DOJ charges 12 Russian intel officers for election hacking

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionFBI's Peter Strzok Anti Trump bias claims'deeply destructive

There is also no allegation in Friday's charges that "any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity", the indictment says.

Trump said he did not know who was orchestrating the election hacking but suggested it was "probably China", adding that if it was hypothetically Russian Federation intelligence, it would show their lack of reverence for the United States. Stolen emails, many politically damaging for Clinton, appeared on WikiLeaks in the campaign's final stretch.

Meuller also has brought charges against 13 Russians or Russian groups.

The White House echoed some of those sentiments. 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.

A few hours before the indictments were announced, Trump described the Mueller investigation as a "rigged witch hunt" that is hurting the U.S. relationship with Russian Federation.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, denied anew that it tried to sway the election.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (L) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) behind him on May 4, 2017.

The GRU, which answers to the Russian military's General Staff, is part of the state machine and its involvement would indicate that the orders to interfere in the USA election came from the very top.

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It was the most detailed United States accusation yet that Russian Federation meddled in the election with the eventual aim of trying to boost Republican Trump's campaign.

No American is indicted in the new court documents.

The indictment lays out a sweeping effort starting in March 2016 to break into key Democratic email accounts, such as those belonging to the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "But I love getting along with Russian Federation and China and other countries".

Hours later, the Main Intelligence Directorate in Moscow appeared to heed the call - targeting Clinton's personal office and hitting more than 70 other Clinton campaign accounts.

By June 2016, the defendants began planning the release of tens of thousands of stolen emails and documents, the indictment alleges. If he knew what they were up to and wanted them to "find" Clinton's emails, that's a message that would have been conveyed privately. Private speeches she gave to financial industry firms were particularly damaging within the left wing of the Democratic party and among independents frustrated with the influence of Wall Street in politics. Guccifer 2.0 said it would be a "great pleasure" to help. "Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the President and say President Trump is completely innocent", Giuliani said in his tweet. "The person responded, "(p) retty standard". While Trump told the Washington Post at the time that he "terminated Roger Stone.because he no longer serves a useful function for my campaign", Stone told a different story, explaining on Twitter their falling out was about political messaging. While Rosenstein said the new indictment does not charge any Americans, he did not say no Americans were involved.

"The internet allows foreign adversaries to attack Americans in new and unexpected ways", Rosenstein said. But with Mueller still investigating, it's not known whether further indictments are taking shape or will.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the dozen accused used spear phishing emails and malicious software.

"When we confront foreign interference in American elections, it is important for us to avoid thinking politically as Republicans or Democrats and instead to think patriotically as Americans", he said.

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