Mueller indicts 12 Russians for hacking in the 2016 presidential - | WBTV Charlotte

Mueller indicts 12 Russians for hacking in the 2016 presidential campaign

Rod Rosenstein announces new indictments against Russian intelligence officers in hacking the DNC during the 2016 presidential campaign. (Source: Evan Vucci/AP) Rod Rosenstein announces new indictments against Russian intelligence officers in hacking the DNC during the 2016 presidential campaign. (Source: Evan Vucci/AP)
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(RNN) – Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office investigation indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses related to the 2016 presidential campaign. 

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a news conference on Friday the GRU officers hacked state election offices and secretaries of state, as well as the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. GRU is the Russian military intelligence agency.

Rosenstein said the Americans who were corresponding with the GRU officers were unaware they were Russian operatives.

The hackers also engaged in a powerful social media campaign to influence public opinion in the election.

The indictments come days before President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16 in a closed conference that will only have interpreters present. Rosenstein said he briefed the president earlier in the week and he is aware of the indictments.

(Read the indictment here.)

Putin has denied any election meddling, and Trump has denied any collusion with Russia. The president said he will ask Putin during the meeting if Russia interfered with the election.

Mueller's probe, which began in May of 2017 to determine if any of Trump's campaign associates worked with Russia to interfere with the election, has brought numerous charges against 32 people and three companies; 14 Russian nationals had already been charged before the indictments announced Friday.

It's unlikely the Russians will be taken to court, but naming them shows the investigation is aware of them and their actions.

Among those who have been indicted in connection to the special counsel probe are former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, campaign adviser Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser on the campaign, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Manafort is currently in an Alexandria, VA, jail after he allegedly tried to tamper with a witness in his case. Manafort is accused of criminal bank and tax fraud for his work with a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

Flynn is cooperating with Mueller and his team after he admitted to lying to the FBI about his contact with Russian officials during the transition.

On Thursday, FBI agent Peter Strzok testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee for 10 hours regarding texts he sent using an FBI phone that slammed Trump at the same time he was investigating Hillary Clinton's use of a private server for email.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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