The special counsel, Robert Mueller, is building a criminal case against the Russians involved in the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). According to the report, the cyber attack resulted in the Russians getting a hold of thousands of emails from servers belonging to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the DNC.
A number of current and former US officials have said that the new charges are supported by the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
The DNC announced in July 2016 that Russian hacking groups known as “Cozy Bear” and Fancy Bear” had hacked into their servers. These breaches came after federal investigators cautioned the DNC in September 2015 that its servers had been breached, however, the DNC did not act on the warnings.
Once they breached the DNC servers in 2016, Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear distributed thousands of stolen emails through the hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 who leaked the information to WikiLeaks.
US intelligence agencies believe that Guccifer 2.0 is merely a front for Russian military intelligence and that Wikileaks is a propaganda tool of the Russian government.
Mueller’s latest endeavor adds another layer to the special counsel’s Russia investigation. The cyber attack was just one piece in a larger campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, according to US intelligence agencies.
The news of the potential indictment comes a few weeks after Robert Mueller charged 13 other Russian nationals with using social media, illegal ad-buying schemes and other actions that undermine American democracy to help elect Donald Trump.
Mueller’s new list of charges reportedly includes violations of federal election laws, criminal conspiracy, and computer fraud.
According to the sources, Mueller has had plenty of evidence to file charges against the Russian hackers, however, he abstained citing strategic issues and timing. More so, the sources said that unveiling high-profile indictments without exhausting all intelligence angles would have exposed sensitive information.
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