What new Mueller indictments say about his direction

What new Mueller indictments say about his direction

A federal grand jury has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offences related to the 2016 presidential election, the Justice Department announced on Friday.

Before Friday, Mueller's group had charged 20 people and three companies in its investigation.

The 2016 presidential election is back at the top of political news today as Hillary Clinton's former campaign chairman, John Podesta, said new indictments over alleged Russian hacking of Democrats show that "crimes were "committed against the American democracy".

It was the first round of new worldwide indictments since February, when 13 Russians and three Russian companies were charged with campaign interference and coordinating with low-level Trump campaign activists.

The defendants were officers with a Russian military intelligence agency called the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, known as the GRU.

Rosenstein said these new indictments contain no allegation that any U.S. citizen committed a crime or that it changed the final vote count or election result. His team is investigating efforts by Russian Federation to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

In his press conference Rosenstein summarized the charges to the effect that the named Russian defendants stole and released Democratic documents after planting malicious computer codes in the network of the DNC as well as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The announcement comes just days before President Trump's planned meeting with his Russian counterpart, President Putin, scheduled for Monday, July 16. "Pure stupidity", he said, referring to Mueller's probe. WikiLeaks posted many hacked Democratic documents.

Nadler said he didn't think that Trump should cancel the summit, but he agreed that the President should not be meeting with Putin alone.

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The fresh indictments related to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe come amid Trump's United Kingdom visit, and just hours after he once again called the investigation a "witch hunt". According to the indictment, the defendants also sometimes facilitated Bitcoin payments on the same computers they used to "conduct their hacking activity".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the 11-count indictment Friday.

"The conspirators created fictitious online personas, including "DCLeaks" and 'Guccifer 2.0, ' and used them to release thousands of stolen emails and other documents, beginning in June 2016".

The indictment says the agents transferred stolen Democratic Party documents to the GRU-leased IL computer in April, 2016.

That evening, the indictment says, the Russians attempted to break into email accounts used by Clinton's personal office, along with 76 Clinton campaign email addresses.

"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", said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

Investigators say the group first hacked the DCCC where they compromised an individual who also had credentials for accessing the DNC network, and used those to gain access to DNC servers.

"When we confront foreign interference in American elections, it is important for us to avoid thinking politically as Republicans or Democrats and instead to think patriotically as Americans", he said.

In August 2016, the indictment says, "the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent a reporter stolen documents pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement, The reporter responded by discussing when to release the documents and offering to write an article about their release".

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