Russian Intelligence Officers Have Been Indicted for Hacking in 2016 Election, According to Deputy Attorney General

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced on Friday the indictment of twelve Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses in the 2016 election. They are accused of making an "effort to hack into the computer networks" of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic National Campaign Committee as well as the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and, "release that information on the Internet under the names DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 and through another entity," according to the DOJ. 

All 12 defendants are members of a Russian intelligence agency, GRU. The DOJ also says that the Russians deliberately interfered with the 2016 presidential election and allegedly spearheaded a continuous cyberattack against volunteers and employees of Clinton’s campaign. They were able to obtain usernames and passwords, allowing them to hack into the DCCC and DNC networks. The indictment reportedly doesn't mention that the crime changed the results of election or that any Americans were conspiring with the Russians, according to NBC Boston.

“There is no allegation in this indictment that Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers,” Rosenstein said in his announcement. 

Rosenstein also asked for Americans to hold the defendants accountable for their actions and to put aside partisan over Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“Partisan warfare fueled by modern technology does not fairly reflect the grace, dignity and unity of the American people. The blame for the election interference belongs to the people who committed election interference,” he said. 

It was announced back in March that Mueller was assembling a criminal case against Russia for hacking and leaking private information from Democrats during the 2016 election. NPR reports that the Mueller probe has already indicted 20 people including Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort who has been charged with tax and bank fraud. 

Rosenstein says that the prosecution will be moved from Mueller’s office to the National Security division of the Justice Department. The announcement happened before the scheduled meeting between President Trump and President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki. On Friday, Trump told reporters on his visit to the UK that he would "ask" Putin about these attacks.