Rod Rosenstein expected to announce new indictment in Mueller probe

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Republican Louie Gohmert asked Peter Strzok how many times he lied to his wife

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Republican Louie Gohmert asked Peter Strzok how many times he lied to his wife

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictments at the Justice Department, just days before President Trump is to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a one-on-one summit.

The 11-count indictment included charges of conspiracy, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. "So he needs to understand what evidence we have of foreign election interference". They used a scheme known as "spearfishing", by tricking users into disclosing their passwords.

To distribute the stolen emails, the Russian operative created a fictitious group named DCLeaks, claiming it was made up of USA "hacktivists".

The defendants accessed the email accounts of volunteers and employees of a US presidential campaign, including the campaign chairman, starting in March 2016.

The indictment lays out a sweeping effort starting in March 2016 to break into key Democratic email accounts, such as those belonging to the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

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"The defendants covertly monitored the computers, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code, and stole emails and other documents", Rosenstein said.

The Deputy Attorney also notes that Russia's GRU military intelligence service was behind several online entities that spread the documents under the names Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.

The wreckage of what Robert Mueller's team says were Russian strikes on the United States can be measured in damaged reputations and disrupted politics. They used a network of computers around the world, a system paid for with cryptocurrency, to hide their identities. I think this is something people knew had happened all along: "that underlying all of this, crimes were committed, and that's why the Mueller investigation is so important and why it needs to be continued in an unfettered manner".

In a second, related conspiracy, Russian GRU officers hacked the website of a state election board and stole information about 500,000 voters.

It is claimed the hackers spear-phished DNC officials to lift their login credentials, infiltrate their computers and email inboxes, and siphon off vital information on the pending election. There's also no allegation as yet that any attempts to meddle with the election systems affected the outcome of the presidential vote. The group also actively targeted and hacked individual members part of the Clinton Campaign, the DOJ said. So again, this is not the end of this very real, tangible and ongoing investigation.

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In August, the indictment says the hackers replied to this Trump-connected person: "'thank u for writing back ... do u find anyt [h] ing interesting in the docs i posted?" Based on the Department of Justice's indictment, that is a falsehood.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says the indictments are "further proof of what everyone but the president seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win".

"The president is fully aware" of the indictments, Rosenstein said.

In my remarks, I have not identified the victims. "The Russian state has never interfered and has no intention of interfering in the US elections", Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said Friday. "Our response must not depend on who was victimized".

Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, made the announcement Friday. Free and fair elections are always hard-fought and contentious.

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