Russian intelligence officials used an IL computer as part of an operation to hack Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee documents, according to a federal indictment released Friday. Court records show a grand jury Mueller has been using returned an indictment Friday morning.
To commit the alleged crimes, the Russians targeted more than 300 people affiliated with Clinton's campaign and Democratic political organizations, including the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta. One of the most eye-opening tidbits from the 29-page document Mueller's team produced concerned Trump's possible complicity in the very act he is accusing Obama of underplaying. 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.
"The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration", Trump tweeted, asking why they didn't "do something about it, especially when it was reported that President Obama was informed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in September, before the Election?" The White House seized on those points in a statement that offered no condemnation of Russian election interference.
It was unclear whether the indictment might factor into Trump's meeting with Putin on Monday.
But Friday's indictment was the first by Mueller that directly charges Russia's government with meddling.
The Kremlin denied anew that it tried to sway the election.
The charges are a result of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which Mr. Trump referred to on Friday as a "rigged witch hunt" that is hurting USA relations with Moscow.
China Customs Delays Clearing US Goods As Duties Loom
He added that for now, "He's called the bluff of other countries that have basically been abusing" USA companies and workers. As the above chart shows, China is involved in a total of 55 trade disputes, either as the complainant or responder.
The indictment identifies the defendants as officers with Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, also known as GRU.
Trump himself said he would "firmly ask the question" today but added he doubts Putin would just cop to it in front of him. After the election, Obama also expelled Russian diplomats from the United States and hit Russia with sanctions - sanctions Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, allegedly said would be "ripped up".
But CNN reported that White House officials said the Putin summit would proceed as scheduled.
It says Russian operatives provided direct assistance to a candidate for the US Congress, who in August 2016 requested and received from Guccifer 2.0 documents stolen from the DCCC about their opponent. They released the indictment two days before Mr. Trump is to meet with Mr. Putin, raising the stakes for the meeting and implicitly pressuring Trump to speak directly to his Russian counterpart about the situation.
The deputy attorney general said all 12 of the defendants were military officers in the Russian intelligence service, the GRU. "(P) retty standard", the person responded. Nor is there any allegation that the hacking altered the vote count or changed the outcome of the election. "The Russian state has never interfered and has no intention of interfering in the USA elections", said Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov.
On Iran, Macron urged Trump in vain earlier this year not to pull out of an worldwide deal that eased sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
In a statement issued Friday, Rosenstein called for a "united" response to foreign interference. He said the US has been "modernizing and fixing" its nuclear weapons program and added "it's just a devastating technology and they [the Russians] likewise are doing a lot".