1517515720538 31 - Russian officers indicted for allegedly hacking Clinton campaign, DNC emails

Russian officers indicted for allegedly hacking Clinton campaign, DNC emails

Politics

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein announces indictment of 12 Russians for hacking the DNC during the 2016 election.

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein announces indictment of 12 Russians for hacking the DNC during the 2016 election.

A federal grand jury has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly hacking emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party during the 2016 election, the Justice Department announced Friday. 

All 12 are members of GRU, the Russian intelligence agency. Hacked emails were released to the public during the campaign under the names DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 and through another entity, the indictment said.

“The internet allows foreign adversaries to attack America in new and unexpected ways,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during a Friday press conference. “Free and fair elections are always hard-fought and contentious. There will always be adversaries who seek to exacerbate our divisions and try to confuse, divide, and conquer us.”

The case stems from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime,” Rosenstein said. “There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result.”

Rosenstein added: “The special counsel’s investigation is ongoing.”

READ THE INDICTMENT

The announcement came at the same Trump was meeting with Queen Elizabeth II in England, with plans to meet Russian president Russian President Vladimir Putin for a summit in Helsinki on Monday. Trump has previously cited Putin’s denials of election interference, while saying he would like their two countries to get along. 

Rosenstein said he briefed the president on the charges this week. 

The indictment said the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Clinton campaign were all targeted by the operation. Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta famously had his emails leaked during the campaign. 

Though the indictment listed the Democratic groups, Rosenstein made a point of not naming the political affiliation of the hacked organizations during his press statement, saying it’s important to think “patriotically” and not politically in the face of such threats.

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the time period, took aim at Trump in a statement.

“I’m pleased that the Justice Department is following the facts wherever they may lead, despite Donald Trump’s dangerous distortions and his refusal to acknowledge the conclusions reached by the American intelligence community,” she said.

Russian individuals have previously been indicted as part of the case. In February, Mueller brought a case against 13 Russians and three Russian companies who are accused of setting a “strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.”

In that case, the defendants are accused of spreading derogatory information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, denigrating Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — and ultimately supporting Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and then-Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

Alex Pappas is a politics reporter at FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexPappas.