Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed an indictment against 12 Russian intelligence officers for crimes related to hacking and publicly releasing Democrats’ emails, as part of an effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign.
Mueller alleges that, as long suspected, it was in fact Russian intelligence officers behind the high-profile hackings of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and various Hillary Clinton campaign staffers, including campaign chair John Podesta.
Many of these emails and documents were posted during the 2016 campaign by three separate entities. Two of those — “Guccifer 2.0,” and the DCLeaks website” — were created and controlled by these GRU officers from Russia’s intelligence agency, Mueller alleges. The third, WikiLeaks, got the stolen DNC emails from these GRU officials (and, eventually, the Podesta emails), but isn’t being charged with anything — it is referred to as “Organization 1” in the indictment.
Mueller’s indictment names the 12 GRU officials he’s charging. Viktor Borisovich Netyksho, he alleges, was in command of one unit that had primary responsibility for the hackings. Other GRU officials had various other roles in the hacking or leaks.
The indictment presents a great deal of technical evidence on precisely how the individuals did the hack, including electronic communications and transfers of information between the various figures involved.
There’s no allegation in the indictment that any Americans or any members of the Trump campaign were criminally involved in the hacking or leaks.
32 people and three companies have now either been indicted or pleaded guilty as part of Mueller’s probe. At his press conference announcing the charges, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said that the special counsel’s investigation was still continuing.