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Just two days before a scheduled summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that will take place in Finland, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Friday the indictments of a dozen Russian military officers for hacking—the latest charges stemming directly from the probe of Special Counselor Robert Mueller into foreign interference of U.S. elections.
"The indictment charges twelve Russian military officers by name for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election," Rosenstein announced at a press conference at the Department of Justice just after 12:00 PM eastern.
Striking in the indictment is the stated finding that key sources of leaked information from the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of candidate Hillary Clinton—both DC Leaks and the hacker persona known as Guccifer 2.0—were both the creation and under the control of the GRU, the Russian government's cladenstine intelligence service.
In light of the charges against 12 GRU officers announced by Rod Rosenstein, @realDonaldTrump should cancel his meeting with Putin, who ordered the attack on the US. @POTUS shouldn't meet Putin until he accepts responsibility. And Trump should definitely not meet him alone. https://t.co/bP71DdGOHB
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 13, 2018
Mueller gets an A+ for the timing of these indictments, right before Trump is to meet with Mueller.
Wondering whether Trump will have the courage to challenge Putin & say Putin is full of it when he denies that his government had any role in the hacks during the 2016 campaign. https://t.co/mwmuIxzApS
— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) July 13, 2018
According to a statement put out by the DOJ, the indictment includes 11 criminal counts:
- Count One alleges a criminal conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States through cyber operations by the GRU that involved the staged release of stolen documents for the purpose of interfering with the 2016 president election;
- Counts Two through Nine charge aggravated identity theft for using identification belonging to eight victims to further their computer fraud scheme;
- Count Ten alleges a conspiracy to launder money in which the defendants laundered the equivalent of more than $95,000 by transferring the money that they used to purchase servers and to fund other costs related to their hacking activities through cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin; and
- Count Eleven charges conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States by attempting to hack into the computers of state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and US companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of elections.
Read the full official indictment here.
Watch the Rosenstein press conference: