July 27, 2016. Trump: "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."
Indictment: That evening, Russian operatives targeted Hillary Clinton campaign emails "for the first time."
As if responding to his widely reported statement, on that same day, Russian military operatives first attempted to gain access to email servers used by Clinton's personal office, according to the 29-page indictment released Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller's office. In the indictment, 12 Russians are charged with hacking the U.S. 2016 Presidential elections.
If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton's 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2016
Michael Schmidt, New York Times:
The indictment did not address the question of whether the Russians' actions were actually in response to Mr. Trump. It said nothing at all about Mr. Trump's request for help from Russia — a remark that had unnerved American intelligence and law enforcement officials who were closely monitoring Russia's efforts to influence the election.
But the indictment did offer some clues about what happened, implying that the hacking had occurred later on the day Mr. Trump issued his invitation. He made the statement around 10:30 a.m. July 27 at his golf course in Doral, Fla. It was late afternoon in Russia.
"For example, on or about July 27, 2016, the conspirators attempted after-hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton's personal office," according to the indictment, referring to spearphishing, a common tactic used to target email accounts.
The indictment said that on the same day, Russians began an effort to target 76 Clinton campaign email accounts.