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Good afternoon, today a grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment presented by the Special Counsel's Office. The indictment charges 12 Russian military officers by name for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 Presidential election. 11 of the defendants are charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents and release those documents with the intent to interfere in the election.
One of those defendants, and a 12th Russian military officer are charged with conspiring to infiltrate computers of organizations involved in administering the elections, including state boards of election, secretaries of state, and companies that supply software used to administer elections. There was one unit that engaged in active cyber operations by stealing information, and a different unit that was responsible for disseminating the stolen information.
The conspirators created fictitious online personas, including DC Leaks and Guccifer 2.0. And they use those personas to release information, including thousands of stolen emails and other documents beginning in June of 2016. They discussed the timing of the release in an attempt to enhance the impact on the election.
The conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the Internet. There's no allegation in this indictment, that the Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers. In my remarks, I have not identified the victims. We confront foreign interference in American elections. It's important for us to avoid thinking politically, as Republicans or Democrats, and instead to think patriotically as Americans.