Thirteen Russian nationals have been indicted on charges of meddling in the U.S. presidential election, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced today. The indictments brought with them a stunning revelation: no American citizens, including members of the Trump campaign, colluded with Russia to sway the election.
The indictment alleges the goal of the million-dollar Russian operation was to sow chaos in the election, not advocate for any particular candidate. In fact, the operation worked to provide support for Bernie Sanders at one point, with the intent to wreak havoc in the political process. It seems the goal was to create discontent with the democratic process.
Among other chaos, the Russians deliberately worked to undermine the candidacy of both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who were each known to take a hard line against Russia in all political instances.
A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia on Friday indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of interfering in U.S. elections.
They are accused of having a “strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.”
The 37-page indictment was signed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
They are accused of spreading derogatory information about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, denigrating Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — and supporting Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and then-Republican candidate Donald Trump.
It says the defendants spread derogatory information about various candidates throughout the 2016 campaign and by “early to mid-2016” were supporting Trump’s presidential campaign.
The indictment said the defendants purchased political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities. It also accuses them of staging political rallies inside the United States while posing as U.S. grassroots groups.
According to the special counsel, the indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy to defraud the United States, three defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud and five defendants with aggravated identity theft.
The three entities charged are Internet Research Agency LLC, Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering.
The 13 Russians charged are: Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin; Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov; Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik; Aleksandra Yuryevna Krylova; Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva; Sergey Pavlovich Polozov; Maria Anatolyrvna Bovda; Robert Sergetevich Bovda; Dzheykhun Nasimi Ogly; Vadim Vladimirovich Podkopaev; Gleb Igorevich Vasilchenko; Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina and Vladimir Venkov.