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United States indicts 12 Russian intel officers ahead of Trump-Putin meeting

14 July, 2018, 02:41 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced Friday that a federal grand jury has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Committee the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Hillary Clinton&#x

A copy of the grand jury indictment against 12 Russian intelligence officers is seen after the indictments were filed in U.S. District Court by prosecutors working as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigationÊin Washington, U.S., July 13, 2018.

Rosenstein said he had briefed President Trump on the indictment earlier this week, adding that although Americans corresponded with the indicted Russians, in this case no Americans knowingly conspired with Russian intelligence officers.

Before Friday's indictment, Mueller's team had charged 20 individuals and three companies as part of its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to Trump's campaign.

USA intelligence agencies have said the meddling was aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming the election bid of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Rosenstein said he briefed Trump on the latest indictment earlier this week, as the president embarked on a European tour that included the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, a visit to the United Kingdom and an upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who Trump said was not his enemy, but his "competitor". GRU units 26165 and 74455, the indictment says, "conducted large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 presidential election".

Mueller's probe has come under sustained attack from Trump and his supporters in Congress, who call it a witch hunt and a politically-motivated attempt to hurt the president.

Rosenstein said the Russians tried to infiltrate computers of state boards, secretaries of states and others who administer elections.




"President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russian Federation takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won't interfere in future elections", he said. The hacking was of the DNC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, including its chairman, John Podesta. "This is consistent with what we have been saying all along", the statement said.

It is the first to implicate the Russian Government directly.

Guccifer 2.0, an online persona Trump ally Roger Stone interacted with during the 2016 campaign, was also named in the indictment.

"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. Pure stupidity. But it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation.

"We have been extremely tough on Russia", Trump said.

"We have this stupidity going on, pure stupidity, but it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation because, anything you do, it's like: "Russia, oh he loves Russia", he said. "Anything you do, it's always going to be, 'Oh, Russia, he loves Russia'".

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