In a tediously long and ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential elections, special counsel Robert Mueller finally dribbled out indictments for 12 Russian intelligence officers.
The Russians involved belong to the military service GRU and are allegedly responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee staffers emails, including those of chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, and voting information on over 500,000 Americans.
The smoking gun of collusion was not found.
Besides embarrassing the Democratic Party by distributing the contents of DNC emails about rigging the election, the Russians made public by timely dispatch to WikiLeaks how populist and contender Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was kicked to the curb. They also had the audacity to share Trump/Clinton debate questions, and the hijacking and funneling of finances from other Democratic races into Hillary’s campaign.
It was like witnessing sausage being made for Jimmy Dean.
The Russians fingered in the indictment discussed all aspects of how best to deliver their ill-gotten booty and on what timeframe would be most useful in disrupting the U.S. election process. They are alleged to be behind the website DCLeaks and the fake persona Guccifer 2.0 that had everyone scuttering about searching for someone to hold responsible for the damning information pouring out of WikiLeaks almost daily.
No, the Russians are not America’s friends.
For those that want a recap of what most Americans have suspected all along, keep your reading glasses perched:
The indictment includes 11 criminal counts:
- Count One alleges a criminal conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States through cyber operations by the GRU that involved the staged release of stolen documents for the purpose of interfering with the 2016 president election;
- Counts Two through Nine charge aggravated identity theft for using identification belonging to eight victims to further their computer fraud scheme;
- Count Ten alleges a conspiracy to launder money in which the defendants laundered the equivalent of more than $95,000 by transferring the money that they used to purchase servers and to fund other costs related to their hacking activities through cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin; and
- Count Eleven charges conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States by attempting to hack into the computers of state boards of elections, secretaries of state, and US companies that supplied software and other technology related to the administration of elections.
What Now, Mueller?
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who announced the indictments, disappointed the Clinton camp by once again emphatically stating, “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result.”
Rosenstein went on to state:
The blame for election interference belongs to the criminals who committed election interference. We need to work together to hold the perpetrators accountable, and we need to keep moving forward to preserve our values, protect against future interference, and defend America.
Rosenstein also reminded us that the investigation was ongoing. But they have found no evidence of any tampering by an American – which does include President Trump, who must be pleased as he readies for a one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin July 16 in Helsinki.
One of Trump’s attorney’s, and former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani tweeted:
“The indictments Rod Rosenstein announced are good news for all Americans. The Russians are nailed. No Americans are involved. Time for Mueller to end this pursuit of the President and say President Trump is completely innocent.”
And perhaps Mr. Mueller will see the light and end this seemingly endless investigation and let the Department of Justice get back to the business of the American people. And make no mistake, these indictments are mostly to show that this special counsel is working because no one, including Mueller and Rosenstein, has any faith they will get their day in court with 12 Russians.