SPECIAL REPORT: 12 Russians indicted for hacking Democrats

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the charges Friday.
27:15 | 07/13/18

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Transcript for SPECIAL REPORT: 12 Russians indicted for hacking Democrats
This is an ABC news special room. George Stephanopoulos. And we're coming on the air right now because the deputy attorney general arrived Rosen sky's about to make an announcement related to -- investigation but there you see. President trump in the first label on intra meeting with the queen today in Great Britain. Chris present coming off a NATO summit yesterday. And his meeting with the prime minister Teresa may earlier today and then press comes he had this morning also in Great Britain this is of course ahead. Of his meeting on Monday in Helsinki. With the Russian president Vladimir food. Black tie dinner last night also in Great Britain. This one of the highlights of the trip of course for the president. And the First Lady. Made headlines course in great Britain and let his. Criticism of two recent day his praise of one of her opponents to just let the government the foreign minister Boris Johnson. And this ship a long time coming protests across Great Britain. But the president being that there. I cleaned news. Expect to spend the weekend. And women golf resorts in Scotland turned very. Might get a little golf and also planning prepare for of course for that meeting. This president who. Prison like the pop of these trips. When that big parade. Military parade he had in Paris. Like is so much that he's asked for military. To replicate it that's can come up in November of this year. The business side it has been a controversial trip. President said. In his meeting the NATO leaders that he was willing to go it alone if they didn't. Follow through on their pledges to increase defense spending. But they were able to get a joint communique. Enlarging and I'm policy. In the headlines the president made his way into Great Britain surprised of British prime minister's recent day. Are trying to clean that up now as well. This part of the trip ceremony. As we see that now we have learned now that. They've deputy attorney general rob rose inside will be announcing. An indictment indictment of Russian nationals related to hack of the DNC back in game two that the sixteen. Here taxes in the rumor Reza senate set to appear Pierre what do we now. Look towards the indictment comes just as the president going to meet with. Vladimir Putin it charges that twelve Russian nationals associated would much Russian military intelligence. Hacked in the NC and then provided to get that information out to harms that campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton. So the bottom line is that they are talking new indictments today against Russian nationals in connection with the fact of the DNC George. And all of those Russian nationals or members of the Russian intelligence service that comes on top of the thirteen Russian nationals. And the three entities that were indicted for her during the election back in February or bring in Chris Christie. As well former governor entered New Jersey. Advisor to the president has been an advisor from the president for a long time Chris the timing here unmistakable just a few days for the president's son I was platter of food and. There are two very aggressive move toward a special counsel's office. Bonds due Americans like mr. editor it's especially in light of possibly younger dancers the president gave. Two questions regarding how much he would challenge. President Clinton Mitt at the idea that they were meddling in the US election. It's unmistakable to conclude that Bob Mueller warned that the best she could to make sure that that was the walker debatable points. Eight on this issue. Well then and own that Chris are you now have to a unanimous findings of the American intelligence agencies and now 25 Russian nationals indicted. By Robert Mueller. Mellish an actual thought all along that there are clearly. No debate about whether the Russians try Q. Metal in the election I think it's very clear that they kids. I leadership that you committee among our intelligence agency start. Bob and now you're fighting a special counsel with Korea actually subpoena authority to get information imparted more scores of homes crushed out. I'm the public inclusion and more importantly George a Korean solely of ordinary Americans. As brown probable cause to leave. That they metal is it that's what they preferred a more powerful and much more Americans are with this evidence thought that was the key state radio normal American. They hold conclusion. And Jon Karl what we now have. Robert Mueller establishing conspiracy of Russian nationals he's also of course. Charged Paul man a for the president's former campaign chairman. With the campaign it would that we live tax fraud and other violations. He's reached guilty pleas. With that rig gates' deputy campaign manager of the of the campaign also Michael Flynn the president's former Alaska advisor George Papa topless also. On the campaign the big open question will he find that any members anyone connected to president trump cooperated. Would this conspiracy. And there's no indication of that yet George but it's notable that at the press conference the president had to date with threesome made. The British prime minister. He referred once again to the Moeller investigation as a witch hunt Saturday new a new crashed into its that was a rigged witch hunt. So he went on the attack today. Against Robert Mueller and now we see. Mueller coming out what these indictments I think the timing is incredibly significant here George the fact that the president. Is about to be sitting down with Vladimir Putin at a summit meeting. In Helsinki. Muller can do these indictments whenever he wants he has decided to do it essentially on the eve. Of that summit summit is on Monday we are here on