In other news, a federal judge has blocked Trump's order to end Temporary Protected Status for refugees from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Sudan. U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen wrote that Trump' decision appears to be motivated by "an animus against non-white, non-European aliens."
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Attorney General Saak Albertovich Karapetyan, the man responsible for Natalia Veselnitskaya (the Trump Tower "lawyer") who was also investigating the attempted assignation of Sergei Skripal in Britain, was mysteriously killed in a helicopter crash last night.
And in related news, western authorities from Europe to Australia have formally accused Russian intelligence of orchestrating a laundry list of cyber attacks in recent years, including the attack that crippled global shipping and an apparently failed attempt to hack into the investigation of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine.
American authorities not tied to Robert Mueller's investigation have also filed new charges against Russian intelligence agents who have also been indicted by Mueller's team.
The roll-call of GRU malfeasance began at midnight in Britain, when British and Australian authorities accused the Russian agency of being behind the catastrophic cyberattack that caused billions in losses to Ukraine in June 2017 and a host of other hacks, including the Democratic Party email leaks and online cyber propaganda that sowed havoc before Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election.
Hours later Thursday morning, Dutch defense officials broadcast photos and a timeline of GRU agents’ botched attempt to break into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons using Wi-Fi hacking equipment hidden in the back of a sedan. The chemical weapons watchdog was investigating a Novichok nerve agent attack on a former GRU spy, Sergei Skripal, that Britain has blamed on the Russian government. Moscow has denied the charge.
The Dutch also accused the Russian agency of trying to hack into the investigation of the 2014 downing of a Malaysian Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine that killed all 298 people on board. A Dutch-led investigation team says it has strong evidence that the Buk missile which brought the plane down came from a Russia-based military unit. Russia has denied the charge.
Then came the U.S. government’s turn, with the U.S. Justice Department charging seven Russian GRU intelligence officers — including the four nabbed in The Hague — of an international hacking rampage that targeted more than 250 athletes, a nuclear energy company and a Swiss chemical laboratory.