Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
World News | By Joan Terry

Moscow now accused of US election meddling, in indictment

Moscow now accused of US election meddling, in indictment

The indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller targets 12 Russian intelligence officers for engaging in a sustained effort to hackDemocrats and aides to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, on Friday announced new charges stemming from the ongoing Department of Justice investigation led by Muller, into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller's indictment details a sophisticated, large-scale hacking effort by 12 Russian officers to interfere with the 2016 elections by stealing documents from private servers and staging their release through fake online personas, such as Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks. They are accused of taking part in a hidden but powerful social media campaign to influence public opinions in America before the November 2016 elections. "Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the President and say President Trump is completely innocent", Giuliani said in his tweet. Trump and Putin are scheduled to hold talks Monday in Finland, a meeting largely sought by Trump.

The 29-page indictment lays out how, months before Americans went to the polls, Russians schemed to break into key Democratic email accounts, including those belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Despite the most recent indictment, the Trump-Putin meeting is "still on", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

"The Russian state has never interfered and has no intention of interfering in the U.S. elections", Mr Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said.

Trump scolds North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members days ahead of summit
Putin complained to Trump about the people who tried to stop the two men from talking, reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis found. He accuses European NATO allies of freeloading, telling a rally this week that they had treated the US like "schmucks".

"I love the United States", Trump continued. Needless to say, even if that's true, it doesn't amount to collusion: It makes Trump's half-joking invitation to the Russians to victimize her smell even worse than it did at the time, but you're not going down on a conspiracy charge if you say "I wish X would happen" and then someone hears you and independently goes and does X. It does make you wonder what the Russians were thinking, though, if in fact they were inspired by Trump to start searching that domain for her personal emails that day.

The US president recalled that 60 intelligence officers were expelled from the Russian embassy in Washington in response to a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain.

Hours before the Justice Department announcement, Mr Trump complained anew that the special counsel's investigation is complicating his efforts to forge a better working relationship with Russian Federation. His team is investigating efforts by Russian Federation to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

After the indictments were announced, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer called on Trump to cancel his meeting with Putin until Russian Federation takes steps to prove it won't interfere in future elections.

After a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, Mr. Trump said he would address election meddling with Putin. "We would have a chance to have ... a very good relationship with President Putin".

"Russia, if you're listening", Trump said, "I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing".

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