Friday. And it makes me it's as as Governor Christie points out makes it clear that this will. Be. A subject of that summit and and just victorious comes at the time it will we. No there's been a good you know the big back and forth between the president's legal team and Robert Mueller over whether or not to have the president sit down. With Robert Mueller for an in your views on some of these questions and it was. It's become pretty unmistakable there as well on my last interviewed Rudy Giuliani and several others that is given in recent days. That the president is very unlikely. To sit down for that interview. I would say deviates about a little bit north of a 0% chance that that interview takes place despite the fact that the president has said. Over and over again including. At least two times directly to me that he would 100% sit down for an interview. It seems clear that he is now taking the advice of his lawyer's advice that's been consistent. Not to do that interview. But George to your point that the list of indictments. Is piling up here it seems. He gets harder harder to dismiss the special counsel investigation. As he witch hunt. It is producing is coming up with the indictments although as the White House I'm sure will point out nothing anywhere at least nothing yet. That suggests any connection when anybody on the trump can't not yet Pierre Thomas we're learning more about this indictment. If we are they're naming shaving twelve Russian national. Here's a deputy attorney general. Good afternoon. Today a grand jury in the District of Columbia. Returned an indictment presented by the special counsel's office. Indictment charges twelve Russian military officers by name. For conspiring to interfere. With the point 816 presidential election. Eleven other 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 twelve Russian military officer. Are charged with conspiring to infiltrate computers. Organizations involved in administering elections. Including state boards of election. Secretaries of state and companies that supplied software. Used to administer elections. And according to allegations in the indictment. The defense work for two units. Of the main intelligence directorate. Of the Russian general staff known as the G argue. Units engaged in active cyber operations. To interfere in the 2016. Presidential election. There was one unit that engaged and active cyber operations by stealing information. At a different unit that was responsible for disseminating the stolen information. The defendant's use two techniques. To steal information. First they use a scheme known as spear fishing. Which involves sending misleading email messages. And tricking users into disclosing. Their passwords and security information. Second the defendants hacked into computer networks. And installed malicious software. That allow them to spy on users and capture. Keystrokes. Take screen shots. And Exel trade or remove data from those computers. The defendants access to email accounts of volunteers and employees. Of a US presidential campaign. Including the campaign chairman. Starting in March 2016. They also hacked into the computer networks. At a congressional campaign committee and a national political committee. The defendants Covert and monitored the computers. And planted hundreds of files containing malicious computer code. And stole emails and other documents. The conspirators created fictitious online personas. Including DC leaks. And Lucifer 2.0. And they used to those personas to release information. Including thousands of stolen emails and other documents. Beginning in June 2016. The defendants falsely claimed the DC leaks was a group of American hackers. And that Lucifer 2.0. Was a loan Romanian hacker. In fact both were created. And controlled. By the Russian GRU. In addition to releasing documents directly to the public. The defendants transferred stolen documents to another organization. That is not identified by name in the indictment. And they used to that organization. As a pass through to release the documents to discuss the timing of the release. In an attempt to enhance the impact on election. In an effort to conceal there connections to Russia. The defendant's use a network of computers around the world and they paid forward using crypto currency it's. The conspirators corresponded with several Americans. During the course of the conspiracy through the entry. There's no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew they were corresponding. With Russian intelligence officers. In a second related conspiracy. Russian GRU officers hacked the website they state election board. And stole information about 500000. Voters. They also hack into computers. A company that supplied software. Used to verify voter registration information. They targeted state local officials responsible for administering elections. And they sent spear Phishing emails to people involved in administering elections including. Catching malicious software. An indictment includes eleven criminal allegations and a forfeiture allegation. Count one charges eleven defendants for conspiring to access computers without authorization. And a damage those computers. In connection with efforts to interfere. With the presidential election. Counts two through nine charged those eleven defendants would aggravated identity theft. By employing the user names and passwords. Victims in order to commit computer fraud. Count ten charges. Those eleven defendants would money laundering. For transferring crypto currencies. Three web of transactions. In order to purchase computers servers register domains. And make other payments. In furtherance of their hacking activities. While trying to conceal their connections to Russia. Count eleven charges two defendants for separate conspiracy. To access computers without authorization. And damage those computers. In connection with efforts to infiltrate computers used to administer elections. Finally the