(NBC News) Twelve Russian military intelligence officers have been indicted with the intent to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
The charges were brought Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller and announced by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
The Russians are charged with hacking Hillary Clinton campaign officials and Democratic party organizations and trying to infiltrate computers of state elections boards and election administrators.
"According to the allegations in the indictment, the defendants worked for two units of the main intelligence directorate of the Russian general staff, known as the GRU. The units engaged in active cyber operations to interfere in the 2016 presidential election," Rosenstein said.
Among the victims were 500,000 registered voters whose information was stolen.
"In a second related conspiracy, Russian GRU officers hacked the website of a state election board and stole information of about 500,000 voters. They also hacked into computers of a company that supplied software used to verify voter registration information. They targeted state and local officials responsible for administering elections and they sent spearfishing emails involved in administering elections, including attaching malicious software," Rosenstein explained.
The indictment comes just days before President Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland.
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