Russian hackers apparently made their first attempt to breach 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGiuliani: Trump interview with Mueller ‘further away’ 5 takeaways from wild hearing with controversial FBI agent Zealous Dems fail to hear out Trump’s constitutional rights MORE‘s private emails around the same time that then-candidate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani: Trump interview with Mueller ‘further away’ ACLU calls for Trump officials to hand over info on immigrant children Kushner to join Pompeo for meetings with Mexican leaders MORE publicly called on Russia to recover the missing emails from her private server
A new indictment released Friday as part of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE‘s investigation into Moscow’s election meddling details the attempts by Russian officials to infiltrate Clinton’s personal emails, her campaign’s emails and other private information belonging to Democratic campaign officials.
One portion of the indictment notes that “on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton Campaign.” That same day, while Democrats were having their party’s official convention in Philadelphia, Trump gave a press conference at his Miami-area hotel where he made an explicit appeal to Russia to search for Clinton’s emails. Republicans had been furiously criticizing Clinton for deleting 30,000 emails she deemed personal from the private server she used as secretary of State before turning it over to the government.
“They probably have her 33,000 emails that she lost and deleted. You’d see some beauties, so we’ll see,” Trump said.
“Russia, if you are listening,” he said, “I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by the press.”
Friday’s indictment shows that the Russian operation targeted Clinton earlier that year — in April, they tried to convince Clinton staffers to open an attachment that would have led the staffers to a Russian website.
And it’s unclear whether Trump’s call predated the attempts to hack Clinton’s personal email, as the indictment is vague about the exact timing of those attempts.
The revelation prompted outcry from Democrats blasting the president for what they see as encouraging the hacks.
There is no chance this was a coincidence. None. https://t.co/kVnAp9rHH1
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) July 13, 2018
A grand jury indicted 12 Russian military officials in the indictment, accusing them of being behind the hacks that roiled the 2016 presidential race. But while the indictment lays out the alleged scheme in serious detail, Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinGOP lawmaker: Accusations against Jim Jordan come from ‘deep state’ The Hill’s Morning Report — Trump denigrates NATO allies, floats 4 percent solution Rosenstein asks federal prosecutors for help in review of Kavanaugh documents: report MORE noted that the indictment does not claim the scheme changed any votes or point to any lawbreaking from Americans.