Twelve Russian intelligence officers charged over United States election hacking

Mueller departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington DC

Joshua Roberts Reuters FILE

"The indictment charges twelve Russian military officers for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election".

The Justice Department has announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election.

US intelligence agencies have said the interference was aimed at helping the presidential campaign of Republican Donald Trump and harming the election bid of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Rosenstein supervises Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election and ties to Trump's campaign. They also hacked into networks and installed malicious software that captured keystrokes, took screenshots, and allowed them to take data from the computers. They are accused of releasing the stolen emails on a website, dcleaks.com.

"Between in or around June 2016 and October 2016, the Conspirators used Guccifer 2.0 to release documents through WordPress that they had stolen from the DCCC and DNC", the indictment read.

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In February this year, Mueller's team unveiled criminal charges against 13 Russians and three Russian companies for interfering in the presidential campaign, using social media and coordinating with low-level Trump campaign activists.

It comes days before Mr Trump's Helsinki meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, casting a major shadow over the encounter. He said he briefed Trump earlier this week on the indictment. On Feb. 16, his prosecutors charged 13 Russians and three Russian entities they said were part of a broader effort to sow discord among USA voters through social media - which they used to impersonate Americans, coordinate with unwitting US activists and even plan rallies.

"He needs to know what evidence there is of foreign election interference", said Rosenstein.

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.

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