Mueller Indicts 12 Russians For Hacking Democrats

WASHINGTON, DC — Twelve members of Russian military intelligence were indicted Wednesday in the probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III for criminal charges that offered what appeared to be the most damning evidence to date of President Vladimir Putin’s direct meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections.

Announcement of the indictments came Friday, two days before President Trump is due to meet with Putin in a one-on-one meeting in Helsinki.

All 12 of those indicted are accused of engaging in a sustained effort to hack the computer networks of Democratic organizations and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns. They were members of Russian military intelligence known as GRU, which is tightly controlled by Putin.

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The indictment does not name any American citizens, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said at a news conference.

“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime,” he said. “There is no allegation that the conspiracy altered the vote count or changed any election result.”

Rosenstein said Russian intelligence agents stole information on 500,000 U.S. voters beginning in at least March 2016. Those indicted not only covertly monitored the computers, but also implanted “hundreds of of files” contain malicious malware and stole emails and other documents form the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Mueller has been investigating since May 2017 on whether anybody with the Trump campaign or his associates worked with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. Prior to Friday’s indictments, the investigation had already charged 20 people with various crimes. Fourteen of those previously charged are Russians.

“Free and fair elections are hard-fought and contentious, and there will always be adversaries who work to exacerbate domestic differences and try to confuse, divide and conquer us,” Rosenstein said in a statement. “So long as we are united in our commitment to the shared values enshrined in the Constitution, they will not succeed.”

Read the indictment below.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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