For those who came in late, it is widely believed Tsar Vladimir Putin ordered his crack team of hackers to game the US presidential election to put a wealthy orange businessmen who owes him and his Russian chums rather a lot of cash in the top job.
Donald (Prince of Orange) and Tsar Putin have denied it, but then it is likely they would. Trumpets who support Donald Trump have been appearing all over the internet saying that “there is no proof” despite rather a lot of evidence that this sort of thing was going on.
The FBI’s Pittsburgh field office, which runs many cyber security investigations, is trying to identify the people behind breaches of the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems, the officials said.
Those breaches, in 2015 and the first half of 2016, exposed the internal communications of party officials as the Democratic nominating convention got underway and helped undermine support for Hillary Clinton.
The Pittsburgh case has progressed furthest, but Justice Department officials in Washington believe there is not enough clear evidence yet for an indictment, two of the sources said.
The bureau’s San Francisco office is trying to identify the people who called themselves “Guccifer 2” and posted emails stolen from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s account, the sources said.
Those emails contained details about fundraising by the Clinton Foundation and other topics.
Beyond the two FBI field offices, FBI counterintelligence agents based in Washington are pursuing leads from informants and foreign communications intercepts, two of the people said.
This counterintelligence inquiry includes but is not limited to examination of financial transactions by Russian individuals and companies who are believed to have links to Trump associates. The transactions under scrutiny involve investments by Russians in overseas entities that appear to have been undertaken through middlemen and front companies, two people briefed on the probe said.
Scott Smith, the FBI’s new assistant director for cybercrime, declined to comment this week on which FBI offices were doing what or how far they had progressed. It is hard to see him being enthusiastic to find a culprit as he might find himself having arrest the bloke who appointed him,
A White House spokesman pointed to a comment Trump made during the campaign, in which he said: “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia, but I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people.”
Trump claims he has no business connections to Russia and that reports in the New York Times that Americans with ties to Trump or his campaign had repeated contacts with current and former Russian intelligence officers before the November election were fake news.