Mueller indicts 12 Russians for hacking DNC, Hillary Clinton's computers

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

Russian intelligence members indicted for U.S. election meddling

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced new indictments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Twelve indictments were filed by the office of USA special counsel Robert Mueller, who was brought on previous year to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The 12 were members of Russian military intelligence, known as the GRU, and are accused of engaging in a sustained effort to hack the computer networks of Democratic organisations and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The indictment of 12 Russian military officers for attempting to interfere with the 2016 USA election revealed that a candidate for Congress sought information from Russia.

Twelve Russian intelligence officers have been charged with hacking the emails of the Democratic National Committee in one of the most significant developments of the Russia investigation to date.

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The indictment comes just three days before the president is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Helsinki.

Rosenstein said "the conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet".

Meanwhile, the White House has focused on Rosenstein's statement that the indictment doesn't include any Americans.

The deputy attorney general also stated that he had briefed President Donald Trump about the indictments earlier this the week.

He said the hackers did interact with some Americans in the course of their efforts, but noted those people had not been charged with a crime. Given that we are mere months away from a massively important state and local midterm election, you'd think people would be more concerned about protecting us from the continuing threat of Russian interference.

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CNN's Russia investigation reporter Marshall Cohen said, by CNN's count, that Mueller has filed "191 criminal charges against 35 defendants", including "112 new charges brought today against a dozen Russian operatives for hacking".

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.

Among those who have been indicted in connection to the special counsel probe are former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, campaign adviser Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser on the campaign, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn. "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.

Trump has frequently dismissed the Russian Federation probe as a "witch hunt" and expressed his anger that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation.

Mueller, appointed by the Justice Department in May 2017 to take over an investigation earlier handled by the FBI, is investigating whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation and whether the president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the Russian Federation investigation. Mr. Rosenstein said the timing was the result of "the collection of facts, evidence of law".

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