Published: Fri, July 13, 2018

Russian intelligence members indicted for USA election meddling

Russian intelligence members indicted for USA election meddling

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters Friday that the defendants worked for the GRU, Russia's premier military intelligence agency.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said there was sufficient evidence to present the charges to a grand jury.

The 12 Russians - each of whom were associated with the GRU, a Russian intelligence agency, according to the indictment - allegedly conspired with each other to "gain unauthorized access into the computers of US persons and entities involved in the 2016 USA presidential election, steal documents from those computers and stage releases of the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election". The DNC hack was one of the major prongs of the Russian interference in the 2016 election, with the emails leaked to the internet in an effort to damage Hillary Clinton's chances of winning and boost Donald Trump.

He also said the Russian defendants infiltrated computers at USA state boards of election and secretaries of state, plus software suppliers whose products help election officials verify voter registration data. They also hacked into networks and installed malicious software that captured keystrokes, took screenshots, and allowed them to take data from the computers.

The attacks were a signature feature of Russia's active measures against the United States; embarrassing emails were passed to Wikileaks, which released them publicly.

In February, Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies in an elaborate conspiracy to interfere in the election.

The charges come as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the presidential election.

To date, Mueller's probe has netted five guilty pleas, including from Trump's ex-national security adviser, Michael Flynn, along with almost 32 indictments, including the president's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

"It's important not to think as Republicans or Democrats, but patriotically as Americans", he said.

And the announcement came at the same time that Trump and the first lady were meeting at Windsor Castle with the Queen.

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