Published: Sun, July 15, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Trump plays golf in Scotland before Putin summit amid Russian meddling charges

Trump plays golf in Scotland before Putin summit amid Russian meddling charges

A grand jury indictment stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe accuses 12 Russian intelligence officers of planning and carrying out the hacks into several Democratic campaign organizations in the 2016 election.

"The object of the conspiracy was to hack into the computers of US persons and entities involved in the 2016 USA presidential election, steal documents from those computers, and stage releases of the stolen documents to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election", the indictment said.

This is all the U.S. Justice Department said in the announcement of the surprise press conference: "Today at 11:45AM ET: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will hold a press conference for a law enforcement announcement".

But Representative Jerrold Nadler, top Democrat on the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee said in a Tweet: "Latest indictments from @TheJusticeDept assert Russian agents were behind the hacks and leaking of DNC emails, in order to influence the 2016 election".

US intelligence agencies have said Moscow was aiming to help the Trump campaign and harm Clinton's bid.

Without naming the state, Friday's indictment said the Russian intelligence officers stole information on about 500,000 voters from the website of one board of elections, a breach undetected for three weeks. In February, he brought charges against 13 Russian nationals who allegedly carried out a campaign of social media-fueled information warfare - some of it supporting Trump and disparaging Clinton - that he said was aimed at meddling in the 2016 election. Given that we are mere months away from a massively important state and local midterm election, you'd think people would be more concerned about protecting us from the continuing threat of Russian interference.

The White House echoed some of those sentiments. The report claims that Republican lawmakers have been wanting to impeach the Deputy AG for weeks, accusing him of having held up their probe into Federal Bureau of Investigation agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, whom they believe have been biased against Donald Trump. That put Rosenstein in charge, and he promptly appointed former FBI Director Mueller as special counsel. Jobs are at an all time record - and that is before we fix some of the worst trade deals and conditions ever seen by any government.

One attempt at interference came hours after Trump, in a July 27, 2016, speech, suggested Russians look for emails that Clinton said she had deleted from her tenure as secretary of state.

The indictment connects the officers directly to the Russian government, saying they acted in their "official capacity".

"There's no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime". "The Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, also shared stolen documents with certain individuals".

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said on Twitter that it was time to end the investigation since "no Americans are involved" in Friday's indictment.

Mueller, appointed by the Justice Department in May 2017 to take over an investigation earlier handled by the FBI, is investigating whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation and whether the president has unlawfully sought to obstruct the Russian Federation investigation.

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