12 Russians indicted for meddling in 2016 US election

12 Russians indicted for meddling in 2016 US election, by Eric Tucker.

Twelve Russian military intelligence officers hacked into the Clinton presidential campaign and Democratic Party and released tens of thousands of private communications in a sweeping conspiracy by the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election, according to an indictment announced days before President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The indictment represents special counsel Robert Mueller’s first charges against Russian government officials for interfering in American politics, an effort U.S. intelligence agencies say was aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. The case follows after a separate indictment that accused Russians of using social media to sow discord among American voters. …

Mueller did not allege that Trump campaign associates were involved in the hacking effort, that Americans were knowingly in touch with Russian intelligence officers or that any vote tallies were altered by hacking. …

The indictment identifies the defendants as officers with Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, also known as GRU. If that link is established, it would shatter the Kremlin denials of the Russian state’s involvement in the U.S. elections given that the GRU is part of the state machine. …

Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said on Twitter that it was time to end the investigation since “no Americans are involved” in Friday’s indictment.

We already know beyond reasonable that the documents published by Wikileaks were leaked not hacked (because they came off the DNC servers onto a USB drive), and Wikileaks insists they were not from the Russians.

The whole intelligence world knew that Hillary had a server with her emails on it (to avoid an FOI for her corrupt dealings), and the security on that server was lax. So it almost certainly wasn’t just the Russians who hacked those.

12 Russian intelligence officers charged with hacking Hillary Clinton, by The Australian.

“There’s no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in announcing the charges at a press conference in Washington.

“There’s no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime,” Rosenstein added, although the “conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet.” However, he said, “there’s no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers.”…

In a statement, the White House highlighted Rosenstein’s remarks that no Americans had been charged. …

The indictment alleges that beginning in March 2016, the GRU agents began targeting over 300 employees and volunteers of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

“The conspirators covertly monitored the computers of dozens of DCCC and DNC employees, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code, and stole emails and other documents,” it said.

Around June 2016, they began releasing tens of thousands of the stolen emails and documents using “fictitious online personas, including ‘DCLeaks’ and ‘Guccifer 2.0,’” the indictment said.

Some of the documents and emails were released through a website identified in the indictment only as “Organisation 1” — believed to be Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks.