Advertisement
The VICE Guide to Right Now

The FBI Has Reportedly Been Investigating Trump's Alleged Russian Support for Months

The feds have apparently been conducting an investigation into a possible covert cash flow that may have aided Donald Trump's election.

by Lauren Messman
19 January 2017, 5:00am

PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images

It doesn't look like the president-elect's Russia problem is going away anytime soon. On Wednesday, McClatchy DC reported that six law enforcement and intelligence agencies—including the FBI, CIA, and NSA—have been conducting an investigation into how Russia may have secretly paid hackers in the US to influence the election. Perhaps more explosively, investigators are questioning whether or not anyone close to Trump's campaign knew about such efforts.

The inter-agency group—which also includes members of the DOJ, the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence—was put together back in the spring in an effort to investigate Trump's possible ties to Russia. (That timeline indicates that the investigation has nothing to do with more recent news reports centered on unconfirmed and wild claims of Russian operatives possessing compromising information on Trump.)

In recent months, the group's goal has shifted to finding out who financed the DNC hacks and how the money got to the US, according to two sources close to the matter. Investigators are looking into allegations that the Russian government may have gotten money to hackers in the US via a program used to pay Russian American pensioners. The group is also looking into the possibility that money was passed between intermediaries, and then ultimately to the hackers.

Additionally, investigators are looking into a few people close to Trump's campaign and businesses, as well as Russians who might have had connections to the president-elect. Trump has repeatedly denied having anything to do with Russia, though he praised Putin during the campaign.


Earlier this month, the US intelligence community released a declassified report officially determining that Russian president Vladimir Putin was behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails and did so in an effort to "undermine faith in the US democratic process."