Boston Herald - - NEWS - By JULES CRIT­TEN­DEN

A bomb­shell in­dict­ment of 12 Rus­sian mil­i­tary of­fi­cers ac­cused of in­ter­fer­ing in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion claims that the hack­ers shifted their fo­cus to Hil­lary Clin­ton the same day that then-can­di­date Don­ald Trump pub­licly called on Rus­sia to do so.

That rev­e­la­tion, buried in­side the 29-page in­dict­ment, could be an at­tempt by spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller, who sought the in­dict­ment, to draw a con­nec­tion be­tween Trump and the Rus­sian elec­tion hack­ing.

On July 27, 2016, Trump said at a news con­fer­ence: “Rus­sia, if you’re lis­ten­ing, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are miss­ing,” re­fer­ring to emails Clin­ton had deleted from the pri­vate server she had used when she was sec­re­tary of state. “I think you will prob­a­bly be re­warded might­ily by our press.”

The in­dict­ment re­leased yes­ter­day states: “The Con­spir­a­tors spearphished in­di­vid­u­als af­fil­i­ated with the Clin­ton Cam­paign through­out the sum­mer of 2016. For ex­am­ple, on or about July 27, 2016, the Con­spir­a­tors at­tempted af­ter hours to spearfish for the first time email ac­counts at a do­main hosted by a third party and used by Clin­ton’s per­sonal of­fice. At or around the same time, they also tar­geted sev­enty-six email ad­dresses at the do­main for the Clin­ton Cam­paign.”

The news comes as Trump pre­pares to meet with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin Mon­day in Helsinki, Finland — a meet­ing Demo­cratic con­gres­sional lead­ers are call­ing on him to can­cel.

“Glad­hand­ing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these in­dict­ments would be an in­sult to our democ­racy,” Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Chuck Schumer said in a state­ment. House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi called on Trump to “im­me­di­ately can­cel the Putin meet­ing.”

Trump was dis­mis­sive of the Mueller probe in re­marks yes­ter­day in Bri­tain, say­ing, “We do have a — a po­lit­i­cal prob­lem where — you know in the United States we have this stu­pid­ity go­ing on. Pure stu­pid­ity. But it makes it very hard to do some­thing with Rus­sia. Any­thing you do, it’s al­ways go­ing to be, ‘Oh, Rus­sia, he loves Rus­sia.’

“I love the United States,” Trump con­tin­ued. “But I love

‘Glad­hand­ing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these in­dict­ments would be an in­sult to our democ­racy,’ — U.S. SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, Se­nate mi­nor­ity leader

get­ting along with Rus­sia and China and other coun­tries.”

The in­dict­ment states that the 12 Rus­sian mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers hacked into the Clin­ton pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and Demo­cratic Party, re­leas­ing tens of thou­sands of stolen com­mu­ni­ca­tions, in a bid by a for­eign gov­ern­ment to med­dle in the 2016 U.S. elec­tion.

It lays out a sweep­ing ef­fort start­ing in March 2016 to break into key Demo­cratic email ac­counts, such as those be­long­ing to the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee, the Clin­ton cam­paign and the Demo­cratic Con­gres­sional Cam­paign Com­mit­tee. The in­dict­ment does not al­lege that Trump cam­paign as­so­ciates were in­volved in the hack­ing ef­forts or that any Amer­i­can was know­ingly in con­tact with Rus­sian in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers.

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

The Krem­lin de­nied anew that it tried to sway the elec­tion. “The Rus­sian state has never in­ter­fered and has no in­ten­tion of in­ter­fer­ing in the U.S. elec­tions,” said Putin’s for­eign af­fairs ad­viser, Yuri Ushakov.

But the in­dict­ment iden­ti­fies the de­fen­dants as of­fi­cers with Rus­sia’s Main In­tel­li­gence Direc­torate of the Gen­eral Staff, also known as GRU.

By June 2016, the de­fen­dants be­gan plan­ning the re­lease of tens of thou­sands of stolen emails and doc­u­ments, the in­dict­ment al­leges. The mes­sages were re­leased through fic­ti­tious per­sonas such as DCLeaks and Guc­cifer 2.0.

The charges come as Mueller con­tin­ues to in­ves­ti­gate whether there was any co­or­di­na­tion be­tween Rus­sia and the Trump cam­paign on elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence. Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Rod Rosen­stein said the in­ter­net “al­lows for­eign ad­ver­saries to at­tack Amer­i­cans in new and un­ex­pected ways. 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.”


BOMB­SHELL: Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Rod Rosen­stein, above, speaks dur­ing a news con­fer­ence at the Depart­ment of Jus­tice yes­ter­day. The in­dict­ment of 12 Rus­sian mil­i­tary of­fi­cers comes just days be­fore a sum­mit be­tween Vladimir Putin and Pres­i­dent Trump, seen be­low in 2017.


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