Russian Intelligence Officers Indicted In Robert Mueller Investigation

Yuri Gripas  Reuters

The indictment was of senior officers who worked in two units of Russian military intelligence, and that they covertly monitored computers, implanted malicious computer code and stole emails and other documents.

The Justice Department is bringing charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign as part of the special counsel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The charges were announced on Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Additionally, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the contacts they had during the campaign with Russians.

The alleged conspirators hacked into the computer network of the Democratic Congressional Committee and Democratic National Campaign Committee.

The hackers, the DOJ said in its press release, released the hacked information "on the internet under the names DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 and through another entity".

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In February, Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies in an elaborate conspiracy to interfere in the election.

Rosenstein's announcement took place just ahead of a planned meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki.

"It is a stunning set of indictments and clearly indicates that a lot of what the president and his administration have said about the hacks on Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC simply was not true", Tapper added.

"It's important not to think as Republicans or Democrats, but patriotically as Americans", he said.

Mr Rosenstein said there were no allegations that United States citizens were involved in the alleged crimes.

The bombshell came a day after GOP lawmakers spent hours trying to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller's probe by attacking FBI agent Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump text messages with his FBI colleague and then-lover Lisa Page they cited as evidence of a tainted investigation.

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