RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: Democrats call on Pres. Trump to cancel Putin summit

RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: Democrats call on Pres. Trump to cancel Putin summit

RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: Democrats call on Pres. Trump to cancel Putin summit

Twelve Russian military intelligence officers hacked into the Clinton presidential campaign and Democratic Party, releasing tens of thousands of stolen and politically damaging communications, in a sweeping conspiracy by the Kremlin to meddle in the 2016 USA election, according to a grand jury indictment announced days before President Donald Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The indictments were filed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is investing possible collusion between the presidential campaign of President Donald Trump and the Russian spies U.S. intelligence agencies say interfered with the 2016 election.

In February, Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies in an elaborate conspiracy to interfere in the election.

Giuliani tweeted a statement saying that the indictments, announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, show that Trump should be vindicated in the election interference probe.

Separately, The Daily Beast reported that Mueller's team has determined that the person calling himself Guccifer 2.0, who leaked sensitive DNC documents in the months leading to the 2016 election, is a Russian intelligence officer. Now, we know how hard it would be to ever pursue them in terms of getting them here and prosecuting them, but this adds to the 13 Russians who were not directly involved with the government, per se.

Read also: Did Russia's election hacking break worldwide law?

Ashford, who lost a comeback bid this year in the Democratic primary, also said President Donald Trump should cancel his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The hackers also engaged in a powerful social media campaign to influence public opinion in the election.

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

Prosecutors say that in August 2016, a US congressional candidate requested and received from stolen documents related to an opponent from an online persona created by the Russian cabal.

The indictment accuses members of Russia's military intelligence agency known as the GRU of carrying out "large-scale cyber operations" to steal Democratic Party documents and emails.

Shortly before announcing the indictments of the Russians, Mitchell noted that the procession at Windsor Castle was "the kind of pageantry we know President Trump loves". And they communicated with someone who was "in regular contact" with Mr. Trump's campaign to offer "help". He stressed that Mueller's investigation is ongoing.

Mr Trump, who is now visiting Britain, is scheduled to meet Mr Putin in Helsinki on Monday. The defendants were part of the Russian Federation's Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU).

Rosenstein told BBC that the defendants corresponded with several Americans during the conspiracy to manipulate the elections but there is no direct allegation that any United States citizen indulged in criminal activity. 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. Rosenstein said he briefed the president earlier in the week and he is aware of the indictments.

To reach a wider audience, Russian officers transferred stolen materials to "Organization 1", a likely reference to WikiLeaks.

It's believed several people contacted Guccifer 2.0 to obtain documents and data, including Roger Stone, a former Trump campaign aide, who has admitted talking to Guccifer 2.0 and acted as a go-between for the hacker and Trump's presidential campaign.

Costello denied Friday that he is the congressional candidate referred to in the indictment and tweeted that he has asked the Justice Department to "clarify if the candidate was ever elected".

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