NBC: Mueller Preparing Possible Charges Against Russians For Email Hacks

Ron Sachs/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller is “assembling” a case against the Russians who hacked and leaked top Democrats’ emails during the 2016 campaign, NBC News reported Thursday, citing multiple unnamed current and former officials familiar with the matter.

NBC News hedged that, according to its sources, the potential charges weren’t imminent but could come within weeks or the next few months. Mueller could keep the charges under seal or, the report said, he could choose not to file them at all in order to protect intelligence sources, or for other reasons.

The network reported the potential charges include conspiracy-related statutes and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The indictment against Russian hackers, if it occurs, would add to the 13 Russian individuals and three Russian entities Mueller indicted last month for charges related to interference in the 2016 election.

The Russian nationals are unlikely to be extradited to the United States to face the charges. An unnamed government official told NBC that the potential charges would “send a message” to others who may have participated in the email theft.

NBC reported that “it could not be learned” if Mueller would make allegations about Russian President Vladimir Putin in the potential indictment, but one unnamed former FBI official told the network that Russian government officials would likely be charged.