Russian intelligence members indicted for USA election meddling

US indicts 12 Russians for hacking DNC emails during the 2016 election

A federal grand jury on Friday charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic computer networks in 2016 as part of Moscow's meddling in the presidential election to help Republican Donald Trump.

The indictment charges 12 Russians of hacking into computers, stealing documents, and then releasing those documents with "the intent to interfere with the election", Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein detailed the new charges during a press conference. Clinton and her campaign argue that the emails were personal in nature and not work-related, lamenting that they did not delete the emails after receiving a congressional subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

It was a well-planned, high-tech, and ultimately successful cyber-operation, carried out by the military intelligence agency of a major country.

The Russians indicted are not in U.S. custody nor is it likely that they will ever serve jail time. Co-defendant Aleksandr Vladimirovich Osadchuk allegedly ran Unit 74455, which focused on assisting in the release of the hacked documents through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, promoting those releases, and publishing anti-Clinton posts on social media.

Clinton campaign manager John Podesta's emails were also hacked. "There is no allegation in the indictment that the Americans knew they were communicating with Russian intelligence officers", Rosenstein said.

The indictments were announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as part of the ongoing special counsel probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Because Mueller has maintained public silence on his investigation, Rosenstein has made the few public pronouncements on the probe outside of legal documents and courtroom proceedings.

The charges stemmed from the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

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Of those 32, 26 are Russian nationals, five are American and one is Dutch. The description matches a contact that longtime Trump associate Roger Stone has previously said he had with Guccifer. In February, the attorney general's office charged 13 Russians and three companies with trying to interfere with the U.S. elections.

"Our response must not depend on which side was victimized", Rosenstein said.

Mr Trump, who is now visiting Britain, is scheduled to meet Mr Putin in Helsinki on Monday.

He said: "I briefed the president". Comey said at the time there was "no doubt" the Russian Government meddled in the 2016 USA election.

"The defendants accessed email accounts of volunteers and employees of a U.S. presidential campaign, including the campaign chairman starting in March of 2016", the deputy attorney general said.

President Donald Trump (R) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk as they make their way to take the "family photo" during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017. "Failure to stand up to Putin would constitute a profound betrayal of the Constitution and our democracy". "President Trump must demand and secure a real, concrete and comprehensive agreement that the Russians will cease their ongoing attacks on our democracy".

The indictment unsealed on Friday is available here.

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