Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller Indicts Russians for Interfering in the 2016 Election

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

At least 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian entities have been indicted by the Department of Justice and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller for interfering in the 2016 election.

You can read the full 37-page indictment from the Justice Department for yourself right here, but I'll do my best to summarize it.

The indictment alleges that hundreds of Russians working for the so-called Internet Research Agency (Putin's troll farm) under the direction of the men targeted by the indictment conspired to interfere in the electon. The indictment also alleges the operation was funded by another Russian man through several corporate entities.

Their interference in the 2016 election allegedly began all the way back in 2014 and, when both political parties were close to selecting their candidates, the Russians focused their attention on their closest competitors. More specifically, the indictment states that the Russians launched attacks on the campaigns of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio while supporting the campaign of Bernie Sanders.

Emphasis mine:

By 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators used their fictitious online personas to interfere the 2016 U.S. presidential election. They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.

On our about February 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators internally circulated an outline of themes for future content to be posted to ORGANIZATION-controlled social media accounts. Specialists were instructed to post content that focused on "politics in the USA" and to "use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump -- we support them)."

The indictment includes numerous references to Americans whose identities have been withheld, including unnamed associates of the Trump campaign, that cooperated with the Russians in some capacity whether wittingly or unwittingly.

The Russians organized and even financed rallies and events while posing as American activists in emails and on social media. The Russians also financed anti-Hillary merchandise and props including a costume depicting Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform.

For example, Defendants and their co-conspirators asked one U.S. person to build a cage on a flatbed truck and another U.S. person to wear a costume portraying Clinton in a prison uniform. Defendants and their co-conspirators paid these individuals to complete these requests.

The indictment includes numerous other examples that I recommend reading for yourself. If you were paying close attention during the election, you may even remember some of the events that we now know were literally organized and financed by Russians.

The indictment also includes a short list of political advertisements purchased by the Russians that you could hardly forget such as one one that accused Hillary Clinton of committing voter fraud during the Democratic primary.

This indictment confirms a lot of what we already knew, but it also expands our understanding of the Russian operation and the extent of their involvement.

Mueller's investigation is still ongoing according Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein.

  • Victor the Crab

    And how will the BernieBums translate these revelations? Will they attack Robert Mueller as a right wing stooge they so desperately want to paint him as?

  • muselet

    I imagine a number of people in and around the Trump administration shat bricks when this indictment came down.

    Tomorrow morning’s presidential tweet-storm should be a doozy.


  • Aynwrong

    The Ruß

  • Badgerite

    This isn’t the end of this investigation or its indictments. This is just the foundation. It establishes an illegal conspiracy by a foreign power to undermine the presidential election of 2016 in the United States, ( you know, the one trump and his Congressional ‘helpers’ and Greenwald keep calling a hoax) and who the intended recipient of that help was. I suspect the why is somewhere in the evidence and has to do with Putin’s desire to have economic sanctions removed. ( You know, the sanctions that junior met with Russians in trump tower to discuss and that trump and his State Department have refused to enforce. Those sanctions.) This is a developing investigation. It establishes the crime. The violation of U.S. laws. Who, in the American political landscape conspired with this crime is an open and continuing concern. I saw nothing in that indictment that said that this is the end of it. I can’t imagine an investigation that establishes in a court of law this foreign conspiracy that worked with American citizens , “wittingly or unwittingly” and not further pursue the particulars of that last point. So that, as far as I can see, is still an open question with a lot of reason to believe some of that involvement was done “wittingly.”

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