Twelve Russian intelligence officers charged over USA election hacking

14 Julio, 2018, 00:59 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Alex Wong  Getty Images North America

Today's latest, and nearly certainly not last, indictments in the Russia scandal concern 12 Russian intelligence figures.

Today, a grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment presented by the Special Counsel's Office.

Mueller and a team of prosecutors have been working since May 2017 to determine if any Trump associates conspired with Russian Federation to interfere in the election. 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. Given that we are mere months away from a massively important state and local midterm election, you'd think people would be more concerned about protecting us from the continuing threat of Russian interference.

The suspects, according to the indictment, were attached to two military divisions of Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate, known as the GRU - Unit 26165 and Unit 74455.

They used spear-phishing techniques to steal user names, passwords and emails and paid for the operation with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the indictment alleges.

USA prosecutors accuse the Russian intelligence officials of creating a fictitious, public-facing persona, dubbed "Guccifer 2.0", to serve as a conduit for the stolen DNC data and others prior to the 2016 election.

There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity or knew they were communicating with Russian intelligence officers.

Clinton campaign manager John Podesta's emails were also hacked.

"The internet allows foreign adversaries to attack Americans in new and unexpected ways", Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein said. There will always be adversaries who seek to exacerbate our divisions and try to confuse, divide, and conquer us.

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The Russia investigation has now led to charges against 32 people, including previous charges against 14 Russian nationals for their work on spreading Russian-based propaganda.

Mr Mueller has secured indictments against several former Trump campaign aides, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn.

In light of the charges against 12 GRU officers announced by Rod Rosenstein, @realDonaldTrump should cancel his meeting with Putin, who ordered the attack on the US. The president also has said the interference took place and vowed that if it returned in the 2018 midterm election - as US intelligence officials have warned it may - he would "counteract it very strongly".

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

"President Trump must be willing to confront Putin from a position of strength and demonstrate that there will be a serious price to pay for his ongoing aggression towards the United States and democracies around the world", said GOP Sen.

"Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy", said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Rosenstein said he briefed President Donald Trump on the charges earlier in the week.

"I will absolutely, firmly ask the question, and hopefully we'll have a good relationship with Russian Federation", he told a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

- Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 13, 2018 Mueller gets an A+ for the timing of these indictments, right before Trump is to meet with Mueller.

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