US indicts Russian intel officers ahead of Trump-Putin meet

By: AFP July 14,2018 - 08:57 PM

TWELVE Russian intelligence officers were charged on Friday with hacking Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic Party in a stunning indictment just three days before President Donald Trump meets with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

The charges were drawn up by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is looking into Russian interference in the November2016 vote and whether any members of Trump’s campaign team colluded with Moscow.

Democratic leaders immediately called for Trump to cancel Monday’s scheduled meeting with Putin in Helsinki, but the White House said the summit would go ahead.

“It’s on,” spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

The 29-page indictment accuses members of the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU of carrying out “large-scale cyber operations” to steal Clinton campaign and Democratic Party documents and emails.

“There’s no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in announcing the charges at a press conference in Washington.

“There’s no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime,” Rosenstein added, although the “conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet.”

However, he said, “there’s no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers.”

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TAGS: ahead, intel, meet, officers, russian, Trump-Putin, US

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