12 Russian Intelligence Officers Have Been Indicted for the DNC Hacking
Just ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland on Monday, the Justice Department indicted 12 Russian officials in the hacking of computers tied to former candidate Hilary Clinton’s campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The indictments are part of Special Council Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. All 12 defendants are employed by Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate.
During a news conference Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein clarified that no Americans have been indicted at this time. “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime,” he said. “There is no allegation that the conspiracy altered the vote count or changed any election result.”
He added: “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.”
During the 2016 campaign cycle, then-candidate Trump spoke at length about accusations of Russian interference. In a debate in September of that year, Trump suggested that while it was possible Russia could be behind the hack, there were other potential perpetrators as well.
“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC,” he said during the televised debate. “She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China, but it could also be lots of other people, it also could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?”
The president is currently meeting with Queen Elizabeth in the UK. On Saturday, he tweeted about the indictment, writing, “The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration. Why didn’t they do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the FBI in September, before the Election?”
(photo via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)