Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s indictment against a dozen Russian military officers on Friday marked his probe’s latest charges related to Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Mueller charged 11 of the intelligence officers, all members of Russia’s military intelligence agency the GRU, with conspiring to hack into into Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee networks.
The 12th officer was charged with conspiring to hack into election systems, including hacking into a state elections board website.
The indictment revealed previously unknown allegations surrounding the DNC hacking, which led to the release of private and internal DNC emails and documents ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Here are five things to know from the wide-ranging allegations:
Mueller says Guccifer 2.0 was Russian officers
Mueller states in the indictment that the infamous DNC hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 was an online persona created by the Russian officers to disperse documents stolen in the hack.
Guccifer 2.0, who had been in contact with The Hill ahead of the 2016 election and released internal DNC documents, had claimed to be a Romanian hacker with no political ties.
However, tools used in Guccifer 2.0’s breach had matched those used by Russian intelligence agencies.
The indictment also alleged that the Russians created the site DCLeaks, which also posted stolen documents.
“Both were created and controlled by the Russian GRU,” Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE said in announcing the charges.
Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneWhite House orders release of Trump records to Jan. 6 committee Bannon says he discussed how to 'kill this administration in the crib' with Trump before Jan. 6 Roger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview MORE is ‘probably’ mentioned in indictment
Former informal Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone said Friday night that he’s “probably” the unnamed person referred to in the indictment as having been in contact with the Trump campaign and received messages from Guccifer 2.0.
Stone had initially disputed that he was the person in the indictment, despite the document matching messages that he had exchanged with Guccifer 2.0. Stone released the messages last year.
Stone told The Hill Friday that his messages with Guccifer 2.0 are "benign based on its content, context and timing."
“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,” he said.
Russians allegedly tried to hack Clinton after Trump asked them to
The indictment claims that the Russians first attempted to hack into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSuper PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary MORE’s private emails on or around the same day that President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE suggested they should find the missing emails on her private server.
The indictment states that ”on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton's personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton Campaign."
Trump gave a press conference that same day in which he called for Russia to find the emails that Clinton had deleted from her private server.
"They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted. You'd see some beauties, so we'll see," the then-candidate said.
"Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press."
The revelation led to widespread backlash from Democrats, who claimed Trump was encouraging the hacks.
Congressional candidate allegedly asked Russians for dirt on opponent
The indictment also includes the bombshell claim that an unnamed “candidate for the U.S. Congress” had contacted Guccifer 2.0 and requested information on their opponent that was stolen from the DNC.
"The conspirators responded using the Guccifer 2.0 persona and sent the candidate stolen documents related to the candidate's opponent," the document reads.
It's not stated in the filing if the candidate won their election and is currently serving in Congress, or to which party they belong.
However, if the candidate is revealed, it will likely lead to massive backlash.
Mueller has filed nearly 200 charges in probe
Mueller’s latest indictment has boosted his tally of total charges filed in the probe to 191 — likely giving Democrats ammunition to push back against claims of the investigation being a “witch hunt.”
Thirty-two people have now been charged since the special counsel was appointed last year. Five people have pleaded guilty to the charges, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign aide Richard Gates and former campaign staffer George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE.
Mueller has previously filed charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations for meddling in the 2016 election.
Former Trump campaign head Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortHuawei paid Tony Podesta 0K for White House lobbying FBI agents swarm Russian oligarch's DC home DOJ investigating one-time Trump campaign adviser over alleged ties to Qatar: report MORE is also facing a series of charges in the probe, including tax evasion, bank fraud and failing to report foreign bank accounts. He has pleaded not guilty and is attempting to delay his trial, which is set to start later this month.