Russians charged in DNC hacking case

Saul Bowman
July 14, 2018

The dates and content of the messages described in the indictment between the US person in regular contact with senior members of Trump's presidential campaign and Guccifer 2.0 match verbatim two screenshots Stone published on his website in March of 2017 of the direct message exchange he had with Guccifer 2.0 on Twitter in 2016.

The dozen accused used spearphishing emails and malware in their cyberattacks to infiltrate networks of the Democratic Congressional Committee and Democratic National Campaign Committee to steal documents.

The Kremlin denied anew it tried to sway the election. Russian Federation has also denied any connection to the breach. "The defendants covertly monitored the computers, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code, and stole emails and other documents", he was quoted as saying. "The conspirators created fictitious online personas, including "DCLeaks" and 'Guccifer 2.0, ' and used them to release thousands of stolen emails and other documents, beginning in June 2016". He is investigating Moscow's interference in the election, and trying to determine whether Mr. Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation. The charges said that no Americans were knowingly in communication with any of the Russian intelligence officers. The text of the indictment does not state that vote totals were known to be altered as a result of these intrusions.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein planned to detail the new charges at a press conference.

"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", he said. Instead it focused on the fact that no Trump campaign officials or Americans were implicated in the new indictment.

"The goal of the conspiracy was to have an impact on the election", Rosenstein said.

Before Friday, Mueller's group had charged 20 people and three companies in its investigation. GRU is the Russian military intelligence agency.

As the journalist Marcy Wheeler points out, the indictment also indicates that Russia had access to the Clinton team's analytics, which could offer the Russians a guide to targeting voters as part of their effort to hurt Clinton's campaign.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing", Trump said.

Those stolen credentials, according to federal prosecutors, were used to hack into the DCCC and the DNC.

The charges were announced as Mr Trump met the Queen at Windsor Castle.

The announcement comes days before President Trump is due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland. Indeed, an indictment that directly points to Russian President Vladimir Putin makes it much more hard for critics to dismiss Russia's culpability in election hacking as unproven. Rosenstein said he briefed the president earlier in the week and he is aware of the indictments. Trump told reporters on his visit to the United Kingdom on Friday that he planned to "ask" Putin about Russia's attack on the election. "But it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation".

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