Mueller indicts 12 Russians for DNC hacking
The Department of Justice said the Russian hacking campaign targeted Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with the intention to "release that information on the internet under the names DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 and through another entity."
But Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein didn't say who was targeted in his remarks announcing the indictments. Instead, he referred to "a US presidential campaign," "a congressional campaign committee and a national political committee" as victims.
Rosenstein said this was an intentional move to unite the country instead of further divide it.
"In my remarks, I have not identified the victims. When we confront foreign interference in American elections, it is important for us to avoid thinking politically as Republicans or Democrats and instead to think patriotically as Americans. Our response must not depend on who was victimized."
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein handed down 12 indictments just now in the Robert Mueller investigation.
Here's what we know:
- Eleven of the Russians are charged with identity theft, conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to commit computer crimes.
- Two defendants are charged with a conspiracy to commit computer crimes.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said today's indictments are not partisan, and warned anyone from approaching them with a Democrats vs. Republican mentality.
"When we confront foreign interference in American elections, it's important for us to avoid thinking politically as Republicans or Democrats and instead to think patriotically as Americans. Our response must not depend on which side was victimized."
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he briefed the President on the indictments before this announcement.
“I briefed President Trump on these allegations earlier this week,” Rosenstein said.
"He's got to make very important decisions for the country" and understand what happened.
Earlier today in the UK, President Trump said he would bring up election meddling during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein just said that no American citizens committed a crime in relation to this indictment.
“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There is no allegation that the conspiracy altered the vote count or changed any election result.”
The indictment was announced at almost exactly the moment President Trump rolled into the quadrangle of Windsor Castle to meet tQueen Elizabeth II in the symbolic highpoint of his visit to the United Kingdom.
It also emerged two days before Trump is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has denied election meddling, in Helsinki for a summit that includes a one-on-one meeting with only interpreters present.
The unfolding drama on both sides of the Atlantic reflected how Trump's presidency has been overshadowed by the Mueller probe from its earliest moments and how the investigation frequently tramples the President's attempts to carve out favorable headlines.
Prosecutors from Mueller's office and the Justice Department's National Security Division visited the courtroom of a federal magistrate judge in Washington at 11:30 a.m. ET to return the grand jury indictment, according to an itinerary posted outside the courtroom.
The Department of Justice on Friday announced indictments in the Mueller investigation against 12 Russian nationals and accused of them of engaging in a “sustained effort to hack into the computer networks” of the DCCC, the DNC and “the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and release that information on the internet under the names DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 and through another entity," it announced in a press release.
All 12 defendants are members of the GRU, a Russian federation intelligence agency within the main intelligence directorate of the Russian military, who were acting in “their official capacities.”
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is speaking now.