By Ashley Thompson
13 July, 2018

The United States Justice Department has announced charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the charges Friday.

The legal action is part of the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. His team is investigating efforts by Russia to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. That includes any links with the campaign of then candidate Donald Trump.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice, Friday, July 13, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaks during a news conference at the Department of Justice, Friday, July 13, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Russians are accused of breaking into the computer networks of several organizations of the Democratic Party to steal emails. The affected groups include the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

The Russians also are accused of releasing stolen emails on the internet in the months before the election.

"The internet allows foreign adversaries to attack Americans in new and unexpected ways," Rosenstein said.

Before Friday, Mueller's group had charged 20 people and three companies in its investigation. They include four former Trump campaign and Trump administration aides.

Meuller also has brought charges against 13 Russians or Russian groups. They are accused of taking part in a hidden but powerful social media campaign to influence public opinions in America before the November 2016 elections.

Rosenstein said he had informed Trump about the charges.

He said there was no evidence that the hacking changed any vote count. The charges said that no Americans were knowingly in communication with any of the Russian intelligence officers.

I'm Ashley Thompson.

AP reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted it for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit 51VOA.COM.

_______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

hacking –n. to secretly gain access to a computer network to get information or to cause damage

allow - v. to permit (something) : to regard or treat (something) as acceptable

adversaries –n. enemies or opponents