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The Justice Department is gathering evidence to potentially charge Russian officials over the 2016 DNC hack

Justice Department prosecutors have gathered evidence to potentially charge more than six Russian government officials over the 2016 Democratic National Committee hack, The Wall Street Journal reports. WikiLeaks published the DNC emails, as well as correspondences by Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta, in the lead-up to the presidential election.

People familiar with the Justice Department's ongoing investigation say that it is unlikely any Russian government officials will actually be arrested over the hack. Instead, the department "has been bringing more cases against alleged hackers acting on behalf of foreign governments as a means of making the allegations public and potentially forcing a change in behavior," The Wall Street Journal writes.

The investigation is separate from the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russia's role influencing the 2016 election. The Justice Department and FBI were working on their investigation into the hacking for almost a year before Mueller came on. While the case is still in its preliminary stages, people familiar with the Justice Department's discussions say the charges could be brought early next year. Read the entire report at The Wall Street Journal.