US Investigators Identify Russian State DNC Hackers

More than six Russian government officials have been identified by US investigators as involved in the hacking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) computers in a now notorious case which some believe swayed the US presidential election last year.

The Department of Justice prosecutors are now preparing an indictment case to be filed next year, according to the WSJ.

While the US intelligence community has already assessed that the Kremlin "ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election", it has not been clear who exactly was behind the cyber-attacks which swiped a trove of politically sensitive emails, to be leaked later through WikiLeaks.

The leaks were seen as hugely damaging to the Hillary Clinton campaign; in fact, the former secretary of state has in the past blamed “Russian WiliLeaks” for her election loss.

An indictment would have little to no chance of leading to the arrest and extradition of those believed to have carried out the DNC hacks — although it would step up the pressure on the Trump administration to acknowledge the role the Russian state played in his election win.

A separate investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller has already issued its first charges to members of the Trump campaign, as it looks to unravel possible collusion with Russia during the race for the White House.

Despite Trump tweeting this week “It's all a big Dem HOAX!”, former campaign manager, Paul Manafort and his associated Richard Gates have both received money-laundering and tax-avoidance charges.

In addition, former Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, has pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about meeting with Russian intermediaries. It's believed he has been helping investigators in return for leniency, which could spell possible bad news for other members of the campaign team if there has been any wrongdoing.

There are also reports that attorney general Jeff Sessions may have perjured himself by claiming not to have knowledge of any attempts to collude with Russian officials. According to unsealed documents Sessions and Trump were at a meeting in which Papadopoulos stated “in sum and substance, that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and President Putin.”

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