Twelve Russian intelligence officers were indicted by a U.S. grand jury on Friday, just three days before President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
Conservative lawmakers in the House are preparing to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinGOP lawmaker: Accusations against Jim Jordan come from "deep state" The Hill's Morning Report - Trump denigrates North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, floats 4 percent solution Rosenstein asks federal prosecutors for help in review of Kavanaugh documents: report MORE, Politico reported Friday.
In a July 27, 2016, speech, then-candidate Donald Trump called on Russian hackers to find emails from Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent in the US presidential campaign.
As of Friday, the inquiry has indicted 32 people - mostly Russian nationals in absentia - as well as three companies and four former Trump advisers.
The charges come as Mr Mueller continues to investigate potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the presidential election.
The indictment was announced at nearly exactly the moment that Trump rolled into the quadrangle of Windsor Castle to meet the awaiting Queen Elizabeth II in the symbolic highpoint of his visit to Britain. Among those indictments includes three Trump associates who have pleaded guilty and 14 other Russian citizens.
"The last indictment of Russians involved the so-called troll factories and online bot farms that were causing issues on Twitter", said John Bambenek, vice president at security firm ThreatStop Inc.
It was the most detailed U.S. accusation yet that Russian Federation meddled in the election with the eventual aim of trying to boost Republican Trump's campaign.
The laundry list of charges included conspiracy against the United States, identity theft, money laundering and attempts to break into state election boards and various government agencies.
Rosenstein said "the conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet".
Some researchers said the indictment might have depended on US signals intelligence, the fruits of which are rarely revealed, because it quotes electronic messages sent to an unidentified organization presumed to be London-based WikiLeaks. His team is investigating efforts by Russian Federation to influence the 2016 US presidential election.
Hours later, the Main Intelligence Directorate in Moscow appeared to heed the call - targeting Clinton's personal office and hitting more than 70 other Clinton campaign accounts.
Rosenstein said he had informed Trump about the charges.
A few hours before the indictments were announced, Trump described the Mueller investigation as a "rigged witch hunt" that is hurting the U.S. relationship with Russian Federation. But with Mueller still investigating, it's not known whether further indictments are taking shape or will.
Trump complained about "stupidity" when asked about Mueller's probe earlier Friday, at a news conference in Britain with Prime Minister Theresa May. Stone made statements in August of 2016 which political opponents have argued indicated he knew that Wikileaks was going to leak damaging information on Clinton before it was released.
President Donald Trump (R) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk as they make their way to take the "family photo" during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017.
After the indictments were announced, top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer called on Trump to cancel his meeting with Putin until Russian Federation takes steps to prove it won't interfere in future elections.