According to Robert Mueller, A federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations for allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
Robert Mueller Indicts 13 Russians For Meddling In 2016 U.S Election
The District of Columbia federal grand jury on Friday returned an indictment against 13 Russian nationals as well as three Russian entities for alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, during which they engaged in “information warfare” to help then candidate Donald Trump win the Presidency, according to special counsel Robert Mueller.
the 37-page indictment states a Russian organization called “the Internet Research Agency” conspired in “information warfare” against the United States by using fake profiles posing as American citizens on social media platforms and any other Internet-based media available.
Around mid-2016, the 13 Russians were “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump … and disparaging Hillary Clinton.”
The White House has yet to make any comment on the indictments announced today.
The indictment also says the Internet Research Agency in question was registered with the Russian government as a corporate entity as far back as 2013.
“By in or around May 2014, the organization’s strategy included interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with the stated goal of “spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general,” it says in the indictment.
The office of special counsel Robert Mueller said the American government accuses every single one of the defendants named of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Three of the 13 defendants are being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, while five defendants are charged with aggravated identity theft.
The 13 Russian individuals and organizations have been found to be associated with the Russia-based Internet Research Agency, which is a Russian troll farm based out of St. Petersburg that investigators found last year to have bought $100,000 in Facebook advertisements running right up to the election.
Facebook told Congress that the ads were designed to exploit political and social divisions in the United States, adding the campaign potentially reached 126 million American users.
Twitter also launched an investigation and found 3,800 fake accounts and 50,000 bots tied to the Russian campaign.
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said at a press briefing that Robert Mueller’s indictment will be a strong reminder to people that someone may not be all they seem online and everyone must be careful.
The indictment says the Russian conspirators mission was to widely promote division in the United States and to undermine public confidence in U.S democracy
Rosenstein made it clear the U.S. must work together and keep focus to ensure that any conspiracies to try alter future U.S. elections do not succeed in undermining the nation’s democracy.
He added that the DOJ will continue to work side-by-side with all other law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and with Congress, to defend the United States against any attacks like this one in the future.