’s really better to leave it up to them,” Robertson said. “At the end of the day I think … it’s beyond a distraction. [Voters] are concerned about their pocketbook issues — whether or not their Social Security and Medicare payments are going to be there as they depend on them.”

New York’s 23rd District is rated a Lean Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Robertson’s statement that the campaign is hiring a cybersecurity firm to investigate is an implicit admission that she still does not have any proof to back up her fundraising claim that GOP operatives were caught trying to take down her website.

We had asked the Robertson campaign to make its server logs available to us for review, but received no response.

The Robertson campaign needs to come clean and admit that it made up the fundraising allegation, or present the proof.

Until then, the issue will not go away, as the headline of the Roll Call article demonstrates:

Roll Call Martha Robertson Cybersecurity Firm

We will continue to follow whether Robertson actually hires a cybersecurity firm, and what they find.