INDICTMENT: RUSSIANS GOT EMAILS AFTER TRUMP ASKED
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.