A federal grand jury led by special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 12 Russian military officers with hacking the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign networks with the intent to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. The charges don't implicate any Americans in the crimes.
According to the charges filed Friday, Russian intelligence conspired to hack the computers of state election boards and the Secretary of State; stole information on 500,000 voters; created fictitious online personas to leak stolen information; and laundered money through cryptocurrency.
The accused were alleged to have operated as agents of the main intelligence directorate of the Russian GRU.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said President Donald Trump was briefed on the allegations earlier in the week. “The president is fully aware of the department’s actions,” Rosenstein told reporters.
Why It’s Important
However, consistent with his stance in opposing the Russia investigation, Trump dismissed the severity of the charges.
Specifically, the indictments don't appear to impact his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he said he will “absolutely firmly” ask about the allegations. Nonetheless, Trump expects no sincere confession.
“I don’t think you’ll have any ‘Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me,” the president said Friday.
Trump and Putin will meet in Helsinki on July 16.
Van Eck Vectors Russia ETF (NYSE: RSX) fell sharply, albeit marginally, on Friday’s news, while the S&P 500 was largely unaffected.
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Image credit: Rod Rosenstein press conference, TIME.
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