indictment seeks forfeiture of property. Involved in the criminal activity. There's no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen. Commit a crime. There's no allegation that the conspiracy. Changed the vote count or affected any election result. Special counsel investigation is ongoing and there will be no comments. On special counsel at this time. Assistant attorney general John immerse is here with me today. Because we intend to transition responsibility for this indictment to the Justice Department's national security division. While we await the apprehension. Of the defendants. Principal associate deputy attorney general Andrew Callahan has also Whitney and he's been assisting. In managing these special counsel investigation. I want to caution you. The people who speculate about federal investigations. Usually do not know. All the relevant facts. We do not try cases on television. Or in congressional hearings. Most anonymous leaks are not from the government officials. Who were actually conducting these investigations. We follow the rule of law. Which means that we follow procedures. And we reserve judgment. We complete our investigations. And reevaluate all of the relevant evidence. Before you reach any conclusion. As how the American people expect. Or Department of Justice to operate. And that is how our department is going to. And our justice system. Everyone is charged with a crime. Is presumed innocent. Unless and until proven guilty. It should go without saying. The people who are not charged with a crime also. Are presumed at this. The indictment was returned today. Because prosecutors determined that the evidence was sufficient. To present these allegations to federal rancher. Our analysis. Is based solely on the facts. The law. And Department of Justice policies. I briefed president trump about these allegations earlier this week. The president is fully aware of the department's actions today. A 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 and Democrats. And instead to thank patriotic plea as Americans. Our response must not depend on which side. Was victim us. Internet allows foreign adversaries. To attack America in new and unexpected ways. Free and fair elections. Are always hard fought and contentious. They're always be adversaries. Who seek to exacerbate our divisions. And try to confuse divide and conquer us. So long as we are united. And our commitment. To the values enshrined in the constitution. They will not succeed. The partisan warfare. Fueled by modern technology. Does not fairly reflect. The grace dignity. And unity. Of the American people. The blame for election interference belongs. To the criminals who committed election insurance. We need to work together. Hold perpetrators accountable. We need to keep moving forward to preserve our values. Protect against future. Interference. And defend America. Have time to take a few questions. Oh. About that can also just today the president described. Our investigation which. As I mentioned. As a function. Collection of the facts and evidence lot of determination that was sufficient to present the indictment this time as I mentioned I did brief the president. With regard to the nature of the investigation. I only comment on the evidence the evidence it reflects is reflected in our indictment similar charges. Represents a determination. By prosecutors. And agents without regard politics. That we believe the evidence is sufficient to justify the charges. He talked about the fact that. Your view on the evidence doesn't show any votes were changed as a result of this happy. But he did say that accompany him as a pastor. Coordinated with these defendants take the timing of their release them. Talk and how he. What I've talked about today is what is alleged in the indictment. We move it courting the allegations in the indictment. The goal of the conspirators was to have an impact in the elections. What impact they may have had. What there motivation may have been independently of what's required. Prove this offense is matter of speculation that's not our responsibility what I said is there's no allegation the indictment. About it. And that's not our church. For the three. Sort of I don't thousand voters agree collected as evidence that. What what the Russians do a better information and is there any evidence of other states being successfully country. I think that transport freed understand what I've told you the allegations that are included. In the indictment. The FBI. And other. Intelligence community agencies. Are working constantly to defend against cyber attacks in the United States this case is just about one particular. Effort that was made during the 2016 election efforts our department to the department homeland security and other federal agencies involved. Of the state election boards throughout the country. Our ongoing. And those efforts preceded. This indictment and they're going to post date this indictment so we have continued to share any relevant intelligence. All of our partners. It would take a longer time to talk about this but there is a concerted organized effort by the federal go. To make sure that we do deter and prevent it. Any sort of cyber attacks on our elections and that we Harden our election systems to prevent against. Any kind of intrusions. He indicated. Support for this act. Obviously we support for the president to know. What information we don't cover because he's got to make very important decision for the country's needs to understand what evidence we have a for an election appearance. Thank you very much. Voters got right there the deputy attorney general rob Rosen Stein announcing that special counsel Robert Mueller has. Indicted twelve Russian nationals members of Russian intelligence service for conspiring to her fear in our elections by hacking. The computers in the DNC Hillary Clinton's campaign you saw rod Reza so I would not name the victims there. In the in his press coverage