Three top Russian intelligence officials and one contractor that worked for the cybersecurity office of the Russian National Intelligence Agency have been arrested and charged with treason. US intelligence officials speculate that the arrests are the direct result of American investigations regarding the hacking of DNC computers leading up to the 2016 American presidential election.
For months now, concerns about Russian involvement in the presidential election have permeated throughout the world’s media, but critics have consistently argued that the U.S. government had not released sufficient evidence to the public to establish the certainty that many political leaders have demonstrated regarding Russian meddling. These arrests may well indicate that American intelligence officials had more than digital sleuthing to back up their assessment; they may have inside intel provided by the four men now being held in Russian custody.
If that is indeed the case, it would make more sense that intelligence officials would be reluctant to announce such evidence publicly, as it would almost certainly prompt a mole hunt that could cost American intelligence agencies their imbedded assets – and cost those moles a lifetime behind bars.
The United States first formally accused Russia of meddling with the election process last October, a full month before ballots were cast, but in the final weeks of President Barack Obama’s administration, an investigation into the situation prompted even President Trump himself to agree at one point that the Russian government may have been involved in the hacking of email accounts associated with high-ranking members of the Democratic Party. The report, which remains classified but has had a thinned-out version released for public consumption, even went so far as to accuse Russian President, Vladimir Putin himself of being directly involved in the planning of the cyber-operation intended to discredit former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s chances at winning the election.