Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into means to charge the Russian hackers who hacked and leaked emails sent among high-ranking officials in the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
NBC News reported Thursday that if the indictment or indictments come down, it’s likely to reveal more information about who was behind that portion of Russia’s electoral interference — and how, if at all, they communicated with Donald Trump’s campaign.
NBC spoke to current and former government officials familiar with the case Mueller is assembling, many of whom agreed that his case is likely to rely on information gathered from American intelligence agencies such as the CIA and NSA.
Though “it is unlikely that the United States would be able to extradite alleged Russian hackers or their paymasters,” a government official NBC spoke to noted that “an indictment would ‘send a signal’ both to Russia and to any Americans who may have participated.”
NBC News previously reported that “U.S. intelligence agencies have evidence Putin was closely involved [in the DNC hack], but sources say the intelligence underlying that conclusion is extremely sensitive.”
Last month, Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three groups for interfering in the 2016 election.