Russian intelligence officers indicted over U.S. election hacking

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionFBI's Peter Strzok Anti Trump bias claims'deeply destructive

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionFBI's Peter Strzok Anti Trump bias claims'deeply destructive

It had been sought by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the attack and rejected accusations that it interfered in the U.S. presidential election in a bid to bring about the defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton. The effort also included bogus Facebook ads and social media postings that prosecutors say were aimed at influencing public opinion and sowing discord on hot-button social issues.

The US has indicted 12 Russian military officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee and other targets and leaking the stolen materials during the 2016 presidential election.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, denied anew that it tried to sway the election.

But the indictment identifies the defendants as officers with Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, also known as GRU. They allegedly mined coins and acquired them "through a variety of means to obscure the origin of the funds", which were used to finance cyberattacks against Democratic party officials, members of Hillary Clinton's campaign, and others.

"Eleven of the defendants are charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents, and release those documents with the intent to interfere in the election", he said. "Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the President and say President Trump is completely innocent", Giuliani said in his tweet.


"Today's charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result".

Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, on Friday announced new charges stemming from the ongoing Department of Justice investigation led by Muller, into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.

If the involvement of the GRU officers in the hacking effort is proved, it will shatter the Kremlin denials of the Russian state's involvement in the USA elections.

A few hours before the indictments were announced, Trump described the Mueller investigation as a "rigged witch hunt" that is hurting the United States relationship with Russian Federation. The announcement comes just days before President Donald Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. They used the Malaysian server to log into the Twitter account of the online hacker persona Guccifer 2.0, and the same server was used to register websites used for hacking the Democratic committees, according to the indictment.

The dates and content of the messages described in the indictment between the US person in regular contact with senior members of Trump's presidential campaign and Guccifer 2.0 match verbatim two screenshots Stone published on his website in March of 2017 of the direct message exchange he had with Guccifer 2.0 on Twitter in 2016. 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. Anything you do, it's always going to be, "Oh, Russia, he loves Russia".

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