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

Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok speaks during a joint committee hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees

US indicts 12 Russians for hacking DNC emails during the 2016 election

A group of Russian military intelligence officers indicted Friday as part of an ongoing investigation into interference in the 2016 USA presidential election allegedly used bitcoin to fund their operations.

A federal grand jury on Friday indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers on charges of hacking the computer networks of 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, the Justice Department said.

The deputy attorney general said the defendants worked for two units of the Russian intelligence service, the GRU.

"The president is fully aware of today's actions by the department", Rosenstein said during a press conference announcing the indictment.

The charges come as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the presidential election.

Rosenstein's announcement came just ahead of a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom he has sought warmer relations.

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In February, Rosenstein called a surprise news conference to announce the indictment of 13 Russian nationals and a Kremlin-linked internet company for alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

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

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry is looking into alleged Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 election.

The unfolding drama on both sides of the Atlantic reflected how Trump's presidency has been overshadowed by the Mueller probe from its earliest moments and how the investigation frequently tramples the President's attempts to carve out favorable headlines.

"We do have a - a political problem where - you know in the United States we have this stupidity going on. Eleven of the defendants are charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents, and release documents in an effort to interfere with the election", Rosenstein said. "Pure stupidity", he said, referring to Mueller's probe.

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