Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to make ‘law enforcement announcement’

Blanche Robertson
July 13, 2018

The Justice Department has announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses during the 2016 presidential election.

The fresh indictments related to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe come amid U.S. President Donald Trump's United Kingdom visit, and just hours after he once again called the investigation a "witch hunt".

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

A dozen Russians have been criminally charged with hacking and leaking the emails of senior Democrats during the 2016 presidential election campaign, it was announced on Friday. They are accused of a sustained cyberattack against Democratic party targets, including its campaign committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Friday's indictments were disclosed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at a press conference in Washington, DC. "Free and fair elections are hard-fought and contentious and there will always be adversaries who work to exacerbate domestic differences and try to confuse, divide and conquer us".

Ex-Pakistan President Zardari, sister placed in exit control list
Another report suggested that Zardari's counsel Naek would represent him in the case if he fails to appear before the apex court. The former President and sister Talpur's name has been placed on the Exit Control List - barring them from leaving Pakistan.

While Friday's indictment does not include any criminal allegations against a US citizen, the charges note that Guccifer 2.0 allegedly communicated with "U.S. persons about the release of stolen documents".

CNN's Jake Tapper explained why the bombshell indictments from special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday were such a significant development in the 2016 election interference case, calling it a "remarkable turn of events". Trump and Putin are to hold talks Monday in Finland, a meeting largely sought by Trump.

With the charges, Mueller's prosecutors have marked out another Internet pathway they say Russian Federation used to influence the USA election.

Rosenstein said that responsibility for this prosecution - which is unlikely to go forward in court as Russian Federation is unlikely to extradite the suspects - would pass from Mueller's office to the National Security division of the Justice Department. But he added, "I don't think you'll have any 'Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me" confession.

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