Special counsel Robert Mueller accuses the agents with the Main Intelligence Directorate, a Kremlin spy agency known as the GRU, of installing spyware on the computers of Democratic Party staffers to monitor their work during the campaign; stealing embarrassing e-mails and other documents; and making off with voter information on 500,000 Americans from a state election agency.
The men are military officers, who Rosenstein says tried to hack computer networks and use different tactics to gather information.
In August 2016, the indictment says, "the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, sent a reporter stolen documents pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement, The reporter responded by discussing when to release the documents and offering to write an article about their release".
They used spear-phishing techniques to steal user names, passwords and emails and paid for the operation with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the indictment alleges.
"Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy", Schumer (N.Y.) said in a statement less than an hour after Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein detailed the new charges at a midday news conference.
Read the full indictment below. If that link is established, it would shatter the Kremlin denials of the Russian state's involvement in the US elections, given that the GRU is part of the state machine. The president said he will ask Putin during the meeting if Russian Federation interfered with the election. Trump asked Russian Federation to hack his opponent, and Russian Federation did "f$3 or the first time", as the indictment says.
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Despite the most recent indictment, the Trump-Putin meeting is "still on", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
Read also: Did Russia's election hacking break worldwide law? According to Politico's report, many House Republicans have been plotting to try and remove Rosenstein for weeks, and the impeachment document may be filed as soon as Monday, which happens to be the same day that the President meets with Russia's Vladimir Putin.
The goal of the conspiracy was to have an impact on the election. "The defendants falsely claimed that DCLeaks was started by a group of American hackers and that Guccifer 2.0 was a lone Romanian hacker".
The Kremlin has denied that the Russian government interfered in the US election. That brings the overall number to 32 people or entities indicted in connection with the Mueller investigation.
Those charged include Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, who admitted guilt to one count of lying to investigators on December 1; former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's longtime partner and deputy campaign chair Rick Gates and campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos. The intrusion into accounts of volunteers and employees of the Clinton campaign began in March 2016, then the DNC and DCCC were hacked. "He is not a friend of the United States".
Defendants include four former Trump campaign and White House aides, three of whom have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate, and 13 Russians accused in a powerful social media campaign to sway USA public opinion in 2016.