The Department of Justice has so far identified 6 Russian officials who had a hand in hacking the Democratic National Committee aka the DNC. Judging by the report, prosecutors may push charges in 2018. However, chances are the individuals won’t be indicted on US soil.
The Wall Street Journal noted that the hacking is a separate endeavor from that of Robert Mueller’s current probing of the Russian election interferences. During the 2016 campaign, Wikileaks posted the DNC’s private emails as well as Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chairman, John Podesta. Wikileaks did not acknowledge the source of the emails to be from Russian intelligence nor the GRU associated hacker group Fancy Bear.
The case against the hacking is still in its early stages with Russian president Vladimir Putin denying any attempt to sabotage the US election. The intelligence community published earlier this year a declassified report outlining Putin’s attempts to help Donald Trump get elected.
“Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.”
Another report from Associated Press states that hacker group Fancy Bear has also tried to gain access to then-Secretary of State John Kerry, a Ukrainian politician, and Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina. The Obama administration previously sanctioned the GRU as well as FSB, a Russian CIA equivalent.
It is unlikely that the hackers associated with the DNC hack will be brought in a US courtroom but the act itself aims to create obstacles should they consider leaving Russia.
“Indictment” is a common word this week with Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort falling victim to Mueller’s investigation. Manafort is joined by George Papadopoulos who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in regards to Russian meddling.
Image source: Kremlin.ru