Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictment of 12-Russian intelligence officers Friday afternoon for a number of crimes, including hacking state election systems and digitally stealing documents.
"The indictment charges twelve Russian military officers for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election".
DOJ says the hacking targeted Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with the intention to "release that information on the internet under the names DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 and through another entity".
Thousands of emails taken from the accounts of staff at the the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, were published by outlets including WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.
In a statement during a press conference Friday, Rosenstein said law enforcement officials are seeking to hold responsible those behind the election meddling and defended the probe against partisanship. That includes four former Trump campaign and White House aides and 13 Russians accused of participating in a hidden but powerful social media campaign to sway American public opinion in the 2016 election.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry is looking into alleged Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 election.
The Russia investigation has now led to charges against 32 people, including previous charges against 14 Russian nationals for their work on spreading Russian-based propaganda.
He has been a frequent target of the commander-in-chief, who has consistently attacked Mueller's investigation as "fake news", "a hoax" and "witch hunt" cooked up by Democrats as an excuse for Clinton's election defeat. Trump has said he believes Putin's denials that Russian Federation did not meddle in the election. "Anything you do, it's always going to be, 'Oh, Russia, he loves Russia'". But he added, "I don't think you'll have any 'Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me" confession.