The U.S. government is considering new sanctions against Moscow after the allegedly Russia-backed hack of Democratic Party computer systems last month, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Some 20,000 emails were leaked from Democratic National Convention (DNC) systems, embarrassing senior party figures and forcing chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign.
A number of government officials, along with independent security firms, have claimed that Kremlin-backed hackers were responsible for the breach.
“I know for sure it was the Russians,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement to journalists on Thursday. She likened the breaches to an “electronic Watergate.” Officials were still assessing the damage caused, she said.
Levying sanctions would require the White House to make formal accusations against Russia, a policy that the United States has typically avoided following cyber-attacks.
Russia has called the accusations “absurd” and vehemently denies any involvement.
“When the administration has sufficient evidence, it will make the attribution public as well as consider any other steps necessary,” Adam Schiff, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Wall Street Journal.
The United States, European Union and a number of allied countries have enforced economic and travel sanctions against Russia since 2014 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and role in the Ukraine conflict. Russia responded to the measures with a ban on food imports from Western nations.