Robert Mueller announces indictment against 13 Russians
Robert Mueller, the man named as Special Counsel tasked to investigate possible Russia interference, has filed indictments against 13 Russians and three Russian entities for possible interfering in the 2016 presidential election. The 13 Russians all face charges with conspiracy. Three of the Russians also face charges of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. According to Time, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the charges during a press conference and said that the defendants conducted “information warfare” against the United States, with the intention of creating distrust towards the American political system and the presidential candidates.
The indictments allege that the defendants created fake Internet posts, pretended to be American political activists and committed fraud when they bought advertisements. The indictment comes as Mueller’s team investigates Russian interference and whether there was improper collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
President Trump continues to deny any possibility of meddling by Russians. White House Press Sec. Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the media that Trump was aware of the indictments but did not comment any further. This is the first case against Russians. Prior to this indictment, Mueller had filed indictments against four people tied to the Trump campaign including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.
According to CNN, the indictment says a Russian troll group started interfering in U.S. politics in 2014 and continued up to the 2016 election. The indictment also says that the defendants failed to register as foreign agents and obtained visas through false statements. Those charged in the indictment allegedly posed as Americans under false personas and two of them traveled to the United States in 2014, solely for the purpose of gathering intelligence for their operation.