Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced Friday that the grand jury for the District of Columbia indicted 12 Russians on charges related to attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Communications between Guccifer 2 and WikiLeaks also undercut the contention of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that he did not obtain Democratic Party emails he published from Russian Federation.
Putin has denied any election meddling, and Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee who has been one of the foremost proponents of the "Russia collusion" theory, persisted with his attacks on the president, telling CNN's Wolf Blitzer that the indictments meant that President Trump should back out of a meeting scheduled with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday.
During the campaign, Mr. Trump publicly encouraged Russian Federation to hack Ms. Clinton's e-mails and frequently referenced the hacked documents to assail his opponent.
■ They released the materials by creating fictitious online personas, including "DCLeaks" and "Guccifer 2.0". The Russians are accused of planting malicious computer code and stole emails and other documents.
Mr Rosenstein said: "We know that the goal of the conspirators was to have an impact on the election". And these indictments suggest that after Trump's order/plea/joke, Russians did step up their efforts to hack or deliver what turned out to be John Podesta's emails.
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Friday's indictment comes as Rosenstein faces increased scrutiny from President Trump's backers on Capitol Hill.
In his Friday announcement, Rosenstein called for an end to partisan fighting over the Russian Federation investigation, just one day after a Congressional panel grilled the former FBI agent Peter Strozk over his private text messages that were critical of Donald Trump.
If the involvement of the GRU officers in the hacking effort is proved, it will shatter the Kremlin denials of the Russian state's involvement in the USA elections.
These operatives allegedly used spearfishing techniques while "acting in their official capacities" to obtain log-in information of their targets with the intent of interfering in the election.
A few hours before the indictments were announced, Trump described the Mueller investigation as a "rigged witch hunt" that is hurting the USA relationship with Russian Federation. He stressed that Mueller's investigation is ongoing.
Stone said he believes the reference to that "U.S. person" in the indictment referred to him.
On that scale, these indictments include no additional Americans, and Rosenstein was careful to say that it was the DOJ's position that any American who communicated with these indicted Russians did so unwittingly.
Costello denied Friday that he is the congressional candidate referred to in the indictment and tweeted that he has asked the Justice Department to "clarify if the candidate was ever elected".