Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments against 12 Russian Intelligence officers on Friday afternoon. The revelation that those charged in the indictment were Russian intelligence officers suggest that the group’s orders came directly from the top. The indictments come days before Trump is scheduled to meet with Russia President Vladimir Putin.
ABC News (@ABC) reports, the 12 Russian Intelligence Officers, all members of the Russian government’s official intelligence agency, GRU, are suspected of carrying on a sustained campaign to hack the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Hilary Clinton’s campaign.
The GRU allegedly began a “spearphishing” campaign in 2016 against volunteers and employees of the Hilary Clinton campaign. The spearphishing campaign by the GRU allowed them access to the DNC servers and networks, which they used to steal emails, documents, and also covertly monitor the activity on the compromised computers and employees. The spearphishing campaign also allowed GRU to implant malicious files and steal passwords and maintain access to the networks.
Some of the stolen emails were then made public by GRU posing as online personas “Gucifer 2.0” and “DCLeaks.” GRU also passed the stolen emails along to an unnamed third party online source in an effort to undermine the Clinton campaign. A source close to the Trump campaign is alleged to have been in direct contact with the third party and Gucifer 2.0.
In the press conference, Rosenstein stated that no Americans have been named in this indictment against the Russian Intelligence officers. The Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election is still ongoing.