Robert Mueller’s office indicted thirteen Russian nationals and three Russian entities on Friday. The indictment accuses them of “violating U.S. criminal laws in order to interfere with U.S. elections and political processes,” including the 2016 U.S. election.
The indictment discusses Russians being on the ground to set up rallies and prop Donald Trump up for the election and denigrate Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton.
The indictment says defendants’ operations included supporting ‘Trump… and disparaging Hillary Clinton.’ This included staging political rallies and buying political advertising while posing as grassroots U.S. groups.
During 2016 presidential campaign, Russian defendants spread derogatory information about Clinton, Rubio, Cruz and supported Sanders and Trump.
Defendants posed as Americans and created false online personas and social media pages.
Communicating with U.S.-based group, the defendants were advised to “focus their activities on ‘purple states like Colorado, Virginia and Florida.”
Some defendants traveled to U.S., used some U.S.-based computer infrastructure to hide Russian origin of activities.
In second half of 2016, Russian defendants began to encourage minority groups not to vote in November election.
In summer of 2016, defendants began to promote allegations of voter fraud by Democratic Party through social media.
Russian defendants paid one American to build a cage and a second American to wear a costume portraying Clinton in a prison uniform.
There are no allegations in this indictment that the Russian interference affected the outcome of the 2016 election.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Read the indictment: internet_research_agency_indictment
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.