even though they were named in the indictment are we have one of the chief targets on the phone right now John Podesta. Who's the campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton whose email was tack. Back in in April of 2000. Sixteen and released over the course of the campaign your reaction of these indictments John. What Georgia I think about heart of all this has always been the fact that crimes were committed against individual Americans including myself. Are but also crimes committed against American democracy. And I think bad. You know Donald Trump like cook. Described it says but which trumped well. We just saw some witches in that they were indicted. I think this is something that people knew it happened all along. Underlying all those crimes were committed. And that's why the mall investigations didn't. So important and why he should be armed continued in an unfettered manner. As you saw robbers I would be wooden is not making the allegation in this indictment that these tax change the course. Of the election your view on that. Well you don't like I think. When election so close it's hard. Put your finger on any one particular issue but are clearly this. Some it impact. Until I'm getting a little bit noise in the in the cold George but I I think that. There's the decision to dribble leaked out over the course of the month was intended to hurt our campaign. And what Kirk. And do you know to what extent it was used in order dark. Alt fuel again other activities that were done by both Russians and American sources. I think Woolley will have to leave to history to church. And John one final point the indictment lane this right at the feet. A letter mere food and his military intelligence. Absolutely you know these were operations conducted by all Russian military intelligence by the GRU. All president trump will be meeting with President Putin. In the next couple days and in you know. One would hope. That he would push back time on the Russian president in that regard who she who is. Clearly I think authorized these operations but. Quite frankly I don't hold out much hope I bet you all take this any more seriously than he has during the course of his presidency. John Podesta thanks very much for your kind of question which the victim of hack repellent bring Chris Christie now as wages sure that last point. Chris from John Modesto right there the president briefed on this according to rod Rosen Steiner earlier in the week do you believe this will or should. Change the president's stance toward flatter a prudent in this summit coming up on Monday. What is shrinking as the president's canceled Monday. I need to present there are going to be able to say the President Putin and I shall live and will. That problem we now have evidence of Russian military personnel. Cooper involves the hacking. Both feature helps people were participating. In the presidential election 2016. So white accused think this is an important bit. But information for children shared with president I'm glad. Their future generals aren't shared it with the person. Parts with these are part of Clinton's departure from the United States and Egypt have been squeezed portraits of secrets improvement. So harsh ensures that this its. Powerful information that adds to the narrative which already exist in which the Russians. Or attempting in some way. To meddle with the election here in the United States and this is something I am confident the president is now they're raised Swiss President Clinton among back. John Carlin we bring you in on this as well we heard from rob Reza signed during the course of his press conference that several Americans did correspond. With these intelligence offices over the course of the campaign over the course of vacuum though he says it is necessarily know -- there's no allegation. In this indictment that they knew they were corresponding the Russian military intelligence also no allegation. In this indictments that any American citizens will cooperating with the conspiracy. Yet clearly sending. A message directly to the White House on those two points. Nobody knowingly. No American side meet certainly nobody associated with the trump campaign. Knowingly part of this and nothing to affect the actual vote count but George. As you remember the president during the campaign. Said that the hacking could have been done by a 400 pound guy sitting on his bed. He is downplayed. The Russian involvement on this continuously even as president even as he has had access to the intelligence. Now he is looking at an indictment that goes right to DG RU that is Russian military intelligence the largest. Foreign intelligence agency in Russia directly at Vladimir Putin's feet justice he is going to be sitting down at a summit meeting with who. We'll see how he handles about money final plan for Pierre Thomas. Right now no allegations in this indictment about American citizens Pierre Thomas but that leaves open the big questions what is next for Robert more. That's right George the investigation is ongoing but the dominant point from today's press conferences that the United States government if thing that we know precisely. Who wouldn't a Russian government was involved in this hack. And we know how they did it and we know how they dispersed information they're naming and shaming that's the bottom line today George these indictments twelve Russian nationals couldn't connected to Russian military intelligence that means connected to Vladimir Putin indicted today. By special counsel Robert Mueller announced for the deputy attorney general rob rose's time. Ahead just few days ahead of this important summit meeting would need a president. And Vladimir Putin we just can't top this all day long and abcnews.com full report tonight on world news I would David Muir. Have a good day. This has been a special report for VP.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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