Twelve Russian intelligence officers charged over U.S. election hacking

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced new indictments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The indictment says the named Russian intelligence officers began their cyber-attacks in March 2016 to hack the email accounts of volunteers and employees of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says that Russian intelligence agents stole information on 500,000 USA voters after hacking a state US election board.

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The first indications of the subject matter came shortly before the conference began with reports that a notice posted in the main federal courthouse in Washington, DC, indicated that attorneys from Mueller's Special Counsel's Office and the DOJ National Security Division had visited Friday morning related to a grand jury indictment. USA intelligence agencies have said the interference was aimed at helping the presidential campaign of Republican Donald Trump and harming the election bid of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Trump has frequently dismissed the Russian Federation probe as a "witch hunt" and expressed his anger that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation.

In February, Mueller charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies in an elaborate conspiracy to interfere in the election. But that indictment had not directly tied the meddling effort to Russia's government.

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"The stakes for the upcoming Trump-Putin meeting could not be higher", Pelosi said.

But Rosenstein said that responsibility for this prosecution - which is unlikely to go forward to a trial in court as Russian Federation is unlikely to extradite the suspects who've been charged - would pass from Mueller's office to the National Security division of the Justice Department.

With the charges, Mueller's prosecutors have marked out another Internet pathway they say Russian Federation used to influence the US election. "But it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation". 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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