Mueller probe indicts 12 Russians for hacking Democrats in 2016

Rod Rosenstein announces new indictments against Russian intelligence officer in hacking the DNC during the 2016 presidential campaign

The Justice Department's indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence agents on Friday was jaw-dropping in its scope and level of details into attempts to influence the 2016 USA presidential election.

The DOJ indicts 12 Russian intelligence officials, just days before President Trump is set to meet with Vladimir Putin.

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.

Viktor Borisovich Netyksho was a GRU officer leading Unit 26165, which was responsible for hacking into the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, according to the indictment. "The use of bitcoin allowed the conspirators to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions, allowing them to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds", the indictment said.

Read the full indictment below.

Graham said May's approval of the Putin meeting is still important since Britain is America's closest ally as well as similarly a rival of Russian Federation.

The charges come as Mueller continues to investigate potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Rosenstein, who laid out the allegations at a news conference that began while Trump was meeting with Queen Elizabeth in London, said he had briefed Trump earlier in the week and that the president was "fully aware" of the charges in the indictment.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the attack and rejected accusations that it interfered in the USA presidential election in a bid to help Trump win.

Rosenstein announced the charges during a press conference in Washington after they were filed by special counsel Robert Mueller. 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.

Putin has denied any election meddling, and Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation.

Mr Rosenstein said: "We know that the goal of the conspirators was to have an impact on the election".

"The defendants falsely claimed DCLeaks was American and that Guccifer 2.0 was a sole Romanian hacker", Rosenstein said.

"I'm glad of the opportunity to tell you about the contact we have had with your neighbors, and leaders of various countries", Putin told him as they met at the Kremlin, in quotes carried by Russian agencies.

Trump is spending the weekend at his golf club in Scotland before meeting with Putin on Monday - a summit Democrats called on Trump to cancel in the wake of Friday's indictments.

He said there was no evidence that the hacking changed any vote count. That brings the overall number to 32 people or entities indicted in connection with the Mueller investigation.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates were charged with money laundering relating to their political consultancy work in Ukraine. That includes any links with the campaign of then candidate Donald Trump.

Wealthy Russians might have simply flown cash into the United States, according to some suggestions.

President Donald Trump responded to the recent indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officials by attempting to blame his predecessor for inaction and promoting a popular conspiracy theory Saturday morning.

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