Russian intel officers indicted for hacking Democrats in 2016 United States election

Mueller departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington DC

The Russians are accused of planting malicious computer code and stole emails and other documents.

Trump, meanwhile, has been criticized for being reluctant to speak publicly about Russian interference into the campaign.

Rosenstein said that his team had determined that these 12 Russians were also behind the websites "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0", which they used to release information that they had stolen through hacking and spearphishing.

The indictment stated that on August 15, 2016, the conspirators posing as the "Guccifer 2.0" online persona received a request for stolen documents from a congressional candidate. The candidate and their party affiliation were not identified. In February, the attorney general's office charged 13 Russians and three companies with trying to interfere with the U.S. elections. "What impact they may have had, what their motivation may have been independently of what's required to prove this offence, is a matter of speculation".

What did the hackers find out?

The flood of embarrassing information about the inner workings of the Democratic Party's leadership led to the resignation of then-DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. "Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the President and say President Trump is completely innocent".

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If the Russian military had dropped a bomb on the headquarters of a USA political party, it would be an act of war. "What do u think about the info on the turnout model for the democrats entire presidential campaign.' The unnamed American responded, 'pretty standard'". "Pure stupidity", he said, referring to Mueller's probe.

"As Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said today, there is no allegation in this indictment that Americans knew that they were corresponding with Russians.There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime". However, there is no allegation against any USA citizen. He said Russia's GRU military intelligence service was behind online entities that disseminated and promoted the documents under the names Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.

Rosenstein said he briefed President Donald Trump on the charges earlier in the week.

He also observed that the so-called "witch hunt" doesn't look like the baseless fantasy Trump portrays it to be. He has commented in the past that "a 14-year-old" could have been behind the hacks.

Read also: Did Russia's election hacking break global law?

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Trump and Putin are scheduled to hold talks Monday in Finland, a meeting largely sought by Trump.

A White House statement offered no condemnation of the alleged Russian conspiracy.

Media captionPutin laughs at political chaos in US Who are the defendants? Presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Friday tweeted that the indictments are good news - Russians have been nailed, no Americans are involved, and it's time for Mueller to wrap up his "pursuit of the President".

The Russian government has so far declined to extradite the people named, although one American attorney has been arguing the case in Washington on their behalf.

Mr. Mueller has previously indicted Russian hackers with ties to the Kremlin, but Friday's charges are the first against government intelligence agents. He initially served as an adviser to Trump's 2016 campaign but left amid controversy in 2015.

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