U.S. indicts 12 Russian spies in 2016 election hacking

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced Friday that a federal grand jury has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Committee the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Hillary Clinton&#x

The indictment does not allege that Trump campaign associates were involved in the hacking efforts or that any American was knowingly in contact with Russian intelligence officers.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that 12 Russian intelligence officers have been indicted in the U.S. election meddling investigation.

The charges were announced on Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

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.

Trump, meanwhile, has been criticized for being reluctant to speak publicly about Russian interference into the campaign.

Along with breaking into the DNC and Clinton's campaign, the spies named in the indictment also hacked the state boards of elections, secretaries of state and companies that provided election software to steal information about voters.

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The alleged conspirators hacked into the computer network of the Democratic Congressional Committee and Democratic National Campaign Committee. It claims that they created fictitious online personas, including "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0", and used them to release the documents starting un June 2016.

The Russia investigation has now led to charges against 32 people, including previous charges against 14 Russian nationals for their work on spreading Russian-based propaganda.

"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime".

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".

The announcement comes as Trump prepares to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in Helsinki next week.

Mueller's probe has come under sustained attack from Trump and his supporters in Congress, who call it a witch hunt and a politically-motivated attempt to hurt the president.

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