According to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, Russians waged “information warfare” on the United States to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election.
In his investigation thereof, Mueller called a grand jury that has now indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for “conspiracy to defraud the United States.”
The Special Prosecutor has also charged three of the defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud and five of the defendants with aggravated identity theft.
A Kremlin-backed organization, the “Internet Research Agency” reportedly used false American identities, social media platforms, and other online media between 2014 and 2016, in “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaging Hillary Clinton,” according to the indictment.
The indictment also says:
By in or around May 2014, the organization’s strategy included interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with the stated goal of ‘spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.’
The Internet Research Agency became a corporate entity as early as 2013. That timeline is likely to be of interest to Mueller and his team, as Trump did not declare his candidacy until the summer of 2015.
How long Russia and the Trump inner circle conspired to tip the election in exchange for lifting sanctions remains to be seen.
The White House has not responded to requests for a comment.
U.S. law bars foreign nationals from efforts on behalf of a candidate in a federal election.
In addition to the 13 Russian indictments announced today, Mueller has also indicted four Americans.
Of those four, former national security advisor Mike Flynn and former foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. and, to avoid more serious charges, have cooperated with Mueller’s investigation.
Now, Rick Gates, the indicted deputy to former Trump campaign chairman and known Russian asset, Paul Manafort, is finalizing a plea deal to help Mueller close the case on Trump and his Russia-backed henchmen.
The news of these 13 indictments today must have Trump quaking in his boots. Expect pushback in the form of Treasonous Trump’s attacks on investigators and our rule of law.
Mueller is a patriot who takes national security, truth, justice and the American way seriously.
Cadet “Bone Spurs” can do his worst, but the Purple Heart-decorated former Marine will take him down.