Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Russian intelligence officers indicted for hacking in 2016 US presidential 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 Joshua Roberts Reuters FILE
Ellis Copeland | 13 July, 2018, 20:24

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. "Together with our law enforcement partners, the Department of Justice is resolute in its commitment to locate, identify and seek to bring to justice anyone who interfere with American elections".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments at a press conference, which took place just after Trump and his wife, Melania, arrived at Windsor Castle for a ceremony with Queen Elizabeth as part of the president's European visit.

His work had already led to charges against 20 people on crimes ranging from money laundering to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"The conspirators corresponded with several Americans through the internet", Rosenstein explained, adding, however, that, "The is no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers". The current indictment did not allege that any Americans committed crimes related to the Russian hacking, Rosenstein announced. "One of those defendants, and a twelfth Russian officer, are charged with conspiring to infiltrate computers of organizations responsible for administering elections, including state boards of election, secretaries of state, and companies that supply software and other technology used to administer elections". "Pure stupidity", he said, referring to Mueller's probe.

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Friday's announcement follows a separate but related indictment by the special counsel's office from earlier this year of Russians connected to the campaign of social media agitation aimed at increasing the volume on political controversy within the United States.

Rosenstein said there is no allegation that USA citizens were involved in the alleged crimes described in the indictment.

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Putin personally ordered a campaign to undermine "public faith in the USA democratic process" with the goal of hurting Clinton's candidacy and ultimately helping to elect Trump. Trump and Putin are scheduled to hold talks Monday in Finland, a meeting largely sought by Trump. Trump has said he believes Putin's denials that Russian Federation did not meddle in the election.

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