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Another Phantom Indictment: Latest Mueller Farce Meant to Degrade Trump-Putin Summit – Russian Foreign Ministry

Yesterday, the US Department of Justice indicted another 12 ‘mystery Russians’, said to be “military intelligence agents” who, according to the US Establishment, had somehow attempted to influence the 2016 US presidential election, which supposedly helped Donald Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton – or so the conspiracy theory goes…

The rap sheet is impressive: DOJ charges range from identity fraud to money laundering conspiracy, however there is no chance that any of the named persons in this indictment will ever see the inside of a US court room (and so the DOJ risks nothing by inventing yet another impressive-sounding ‘Russian bot’ plot). Charges are as follows:

  • To commit the alleged crimes, the Russians targeted more than 300 people affiliated with Clinton’s campaign and Democratic political organizations, including the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta.
  • Once inside the Democratic computers, they searched for keywords like “Hillary,” (then-GOP candidate Ted) “Cruz,” “Trump” and “Benghazi investigations” so they could steal the most damaging files. They wanted opposition research, campaign field operations and voter data, the indictment alleges.
  • From Twitter and Facebook to WordPress, the hackers used the online services most ingrained in American society for posts that spread their illicit information.
  • Even bitcoin, the electronic cash that’s kept Silicon Valley abuzz, played a key role in the Russians’ efforts to build their hacking infrastructure.
  • The hacking tools included emails disguised as Google security alerts containing bogus links and malware deposited on servers.
  • They stole passwords, tracked keystrokes, took screenshots and watched banking information, the indictment said.
  • And then, to spread the documents they collected, the Russians lied about their identity.
  • The Russian military intelligence hackers snooped around online presences for state board of elections and county offices in Florida, Georgia and Iowa.
  • They stole personal information like names, addresses, partial social security numbers and drivers’ license numbers for about 500,000 voters.

(Source: CNN)

The circus aspect of this latest chapter in Official Washington’s Russiagate folly was then ramped-up when CNN reported that political operative Roger Stone is likely to be the alleged “unnamed person” in the Mueller’s and the DOJ’s latest phantom indictment.

CNN reports:

Roger Stone says he’s “probably” the unnamed individual in a new Russia probe indictment made public Friday who is described as having communicated with Guccifer 2.0 in 2016.

“I think I probably am the person referred to,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

Earlier Friday, Stone, a longtime associate of President Donald Trump and political figure, acknowledged to CNN that an exchange in the indictment matches messages he previously released, but initially maintained that he did not believe that he is the unnamed person in the indictment. Stone said the messages “don’t provide any evidence of collaboration or collusion.”

The indictment states that on Aug. 15, 2016, and again on Sept. 9, Russian officers posing as Guccifer 2.0 “wrote a person who was in regular contact with senior members” of the Trump campaign, with language that matches Twitter messages previously released by Stone, who is not named in the indictment.

In his interview later Friday with Cuomo, Stone that he “misunderstood the reference.”

“I never denied that it was me, I just didn’t understand the earlier reference,” Stone said.

This week’s phantom indictment mirrors a similar political stunt pulled back in February, when a desperate DOJ indicted 13 Russians in absentia, when Special Council Robert Mueller and DOJ Rod Rosenstein claimed that mysterious Russian trolls had somehow aided the Trump campaign in 2016 – despite having no actual forensic evidence to substantiate this elaborate theory. Based on this pattern, it’s fairly clear that this latest announcement was timed for full political effect – right before the much-anticipated Trump-Putin Summit due to take place on July 16, 2018, in Helsinki, Finland. 

RT International reports…

The indictment of 12 Russians for allegedly hacking the Democratic Party in 2016 appear to be politically motivated, with the goal of spoiling the upcoming Helsinki summit, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“It is regrettable that spreading false information has become the norm in Washington, and [the] indictments are based on openly political motives,” the ministry said on Friday, responding to the announcement by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “The question is for how long will they continue to flog this shameful comedy that disgraces the US.”

Claiming that the people indicted are intelligence officers and hackers does not make them either, the ministry said, adding that the allegation of illegal entry into Democratic Party computers is not backed by any factual evidence.

“The goal of this ‘information attack’ is obviously to spoil the atmosphere prior to the Russian-American summit,” the ministry said in a statement, referring to the forthcoming meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US leader Donald Trump. “The influential political forces in the US, that are opposed to the normalization of relations between our countries and have spread open slander for the past two years, are desperately trying to make the best use of yet another fake,” it added.

The ministry also warned that “sooner or later, the initiators of these lies will have to answer for the damage they have done to American democracy, undermining trust in it for their own personal gains.”

Earlier on Friday, the US Department of Justice announced that 12 people, whom it identified as “Russian intelligence officers,” had been indicted for hacking the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign. At the same time, it admitted that the alleged hacking attack in fact did not eventually affect any votes.

The suspects, named as members of the GRU (Russian military intelligence), are alleged to have hacked into the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Left out from the indictment is how the federal investigators obtained any evidence of this, given that the FBI never got access to the DNC servers.

The announcement comes just days before the summit between Trump and his Russian counterpart Putin in Finland on Monday. Ahead of the meeting, which has already provoked concerns among US, UK and Germany’s officials, Trump called Putin a “competitor.” He also said during a joint press conference with the British Prime Minister Theresa May that his administration was “tougher on Russia than anybody.”

At the same time, he also admitted that getting along with Moscow would actually still be “a good thing.” Moscow said it sees the US as “partners” and hopes to use the summit to improve bilateral relations with Washington.

Mueller was appointed special counsel in May last year, to investigate allegations of Trump’s collusion with Russia during the 2016 US presidential election. In February, his prosecutors indicted 13 Russian nationals associated with the Internet Research Agency and Concord Management, accusing them of conducting “information warfare” against the US on social media. Attorneys for Concord challenged the charges in US court, however, saying they amounted to a “make-believe crime” and that Mueller was trying to “justify his own existence” and “indict a Russian ‒ any Russian” for political reasons.

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