A federal grand jury in the District Of Columbia returned an indictment Friday against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of violating US laws to interfere with US elections and political processes.
CNN(@CNN) reports, three of the defendants were also charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five other defendants were charged with aggravated identity theft. The defendants allegedly posed as US persons, created false personas, and operated social media pages and groups designed to attract US audiences, the indictment reads.
Beginning as early as 2014, the Russian organization Internet Research Agency began operations to interfere with the US political system, including the 2016 elections, according to the indictment, which was released by Mueller’s office Friday. “The Internet Research Agency had a strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system, including the election,” the indictment says. Russians posted derogatory information about a number of candidates. By mid-2016, they supported Trump and disparaged Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton. The Russians bought ads and communicated with “unwitting” people tied to the Trump campaign and others to coordinate political activities.
The indictment against the 13 Russians is 37-pages long and gives detailed information about how the Russian operation worked and infiltrated the 2016 US presidential election and more. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stopped short of saying that there was no evidence that the Russian effort changed the results of the 2016 presidential election. Rosenstein did suggest that this investigation was far from done though. The arrest today and the information provided in this indictment proves that there was Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and that the investigation led by Robert Mueller is legitimate. An investigation that Donald Trump has claimed was a hoax since its inception. With this indictment today, that witch hunt/hoax excuse will not fly any longer. Russia actually interfered in a US presidential election, there’s no way to deny it any longer.