Russians indicted for hacking DNC, Hillary Clinton emails

Alex Wong  Getty Images North America

Alex Wong Getty Images North America

A group of Russian military intelligence officers indicted Friday as part of an ongoing investigation into interference in the 2016 US presidential election allegedly used bitcoin to fund their operations.

Rosenstein denied that the Justice Department filed its indictment and briefed the press on Friday because that meeting was on the horizon.

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

Thousands of emails taken from the accounts of staff at the the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, were published by outlets including WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.

The charges add to an already substantial list of 19 other people and three companies charged in the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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Rosenstein said that while the defendants corresponded with several Americans through the internet, there was "no allegation in the indictment that the Americans knew they were communicating with Russian intelligence officers".

Mueller has been investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation, as well as possible obstruction of justice on the part of the president, for more than a year.

The GRU officers, who are identified by name in the indictment, also allegedly hacked into state election websites to steal voter information.

The charges come as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the presidential election. He said that Mueller's investigation continues.

Friday's announcement follows a separate but related indictment by the special counsel's office from earlier this year of Russians connected to the campaign of social media agitation aimed at increasing the volume on political controversy within the United States. Trump has said he believes Putin's denials that Russian Federation did not meddle in the election. "But it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation".

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