Mueller: Congressional candidate sought stolen emails from Russian spies in 2016

An unnamed congressional candidate sought hacked documents about his or her opponent in the 2016 election from Russian intelligence officers who were posing as an online activist, prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller charged Friday.

The allegation is spelled out in a single paragraph of a 29-page indictment released Friday that accuses 12 Russian intelligence officers with conducting a hacking campaign that targeted Democratic political organizations to attempt to influence the 2016 election. Prosecutors charged that the hackers breached the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, then stole troves of emails and other records that the Russian government later made public. 

Prosecutors wrote that on Aug. 15, 2016, the unnamed “candidate for the U.S. Congress” contacted the online persona Guccifer 2.0 to request stolen documents. Mueller’s office charged that Guccifer 2.0 was a fictitious identity for a group of hackers who worked for the GRU, a Russian intelligence service. 

The Russians “responded using the Guccifer 2.0 persona and sent the candidate stolen documents related to the candidate’s opponent.”

The allegation was one of a handful of contacts spelled out in Friday’s indictment between Russian agents and Americans in the months before the 2016 election. In another exchange, prosecutors said the Russians transferred stolen documents to a “then-registered state lobbyist and online source of political news.” And they said that the GRU reached out to “a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump.” 

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said there is “no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime.” 

Spokesmen for the National Republican Congressional Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  

Read More at USA TODAY