On Friday, July 13, right before President Trump’s visit to Russia, 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. After the announcement, Senator Charles Schumer of New York and other Democrat leaders called on Mr. Trump to cancel his meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Finland, but it went on as scheduled.
The New York Times reported that the 29-page indictment details the hacking of hundreds of people affiliated with the Clinton campaign, as well as other Democratic Party organizations. Although it is unlikely that the 12 agents will ever come to trial in the United States, this begins to tell the story to the American people of what happened with the 2016 elections.
The report outlines continuing attempts to compromise election infrastructure — including hacking state boards of election, secretaries of state, and election software providers. The indictment does not allege that the operation ultimately affected vote tallies.
According to The Washington Post, four days after the indictments were released, conservative Republicans again called for an investigation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Mr. Mueller’s boss, for allegedly threatening congressional aides, an allegation he has already denied under oath. President Trump cannot directly fire Mr. Mueller, but he could fire Mr. Rosenstein, clearing the way for the appointment of someone who might curtail Mr. Mueller’s investigation. An investigation of Mr. Rosenstein might influence public opinion, and if Mr. Trump’s base supported firing the Deputy Attorney General, it might prevent Congress from reprimanding the President for such an action.
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