What You Should Know About The Mueller Indictments


Robert Mueller

On Friday, the Department of Justice announced that special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted thirteen Russian nations and three Russian entities for allegedly meddling in the 2016 Presidential election. Mueller is charging them with conspiracy to defraud the United States. He has also charged three defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud and an additional five defendants with aggravated identity theft. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said, “The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”

The indictment describes in detail an unprecedented campaign by Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, confirming the thoughts of many in the US Intelligence community. The indictment, however, is in conflict with President Trump’s doubt of any Russian interference. President Trump tweeted out, "Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong - no collusion!"

The White House said in a statement that President Trump was briefed on the indictments and that he was glad to see that the Special Counsel's investigation further indicates— that there was NO COLLUSION between the Trump campaign and Russia and that the outcome of the election was not changed or affected. He also stated, "(I)t is more important than ever before to come together as Americans. We cannot allow those seeking to sow confusion, discord, and rancor to be successful. It's time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions. We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.”

According to Mueller’s indictment, the Russian organization Internet Research Agency began operations to interfere with U.S. political affairs, including the 2016 Presidential election, in as early as 2014. The defendants allegedly posed as U.S. citizens and created fake social media personas to appeal to an American audience. According to the indictment, the Internet Research Agency had a "strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system.” Although according to Rosenstein, “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charge conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."

Regarding the indictment, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova posted on Facebook, “(Thirteen) people intervened in the elections in the US?13 against billion-dollar budgets of special services? Against intelligence and counterintelligence, against the latest developments and technologies? ... Absurd? Yes. This is modern American political reality.”

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