United States indicts 12 Russian spies on 2016 election meddling charges

14 July, 2018, 03:51 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Rod Rosenstein

Twelve Russian military intelligence officers hacked into the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic Party, releasing tens of thousands of stolen communications, in a sweeping effort by a foreign government to meddle in the 2016 United States election, according to a grand jury indictment.

The 12 alleged Russian intelligence officials were indicted as part of the ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in USA politics, Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, was due to announce at a press conference in Washington.

Count Eleven charges conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States by attempting to hack into the computers of state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of elections.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who announced the indictment at a press conference in Washington, said "there's no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime".

President Trump told reporters a few few hours before Rosenstein spoke that he plans to bring up Russia's election interference campaign Monday with President Vladimir Putin when they meet in Helsinki, Finland.

Rosenstein said "the conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet". Poltico reports on the press conference and indictment here. Yet, ironically, the indictment confirms that there were no Americans involved in either the hacking or the dissemination of the Democrats' emails.


The indictment says that Florida elections officials were targets of the operatives, who worked for the Russian foreign intelligence service, the GRU.

Rosenstein said the latest indictment did not include any allegation that Russian Federation was successful in their efforts to influence election outcomes.

The hackers also created false online personas, known as DC Leaks and Guccifer 2.0, to try to disguise the Russian origins of their work, Rosenstein said.

The goal of the conspiracy was to have an impact on the election. Not a single Russian person indicted by Mueller has shown up in a USA court and they will likely continue to avoid global travel so they won't be apprehended.

The entire indictment can be read here, and it is an outcome of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of election meddling. So far, Mueller's team has indicted 32 people, including members of a Russian company that blanketed social media with fake news stories and senior members of the Trump campaign. "This is not a witch hunt and it is certainly not a joke, as Donald Trump has desperately and incorrectly argued in the past", Perez said. GRU units 26165 and 74455, the indictment says, "conducted large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 presidential election".

Those charged include Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, who admitted guilt to one count of lying to investigators on December 1; former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's longtime partner and deputy campaign chair Rick Gates and campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.

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