Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s indictment against a dozen Russian military officers on Friday marked his probe’s latest charges related to Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Mueller charged 11 of the intelligence officers, all members of Russia’s military intelligence agency the GRU, with conspiring to hack into into Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) networks.
The twelfth officer was charged with conspiring to hack into election systems, including hacking into a state elections board website.
The indictment revealed previously unknown allegations surrounding the DNC hacking, which led to the release of private and internal DNC emails and documents ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Here are five things to know from the wide-ranging allegations:
Mueller says Guccifer 2.0 was Russian officers
Mueller states in the indictment that the infamous DNC hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 was an online persona created by the Russian officers, used to disperse documents stolen in the hack.
Guccifer 2.0, who had been in contact with The Hill ahead of the 2016 election and released internal DNC documents, had claimed to be a Romanian hacker with no political ties.
However, tools used in Guccifer 2.0’s breach had matched those used by Russian intelligence agencies.
The indictment also alleged that the Russians had created the site DCLeaks, which also posted stolen documents.
“Both were created and controlled by the Russian GRU,” Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinMueller indictment appears to make reference to Roger Stone The Memo: Trump leaves chaos in his wake in UK Conservatives moving to impeach Rosenstein soon: report MORE said in announcing the charges.
Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneStone reverses: I’m ‘probably’ unnamed person in Mueller indictment Mueller indictment appears to make reference to Roger Stone Politicon 2018 tour to include Anthony Scaramucci, Charlie Kirk, Hasan Piker MORE is ‘probably’ mentioned in indictment
Former informal Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone said Friday night that he’s “probably” an unnamed person referred to in the indictment as having been in contact with the Trump campaign and received messages from Guccifer 2.0.
Stone had initially disputed that he was the person in the indictment, despite the document matching messages that he had exchanged with Guccifer 2.0. Stone released the messages last year.
Stone told The Hill Friday that his messages with Guccifer 2.0 are “benign based on its content, context and timing.”
“This exchange is entirely public and provides no evidence of collaboration or collusion with Guccifer 2.0 or anyone else in the alleged hacking of the DNC emails, as well as taking place many weeks after the events described in today’s indictment,” he said.
Russians allegedly tried to hack Clinton after Trump asked them to
The indictment claims that the Russians first attempted to hack into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFormer FBI lawyer Lisa Page gets closed-door grilling from House Republicans Ignore the spin — still no evidence of Trump collusion Bombshell indictments reinforce significance of midterm elections MORE’s private emails on or around the same day that Trump suggested they should find the missing emails on her private server.
The indictment states that ”on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton Campaign.”
Trump gave a press conference the same day during which he called for Russia to find the emails that Clinton had deleted from her private server.
“They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted. You’d see some beauties, so we’ll see,” the then-candidate said.
“Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press.”
The revelation led to widespread backlash from Democrats, who claimed Trump was encouraging the hacks.
Congressional candidate allegedly asked Russians for dirt on opponent
The indictment also includes the bombshell claim that an unnamed “candidate for the U.S. Congress” had contacted Guccifer 2.0 and requested information on their opponent that was stolen from the DNC.
“The conspirators responded using the Guccifer 2.0 persona and sent the candidate stolen documents related to the candidate’s opponent,” the document reads.
It’s not stated in the filing if the candidate won their election and is currently serving in Congress, or which party to which they belong.
However, if the candidate is revealed, it will likely lead to massive backlash.
Mueller has filed nearly 200 charges in probe
Mueller’s latest indictment has boosted his tally of total charges filed in the probe to 191 – likely giving Democrats ammunition to push back against claims of the investigation being a “witch hunt.”
Thirty-two people have now been charged since the special counsel was appointed last year. Five people have pleaded guilty to the charges, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign aide Richard Gates and former campaign staffer George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTop Dem displays posters of ‘guilty’ subjects in Mueller probe Did FBI get bamboozled by multiple versions of Trump dossier? Baseless attacks on Robert Mueller must end to protect our democracy MORE.
Mueller has previously filed charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations for meddling in the 2016 election.
Former Trump campaign head Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMueller indicts 12 Russians in 2016 DNC hack The dishonesty of the deep state The Hill’s Morning Report — Trump readies for Putin summit: ‘He’s not my enemy’ MORE is also facing a series of charges in the probe, including tax evasion, bank fraud and failing to report foreign bank accounts. He has pleaded not guilty and is attempting to delay his trial, which is set to start later this month.