Russian intel officers indicted for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign

Howard TerryJul 14, 2018

Eleven of the 12 Russian operatives are charged with either hacking into or "spearphishing" (sending emails to trick people into providing passwords) the computer networks of Democratic Party officials; spying on network activity and collecting information; and creating fictional personas to spread the information and hide that the source was actually Russian officials with military intelligence agency GRU.

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.

Eleven of today's defendants are charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents, and release documents in an effort to interfere with the election.

The Justice Department announced charges Friday against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election.

One group of officers were tasked with infiltrating computers and stealing data, while another worked to distribute it through anonymous channels in the U.S.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he has no evidence that the hacking changed the outcome of the 2016 election, nor that "any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity".

The indictment also appears to allude to Florida political operative Aaron Nevins, who reached out to Guccifer and asked for "any Florida based information", according to a Wall Street Journal report a year ago. He said Russia's GRU military intelligence service was behind online entities that disseminated and promoted the documents under the names Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.

Rosenstein asked Americans to focus not only who was hurt by or benefited politically from the Russian attacks but to unite against foreign influence in the American democratic process. 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. He said he briefed Trump earlier this week.

If the Russian military had dropped a bomb on the headquarters of a United States political party, it would be an act of war. Indeed, an indictment that directly points to Russian President Vladimir Putin makes it much more hard for critics to dismiss Russia's culpability in election hacking as unproven.

Schumer says Trump should cancel his meeting with Putin until Russian Federation takes steps to prove it won't interfere in future elections.

Rosenstein said he had informed Trump about the charges.

As Republicans continue to try and debunk the Special Counsel probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Robert Mueller has been working behind closed doors on his investigation. The charges said that no Americans were knowingly in communication with any of the Russian intelligence officers.

Mr Mueller has secured indictments against several former Trump campaign aides, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn.

And after the news broke of the indictment of the Russian intel officers, McCain issued a stronger statement making it clear that "if President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward".

What do these charges say about the larger Mueller operation? "But it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation". "But I love getting along with Russian Federation and China and other countries".

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