On the evening of President Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein announces the indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers. In his press conference, Rosenstein said he briefed President Trump on the indictment. Rosenstein made clear no Americans were in communication with any of the indicted Russian officers. He also made clear that the hacking in no way altered the outcome of the 2016 election.
Why was this announcement made on the evening of Trump’s meeting with Putin? Was it President Trump’s decision to make the announcement today, or did the DOJ blindside him with the announcement of the 12 Russain intelligence officers on the same day he plans to meet with Putin?
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced Friday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors have secured an indictment against 12 more Russian nationals, this time in specific relation to the 2016 DNC hack.
An embargo on the information was lifted prior to Rosenstein’s announcement when a reporter in the main Department of Justice briefing room broke the information by reading a press release over a hot mic. According to that press release, the indicted Russians leaked the information obtained through the alleged hack via the account known as “WikiLeaks 2.0.” –Breitbart
The case stems from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. It comes as President Trump plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for a summit in Helsinki on Monday.
The indictment amounted to the clearest allegation yet of Russian meddling in the election, blaming Moscow for the email hacking scandal that rocked the 2016 race by revealing embarrassing and politically damaging discussions by major Democrats. The charges swiftly fueled calls from Democratic lawmakers for Trump to cancel his Putin summit.
But as Trump continues to describe the probe as a “witch hunt,” the White House downplayed the allegations.
“Today’s charges include no allegations of knowing involvement by anyone on the campaign and no allegations that the alleged hacking affected the election result,” said Lindsay Walters, the deputy White House press secretary. “This is consistent with what we have been saying all along.”
Of the 12 defendants, 11 are charged with conspiracy to commit computer crimes, eight counts of aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to launder money. Another is charged with a separate conspiracy to commit computer crimes.
The 29-page indictment says starting in March 2016, the Russian agents used “a variety of means to hack the email accounts of volunteers and employees” of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Her campaign chairman, John Podesta, famously had his emails leaked during the campaign.
They also targeted campaign committees, like the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the indictment said.
“The conspirators covertly monitored the computers of dozens of DCCC and DNC employees, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code and stole emails and other documents from the DCCC and DNC,” it read.
By April 2016, according to the documents, the defendants began to release the hacked materials to the public by using fictitious online personas like DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0.
The indictment comes as Mueller’s team has investigated whether anyone associated with the Trump campaign assisted the Russians. –Fox News
General Flynn’s son Michael reminded everyone that the hacking had nothing to do with President Trump and everything to do with former President Barack Obama’s inability to prevent the hacking:
The left is now DEMANDING that Trump cancel his meeting with Putin.
In light of the charges against 12 GRU officers announced by Rod Rosenstein, @realDonaldTrump should cancel his meeting with Putin, who ordered the attack on the US. @POTUS shouldn't meet Putin until he accepts responsibility. And Trump should definitely not meet him alone. https://t.co/bP71DdGOHB
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 13, 2018
In light of today’s indictments, there should be no one-on-one meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin on Monday. There must be Americans in the room. If the President won't make Russia's attack on our election the #1 issue at the summit, then it should be canceled.
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) July 13, 2018