The indictment stands as the clearest Justice Department allegation yet of Russian efforts to interfere, through illegal hacking, in the USA presidential election before Americans went to the polls - and the first to implicate the Russian government directly.
"In light of this stunning indictment by the Justice Department that these Russian conspirators attacked our democracy and were communicating with Americans to interfere in our election, President Trump should immediately cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin", said Senator Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Nielsen's remarks come a day after the Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian military intelligence agents as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, accusing them of engaging in a "sustained effort" to hack Democrats' emails and computer networks. In the past, Trump has reiterated Putin's denials, but this week he said he would bring up the issue when they meet Monday in Finland.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during a press conference that the hackers corresponded with American citizens, but emphasized that the indictment does not state that the Americans knew the hackers' true identities. Pure stupidity. But it makes it very hard to do something with Russian Federation.
The hackers worked for the spy agency called the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, or the GRU, the indictment said.
Earlier Friday, Stone said in a statement to CBS News and other outlets that he has already testified on the Guccifer 2.0 exchange, and the exchange provides no evidence of collaboration or collusion.
But the decision to specifically highlight Stone's communications with Guccifer 2.0 in court papers raises new questions about Mueller's interest in Stone's activities. The Russians hit more than 300 people connected to the Clinton campaign and Democratic political groups.
The Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeak accounts have been dormant for at least a year and a half, but were suspended less than 30 hours after the Mueller indictment. Back in 2016, Wikileaks published a DNC email dump that disclosed private conversations.
Guccifer 2.0 was allegedly a lone rogue hacker with no party affiliation or allegiance.
"I think that they're referencing Roger", Nunberg said Friday evening.
Defendants include four former Trump campaign and White House aides, three of whom have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate, and 13 Russians accused in a powerful social media campaign to sway US public opinion in 2016.
"The description of the actions of Organisation 1 in the indictment is identical to how one would describe any journalistic organisation", Pollack said.
In early 2016, Russian intelligence officers obtained a new pool of the virtual currency Bitcoin.
Mr. Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said on Twitter that it was time to end the investigation since "no Americans are involved" in Friday's indictment.
In those scenarios, these people said, some prosecutors on Mueller's team could move with their cases to Justice Department headquarters or individual U.S. attorney offices, these people said.