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Russians accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 U.S. election

14 July 2018

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein holds a news conference on July 13, 2018, to announce indictments against 12 Russian intelligence agents.

The charges come just three days before US President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet Russian leader Vladimir Putin. It's expected that the announcement will relate to the Special Counsel's probe.

He said the indictments were "further proof of what everyone but the President seems to understand - President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win". The Russians are accused of planting malicious computer code and stole emails and other documents.

In addition to targeting the DNC, the Department of Justice alleges the Russian intelligence operatives also targeted: "state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and USA companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of elections to steal voter data stored on those computers". The hackers also created false personas, popularly known as DC Leaks and Guccifer 2.0, that were used to disseminate the stolen documents while disguising the campaign's Russian origins.

Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, made the announcement Friday. There will always be adversaries who seek to exacerbate our divisions and try to confuse, divide, and conquer us.

Friday's new indictments will continue to clarify for Americans why the upcoming midterm elections are so critical. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the vote count or changed the outcome of the 2016 election. "What impact they may have had, what their motivation may have been independently of what's required to prove this offence, is a matter of speculation". It is very real, and it is perhaps one of the gravest attacks on the democracy of the United States in history.

Manafort is now in an Alexandria, VA, jail after he allegedly tried to tamper with a witness in his case.

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Putin has denied any election meddling, and Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation. In July 2016, Trump spoke to the media about the emails Clinton had not turned over to the FBI during its investigation of her use of a private server during her time as secretary of state.

Clinton's campaign has long claimed the hacks were an effort to sabotage her campaign against then-candidate Donald Trump.

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

Additionally, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the contacts they had during the campaign with Russians.

Trump has long sought to undermine the Russian Federation investigation, and repeatedly referred to Mueller's probe - which has now resulted in 32 individual indictments and five guilty pleas - as a "witch hunt". "Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the President and say President Trump is completely innocent".

Mr Trump said at a news conference on Friday near London with British Prime Minister Theresa May that he was not going into the meeting with Mr Putin with "high expectations". Pure stupidity. But it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation. "But it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation".

Russians accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 U.S. election