Though the Democratic organizations realized they were hacked by May 2016 and attempted to flush out the hackers, the Russians continued to watch the computers through their hacks until a month before the election, according to the indictment.
"We've seen that consistently, not just Russian Federation but also with China and other foreign actors, they've come out here on this stage, they've announced to great fanfare that they're indicting people for hacking and interfering either with our economy or in this case our elections, but none of them have ever been brought here to face trial", Reid said.
During a press conference early Friday with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, President Trump said he will be bringing up the issue of Russian election meddling at that time.
VR Systems has repeatedly denied that it was ever hacked.
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At the same press conference, Trump appeared to directly call upon Russian intelligence services to hack the former secretary of state's email account and to publish any information they stole as a part of their cyber-espionage operations within the 2016 presidential elections. Indeed, an indictment that directly points to Russian President Vladimir Putin makes it much more hard for critics to dismiss Russia's culpability in election hacking as unproven.
According to the indictment, a U.S. congressional candidate in 2016 requested stolen documents from the Russians posing as Guccifer 2.0 - who then "sent the candidate stolen documents related to the candidate's opponent".
USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation used propaganda and hacking to meddle in the election in an effort to harm Mrs Clinton and eventually help Mr Trump.
Hours before the Justice Department announcement, Trump complained anew that the special counsel's investigation is complicating his efforts to forge a better working relationship with Russian Federation. "The goal of the conspirators was to impact the election", Rosenstein said. Both were created and controlled by the Russian GRU, Rosenstein said. Also, a "then-registered state lobbyist and online source of political news" received 2.5 gigabytes of stolen DCCC data, such as records involving over 2,000 Democratic donors.
It's very hard to gauge how much Russian efforts affected voters, but what's made plain by Friday's indictment is that Russia certainly tried. The probe had already resulted in criminal charges against 14 Russians, five Americans and one Dutch citizen and three corporate entities. Rick Gates, another Trump campaign aide, pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and one conspiracy charge.
Additionally, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty to making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the contacts they had during the campaign with Russians. In February, the attorney general's office charged 13 Russians and three companies with trying to interfere with the U.S. elections.