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US grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking

14 July 2018

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.

Clinton campaign manager John Podesta's emails were also hacked, which contained details of infighting and aides' disparaging remarks about Mrs Clinton.

The Kremlin denied anew it tried to sway the election.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (L) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) behind him on May 4, 2017.

The US president recalled that 60 intelligence officers were expelled from the Russian embassy in Washington in response to a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain.

In August 2016, the indictment says, "the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent a reporter stolen documents pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement, The reporter responded by discussing when to release the documents and offering to write an article about their release".

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Connecting the dots, one can assume that the candidate seeking and receiving the "stolen documents' was a member of the Republican party, considering the fact that the Mueller investigation has only indicated that Guccifer 2.0 released stolen material from the DNC and Clinton Campaign". According to the indictment, the defendants also sometimes facilitated Bitcoin payments on the same computers they used to "conduct their hacking activity".

"As Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said today: 'There is no allegation in this indictment that Americans knew that they were corresponding with 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", he said.

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said on Twitter that it was time to end the investigation since "no Americans are involved" in Friday's indictment.

In February, Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies in an elaborate conspiracy to interfere in the election. "There is no debate that the Russians meddled in the election".

"Russia, if you're listening", Trump said, "I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing".

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Hours later, the Main Intelligence Directorate in Moscow appeared to heed the call - targeting Clinton's personal office and hitting more than 70 other Clinton campaign accounts.

A few hours before the indictments were announced, Trump described the Mueller investigation as a "rigged witch hunt" that is hurting the U.S. relationship with Russian Federation.

It was unclear whether the indictment might factor into Trump's meeting with Putin on Monday. "If President Trump is not prepared to hold Putin accountable, the summit in Helsinki should not move forward".

Rosenstein said he had briefed President Trump on the indictment earlier this week, adding that although Americans corresponded with the indicted Russians, in this case no Americans knowingly conspired with Russian intelligence officers.

The ministry's statement blames "influential political forces of the United States, who oppose the normalization of relations between our countries and have been manufacturing blatant slander for two years".

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US grand jury indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking