This post was originally published on Zero Hedge.
Update II: The Russian ruble reversed its earlier gains following the announcement.
Rosenstein has finally stepped to the podium and is rapidly reading off details about the indictments. Notably, one of the officials named in the indictments is charged not only with hacking of the DNC but with infiltrating state election boards and companies that supply software used to verify voter registration. They targeted officials involved with administering elections and sent “spear-fishing” emails to these officials.
The Russian intelligence officials are also charged with using a third-party (which is not named in the indictment but sounds a lot like Wikileaks) to distribute the information.
According to Rosenstein, the Russian agents created fictitious online personas during their operation, including the Guccifer 2.0 persona, which was previously believed to be a Romanian hacker.
Here are the headlines:
- *ROSENSTEIN SAYS ONE RUSSIA GROUP STOLE INFO, OTHER SPREAD IT
- *ROSENSTEIN SAYS NO ALLEGATIONS HACKING AFFECTED ELECTION RESULT
- *ROSENSTEIN SAYS HE BRIEFED TRUMP EARLIER THIS WEEK
Per the indictment, there is no indication that any American was a knowing participant in this activity, and no indication that these efforts altered the vote count in any way.
While the timing of the indictments is certainly curious, Rosenstein insisted when asked by a reporter that the timing is purely a coincidence and not the result of political considerations…
* * *
Update: Fifteen minutes after the press conference was slated to start, we’re still waiting for Rosie to take the stage. But just as Trump was shaking hands with the Queen, this headline hit, confirming that today’s announcement will focus on indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officials from Russia’s GRU intelligence agency (said to be the base of Russian cyber operations). As we noted below, the announcement comes just days before President Trump’s summit meeting with President Putin in Helsinki.
- 12 RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS INDICTED BY U.S. GOVERNMENT
- U.S. SAYS 12 INDICTED RUSSIANS PART OF GRU INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
- GRAND JURY SAYS RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS HACKED INTO COMPUTER NETWORKS OF HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE
- U.S.: RUSSIANS TARGETED CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN, VOLUNTEERS
The officers are supposedly related to the hacking of the DNC, Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.
The first images of the indictment press release have surfaced on twitter:
— Laura Jarrett (@LauraAJarrett) July 13, 2018
With the charges, Mueller’s prosecutors have marked out another Internet pathway they say Russia used to influence the U.S. election. On Feb. 16, his prosecutors charged 13 Russians and three Russian entities they said were part of a broader effort to sow discord among U.S. voters through social media — which they used to impersonate Americans, coordinate with unwitting U.S. activists and even plan rallies.
* * * *
Right on cue, the leaks about today’s announcement have hit with minutes to spare before Rosie takes the stage. CNN is reporting that new indictments in the Mueller probe are expected to be handed down today.
*NEW INDICTMENT(S) ARE SAID TO BE EXPECTED IN MUELLER PROBE: CNN
CNN: Prosecutors from Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office & the Justice Department’s National Security Division visited the courtroom of a federal magistrate judge in DC at 11:30 a.m. to return a grand jury indictment.
— erica orden (@eorden) July 13, 2018
A senior DOJ official has apparently confirmed that the press conference will be “special counsel” related.
A Justice Department official confirms Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein’s upcoming press conference is special counsel-related
— Steve Brusk (@stevebruskCNN) July 13, 2018
Rosenstein also timed his press conference to upstage President Trump’s meeting with the Queen.
Rod Rosenstein is purposefully timing his press conference at the same time President Trump is supposed to be meeting The Queen of England. The Deep State is real and it is petty as hell. pic.twitter.com/NW8DCaEA8n
— 🇺🇸 A Free Black Man. 🇺🇸 (@AFreeBlackMan) July 13, 2018
If accurate, the timing is certainly well-choreographed, given Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week.
* * *
It’s Friday the 13th and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein has cryptically revealed that he will be holding a press conference at 11:45 am ET for a “law enforcement announcement.” Since deputy attorney generals don’t typically call their own press conferences, it’s probable that today’s briefing has something to do with the Mueller probe.
Unsurprisingly, the first question on everybody’s tongue is “who’s going to be indicted today?”
And with good reason: The special counsel and Rosenstein haveissued indictments on a Friday before (though Mueller’s name wasn’t included on the Department of Justice’s list of attendees and it doesn’t appear that he will be joining his boss for the announcement).
But given Peter Strzok’s chaotic Congressional testimony on Wednesday, it’s possible that could also be the subject.
Perhaps the biggest question on observers minds is whether today’s conference has anything to do with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who has reportedly been meeting with prosecutors in recent weeks about possibly striking a cooperation deal in exchange for testimony against Trump.
It’s possible the subject of the announcement will leak in the minutes before the press conference begins. Though Mueller has managed to keep recent indictments (including the indictments of Russian entities suspected of interfering in the US election) under wraps (not to presume that the announcement will be an indictment).
For all we know, Rosenstein could be preparing to announce his resignation.
Watch the press conference live below:
This post was originally published on Zero Hedge.