A Quick Cheat Sheet To Mueller’s Hacking Indictment Targeting 12 Russians

After the US Government sent a strong message to Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump looks set to do the opposite.
President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit, Friday, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Rantt Rundown: Day 540 of the Trump presidency

The Big Story: Just days before President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the most significant indictments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller thus far. The indictments were levied against 12 Russian intelligence officers (GRU) for hacking the DNC, DCCC, and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign during the 2016 election and leaking through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0. This comes after 13 Russian entities were indicted earlier this year for their propaganda campaign. The evidence detailed further bolsters the U.S. Intelligence Committee’s conclusion that Russia’s objective was to help Donald Trump become President Trump.

The White House responded by trying to claim the indictment vindicated President Trump. Rather than remark on this historically profound attack on American democracy, the President of the United States decided to speak about the indictments like a defendant. House Republicans responded by moving to impeach…Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein said Trump was briefed on these indictments earlier this week. But that didn’t stop President Trump from calling the Mueller probe a witch hunt today or just yesterday saying that he would ask Putin “if” he meddled.

As Democrats and Republican Senator John McCain called for Trump to cancel the summit, the nation dissected Mueller’s comprehensive indictment.

This indictment confirmed years of reporting on Russia’s interference in American democracy and included some stunning new developments. You can read the indictment here but here are some of the highlights:

  • 500,000 Illinois voters’ data was stolen: “In or around July 2016, KOVALEV and his co-conspirators hacked the website of a state board of elections (‘SBOE 1’) and stole information related to approximately 500,000 voters, including names, addresses, partial social security numbers, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers.”
  • Revealed that on July 27, 2016, Russians began spearphishing campaigns targeting Clinton’s personal office emails for the first time and also targeted Clinton’s campaign. This was the same day Donald Trump publicly stated:  “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
  • Had multiple excerpts that appeared to depict Trump’s campaign advisor Roger Stone, who spoke to Guccifer 2.0 during the campaign. “The conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump.”
  • Detailed a US congressional candidate who requested, and received, stolen documents about his opponent from Guccifer 2.0. There’s already speculation about who it could be.
  • The unnamed “entity” that the content was leaked through appears to be Wikileaks.
  • Around the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting (we’ll touch on that soon), Russia began using DC Leaks: “Starting in or around June 2016 and continuing through the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Conspirators used DCLeaks to release emails stolen from individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign.”

The Context: Mueller’s multi-faceted counterintelligence investigation probes Russian interference, the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia, and potential obstruction of Justice on the part of President Trump. It also probes financial crimes on the part of Trump’s associates as well as international corruption involving Russia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, etc. Before today’s indictment, the investigation had already yielded at least 79 charges against 23 people or companies, 5 guilty pleas (3 of which came from Trump’s associates), and 1 person sentenced. Some collusion evidence for you:

  • Former Trump Adviser George Papadopoulos bragged about Russia’s dirt on Clinton
  • Trump adviser Roger Stone communicated with Guccifer 2.0.
  • Donald Trump Jr, Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, and son-in-law/White House Adviser Jared Kushner sought Clinton dirt from Russians in Trump Tower

This also comes amid President Trump and the Republicans’ continued efforts to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and Americans’ faith in U.S. institutions (some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s goals).

Of course, the burglary of the DNC echoes back to Watergate, except this time the burglary was committed by a hostile foreign adversary in an attempt to steal an election and constitutes an act of cyberwar.

The Look Ahead: Special Counsel Robert Mueller has established the underlying crimes on the part of the Russians. What’s next appears to be the American co-conspirators who are currently unnamed. Before then, we have the Trump-Putin summit (which has no defined objective or purpose), where we can only hope that the President of the United States holds him to account rather than capitulating like he’s done thus far.

In other news…

  • President Trump was in the UK, continuing his attacks on NATO allies. Trump disrespected Prime Minister Theresa May and the American media. He also made a comment about immigration that had white supremacist undertones. Meanwhile, over 100,000 people protested his visit.

Rundown // Donald Trump / Putin / Republican Party / Russia Investigation