Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general in charge of the Trump/Russia investigation, called a surprise press conference for 11:45 a.m. ET on July 13, 2018 and announced the indictments of 12 Russian hackers. So far, Mueller's team has indicted 32 people, including members of a Russian company that blanketed social media with fake news stories and senior members of the Trump campaign.
Trump lawyer Rudolph Giuliani said in a Tweet after the indictments were unveiled, "The indictments Rod Rosenstein announced are good news for all Americans". Brad Ashford, who lost his 2016 race for re-election to Republican Don Bacon, revealed in a Facebook post Friday that "Russian agents" had hacked his campaign emails.
Putin has denied any election meddling, and Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation.
The indictments are of 12 Russian military officers, and come just days before President Donald Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. The computer that operated the Twitter account for DCLeaks was the same computer used for some of the fake social media campaigns meant to stir up protests in the U.S.
The Russian hackers' scheme to steal thousands of documents from the Democrats, as described in the indictment, used simple but effective tools to breach their targets many times and in multiple ways.
"The defendants covertly monitored the computers, implanted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code, and stole emails and other documents", Rosenstein said. "Obviously it's important for the president to know what information we've uncovered because he's got to make very important decisions for the country", Rosenstein said.
Additionally, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the contacts they had during the campaign with Russians.
If the Russian Federation probe is a "witch hunt", then Robert Mueller is a goddamn Ghostbuster.
The 12th Russian operative (as well as one of the previous group of operatives) is charged with hacking into election-management systems on the state level, where that person is alleged to have stolen information about roughly 500,000 voters.
The U.S. President, speaking on a visit to Britain before the charges were laid, accused the investigation of hurting his attempts to build a relationship with Mr. Putin.
"There's no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime", Rosenstein said, adding that the goal of the hacks was to have an impact on the election.
While President Donald Trump hasn't been a supporter of this probe previously calling it a witch hunt, Rosenstein said that he has been briefed about this indictment earlier this week and "is fully aware of today's actions by the department".
The broad strokes of the hacking operation had already been made public, but the indictment provided new details and named names.
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".