USA indicts 12 Russians for hacking DNC emails during the 2016 election

USA indicts 12 Russians for hacking DNC emails during the 2016 election

He said Russia's GRU military intelligence service was behind online entities that disseminated and promoted the documents under the names Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.

Prosecutors say that in August 2016, a USA congressional candidate requested and received from stolen documents related to an opponent from an online persona created by the Russian cabal.

According to the indictment, the hackers also stole personal information of at least 500,000 voters and gained entry to a system involved with voter registration.

This is all the U.S. Justice Department said in the announcement of the surprise press conference: "Today at 11:45AM ET: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will hold a press conference for a law enforcement announcement".

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 32 people and three companies What's the big picture?

However, "there's no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers", he said. "This is consistent with what we have been saying all along", the statement said.

The defendants are named in the indictment as Viktor Netyksho, Boris Antonov, Dmitry Badin, Ivan Yermakov, Aleksey Lukashev, Sergey Morgachev, Nikolay Kozachek, Pavel Yershov, Artem Malyshev, Aleksandr Osadchuk and Aleksey Potemkin. "The Russian state has never interfered and has no intention of interfering in the US elections", Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said Friday.

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USA officials claim the group set up the DCLeaks.com website on which they leaked files they stole from the DCCC, DNC, and from other compromised individuals. Rosenstein said he briefed the president earlier in the week and he is aware of the indictments. "The goal of the conspirators was to have an impact on the election".

The mercurial veteran GOP political operative, Roger Stone, has acknowledged that he is the unnamed Trump campaign regular who corresponded with Russian hackers, as described in a new indictment against a dozen Russians returned Friday by a federal grand jury.

In addition to contact with WikiLeaks, several people reached out to Guccifer 2.0 in August 2016 soliciting access to the stolen documents, the indictment says. "Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the President and say President Trump is completely innocent".

In addition to releasing to documents to the public, the defendants also transferred the documents to another organization.

One of the Russians probed election websites in Iowa, Florida and Georgia, looking for vulnerabilities just days before the November election, the indictment charged. Once inside the Democratic computers, they searched for keywords like "Hillary", (then-GOP candidate Ted) "Cruz", "Trump" and "Benghazi investigations" so they could steal the most damaging files. The court has taken steps to thwart any sensitive national security leaks among the evidence collected.

US intelligence agencies have said the meddling was aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming the election bid of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

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