On Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office and the Justice Department’s National Security Division visited the courtroom of a federal magistrate judge in Washington, DC to return a grand jury indictment. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein just held a press conference for a “law enforcement announcement.”
Rosenstein said that the GRU, a Russian agency, infiltrated computers, spied on users, and removed data from computers. He said the defendants hacked into a campaign’s computer, stole emails and other documents, then used Wikileaks to release that information, and pointed to Guccifer 2.0.
Rosenstein says Guccifer 2.0 was “controlled by the GRU.”
REMINDER: Guccifer exchanged direct messages with Roger Stone during the campaign, and offered to help him. https://t.co/1A0goqsO0H
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 13, 2018
“The conspirators corresponded with several Americans,” Rosenstein said. They targeted state local officials. Rosenstein has charged 12 Russian nationals with a long list of charges, including money laundering. Rosenstein said the defendents’ actions were aimed at interfering in the 2016 election.
The 12 Russian intelligence officers were charged in the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
11 of the defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit computer crimes, eight counts of aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to launder money. Two defendants are charged with a separate conspiracy to commit computer crimes, according to the indictment.
He said that Donald Trump has been briefted on the indictments.
Four former Trump campaign associates – Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Richard Gates and George Papadopoulos – were previously charged.
Alex van der Zwaan, an attorney, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the investigation and was sentenced to 30 days in prison in April 2018.
The Mueller team filed new tax evasion and bank fraud charges against Manafort and Gates in late February, potentially increasing the amount of prison time that the two could face if convicted at trial. Manafort is currently in prison waiting for his trial.
Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, was charged and pleaded guilty in December 2017 to making false statements to the FBI.
TLDR: this is not a witch hunt.
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