Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump on Russian indictments: Why didn't Obama do something?

Trump on Russian indictments: Why didn't Obama do something?

"A person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump" communicated with the GRU officers posing as Guccifer 2.0, the indictment says.

Rosenstein announced the charges during a press conference in Washington after they were filed by special counsel Robert Mueller.

"President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russian Federation takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won't interfere in future elections". According to the indictment, the defendants also sometimes facilitated Bitcoin payments on the same computers they used to "conduct their hacking activity".

The charges come just days before President Donald Trump is set to meet with Russia's President Vladimir Putin and on the same day that Trump, on a trip to the United Kingdom, again called the investigation a "witch hunt".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was quoted as saying that the 12 Russians accused of hacking the committee used spear phishing emails and malicious software in their purported cyber attacks.

According to Rosenstein, the Russian intelligence officials also hacked the website of a state election board and stole information from about 500,000 voters, including names, addresses, partial social security numbers, dates of birth, and driver's license numbers.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate minority leader, urged Trump to cancel the Putin talks.

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating USA intelligence findings that Russians conspired to sway the 2016 election in Mr Trump's favour. The group, listed only as Organization 1, responded that they thought Trump had a slim, "no more than 25% chance" of winning against Clinton so they found that conflict between Democratic primary challenger Bernie Sanders and Clinton was more "interesting".

As of Friday, the inquiry has indicted 32 people - mostly Russian nationals in absentia - as well as three companies and four former Trump advisers.

The Russian hackers' scheme to steal thousands of documents from the Democrats, as described in the indictment, used simple but effective tools to breach their targets many times and in multiple ways.

Rosenstein said the suspects worked to "hack into computers, steal documents, and release those documents with the intent to interfere with the election". "There is no allegation that the conspiracy altered the vote count or changed any election result".

The indictment says the Guccifer persona received a request for stolen documents from an unnamed congressional candidate and sent that individual stolen documents about the candidate's opponent.

Even as the Mueller probe moved forward, with an additional 12 indictments related to Russian interference in the 2016 election, Republicans in the House of Representatives moved closer to filing impeachment documents against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. And they lift the curtain on 21st-century cyber warfare that caught the USA government completely unprepared. Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said on Twitter that it was time to end the Mueller investigation since "no Americans are involved". "He needs to understand what evidence we have of foreign election interference".

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