Justice Department Finds Evidence to Charge Russians With DNC Hack

The U.S. previously sanctioned the GRU and the FSB

It has identified six Russian government officials involved in hacking the DNC and using the information against candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.

Prosecutors could bring the case to court next year, The Wall Street Journal reported on November 1.

Publicly released forensics work by incident response firm Mandiant has identified tools and techniques used in the hack associated with the APT28/Fancy Bear group, otherwise identified as a unit of Russian Military Intelligence (the GRU).

Investigators in the House, Senate and Department of Justice, including a team led by DOJ-appointed special counsel Robert Mueller, are now investigating Russia's involvement in the 2016 US race. U.S. intelligence agencies are unanimous on that point but not so clear cut as to whether the campaign was aimed at getting Donald Trump elected or just weakening the authority of runaway favourite Hillary Clinton.

The Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation have been investigating the DNC hack since past year. The US strategy of naming suspects in high-profile hacking cases is more an act of diplomatic pressure.

President Trump has been reluctant to accept the US intelligence community's findings with respect to Russia's role in his election, and previously labeled reports linking state-sponsored hackers to last year's race "a big Dem scam and excuse for losing the election".

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Mr. Trump has cast doubts on Russia's role in the hack. The logical answer is that Trump and his campaign were working with the Russians and the one sure way to try to keep their conspiracy a secret was to discredit reports that Russia was behind the hacking.

Trump has called the claims of Russian DNC hacking "a big Dem scam and excuse for losing the election".

High-ranking US intelligence and law-enforcement officials have consistently stood by the intelligence community's January assessment.

The Justice Department and FBI investigation into the DNC hack had been under way for almost a year, by prosecutors and agents with cyber expertise, before Mr. Mueller was appointed in May.

It would hard for the Department of justice to arrest any Russian officials.

Realistically speaking, of course, it's unlikely that any such officials would ever be formally brought before an American court and put on trial due to the fact that the Russian government would never agree to surrender them to American officials, or to admit that they had backed an effort to break into American computer systems prior to the election.

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