12 Russians accused of hacking Democrats in 2016 polls

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WASHINGTON: Twelve Russian military intelligence officers hacked into the Clinton presidential campaign and Democratic Party, releasing tens of thousands of stolen communications, in a sweeping effort by a foreign government to meddle in the 2016 US election, according to a grand jury indictment announced days before President Donald Trump‘s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The indictment stands as the clearest Justice Department allegation yet of Russian efforts to interfere, through illegal hacking, in the US presidential election before Americans went to the polls and the first to implicate the Russian government directly. It had been sought by special counsel Robert Mueller.

US intelligence agencies have said the meddling was aimed at helping the Trump campaign and harming the election bid of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. The effort also included bogus Facebook ads and social media postings that prosecutors say were aimed at influencing public…

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