Russian intelligence officers indicted for hacking in 2016 US presidential election

Russian intelligence officers indicted for hacking in 2016 US presidential election

The US justice department has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee in the 2016 election.

The No. 2 Justice Department official said Trump, who is traveling in Europe, was briefed on the matter earlier this week.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters Friday that the defendants worked for the GRU, Russia's premier military intelligence agency.

Count Eleven charges conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States by attempting to hack into the computers of state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and U.S. companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of elections.

Friday's indictments come ahead of Tuesday's scheduled meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The indictment also does not allege that any vote tallies were altered by hacking.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the charges at a press conference on Friday. "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".

The charges add to an already substantial list of 19 other people and three companies charged in the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Mueller has secured indictments against several former Trump campaign aides, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn. But that indictment had not directly tied the meddling effort to Russia's government.

On Thursday, GOP lawmakers skewered FBI agent Peter Strzok at a congressional hearing over his work as the former lead agent in the Russian Federation probe and an earlier investigation of Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

In his Friday announcement, Rosenstein called for an end to partisan fighting over the Russian Federation investigation, just one day after a Congressional panel grilled the former FBI agent Peter Strozk over his private text messages that were critical of Donald Trump. "But it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation". "But I love getting along with Russian Federation and China and other countries".

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