In May 2016, a Russian military intelligence officer talked too much. Boasting to a colleague, he said that his organization, known as the GRU, was getting ready to cause chaos in the upcoming U.S. presidential election. The officer was “bragging about the systematic attempt… to cause chaos into our electoral cycle,” a senior U.S. intelligence official told TIME for the magazine’s current cover story on the Russian operation. What the officer didn’t know was that U.S. spies were listening. Looking back as part of their effort to uncover the details of the 2016 Russia operation, U.S. investigators now realize the GRU officer’s boast was the first indication they had from their sources that Russia wasn’t just hacking U.S. email accounts to collect intelligence, but was actually planning to interfere in the vote, several senior intelligence officials told TIME.
year later, that single scrap of intelligence has grown into a multi-pronged investigation to uncover the full extent of Russia’s election-meddling, an attack on the core exercise of democracy in America. The probes have uncovered the possibility that members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign cooperated with Moscow’s agents, according to the ousted head of the FBI, James Comey, and other senior Justice Department and intelligence officials.
Intelligence collected last year, former CIA Chief John Brennan testified on May 23, “raised questions in my mind, again, whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.” The acting FBI director, Andrew G. McCabe, confirmed in testimony earlier this month that the bureau was pursuing a “highly significant” investigation into possible collusion.
Full Article: Why Trump Can’t Stop the Russia Investigation | Time.com.