Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Roger Stone says he’s the 'US person' mentioned in Mueller indictment

Alex Wong  Getty Images North America Alex Wong Getty Images North America
Glenn Montgomery | 14 July, 2018, 04:57

A federal grand jury on Friday indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers on charges of hacking the computer networks of 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, the Justice Department said.

The news comes the same day that Rosenstein announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officials for allegedly hacking the Democratic National Committee. "Pure stupidity", he said, referring to Mueller's probe. They released the indictment two days before Mr. Trump is to meet with Mr. Putin, raising the stakes for the meeting and implicitly pressuring Trump to speak directly to his Russian counterpart about the situation. Presidential lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Friday tweeted that the indictments are good news - Russians have been nailed, no Americans are involved, and it's time for Mueller to wrap up his "pursuit of the President".

The indictment represents special counsel Robert Mueller's first charges against Russian government officials for interfering in American politics, an effort US intelligence agencies say was aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

The laundry list of charges included conspiracy against the United States, identity theft, money laundering and attempts to break into state election boards and various government agencies.

The Department of Justice said the defendants used the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as part of a "conspiracy to launder money in which the defendants laundered the equivalent of more than $95,000 by transferring the money that they used to purchase servers and to fund other costs related to their hacking activities".

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (L) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) behind him on May 4, 2017. Anything you do, it's always going to be, "Oh, Russia, he loves Russia". "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".

Trump said he did not know who was orchestrating the election hacking but suggested it was "probably China", adding that if it was hypothetically Russian Federation intelligence, it would show their lack of reverence for the United States. Trump complained about the Russian Federation investigation hours before the indictment, saying the "stupidity" was making it "very hard to do something with Russian Federation". They plan to hold a one-on-one meeting in Helsinki.

"I will absolutely, firmly ask the question, and hopefully we'll have a good relationship with Russian Federation", he told a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May. Indeed, an indictment that directly points to Russian President Vladimir Putin makes it much more hard for critics to dismiss Russia's culpability in election hacking as unproven.

"Russia, if you're listening", Trump said, "I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing".

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