13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections

The FBI investigation into Russian interference in the US elections in 2016 has made a major move.

From Fox News: 13 Russian nationals indicted for interfering in US elections

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, a spokesman for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office said.

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.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is scheduled to hold a press conference Friday afternoon.

Reuters via Twitter:

U.S. says defendants’ operations included supporting ‘Trump… and disparaging Hillary Clinton,’ staging political rallies, buying political advertising while posing as grassroots U.S. groups

Defendants, in communicating with U.S.-based group, were advised to ‘focus their activities on ‘purple states like Colorado, Virginia and Florida’ – indictment.

During 2016 presidential campaign, Russian defendants spread derogatory information about Clinton, Rubio, Cruz and supported Sanders and Trump – court document

U.S. says Russian defendants paid one American to build a cage and a second American to wear a costume portraying Clinton in a prison uniform

Reuters: U.S. grand jury indicts 13 Russian nationals, three entities in alleged election meddling

In a court document, the U.S. government said Russian entities began interfering in U.S. political processes, including the 2016 presidential election, as early as 2014.

Some of the defendants, posing as U.S. persons, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign, the indictment said.

Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. deputy attorney general, will make a law enforcement announcement at 1:15 p.m. (1815 GMT), the Justice Department said on Friday.

Rosenstein:

“The indictment charges 13 Russian nationals and 3 Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system.”

“The stated goal: of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.”

The defendants allegedly conducted, what they called, information warfare against the United State.

They operated through a company that employed hundreds of employees, including recruitment of Americans. The campaigning staged rallies both before and after the 2016 election.

“They used stolen or fictitious American identities… The defendants posed as politically and socially active Americans.”

“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American knowingly participated”. “The Americans did not know that they were communicating with Russians.” The campaign went to great lengths to disguise who was behind it.

The special Counsel’s investigation is ongoing.

There is no indication in the indictment on any affect on the outcome of the 2016 election.

50 Comments

  1. Trevors_elbow

     /  February 17, 2018

    yawwwnnn…………

    • Mefrostate

       /  February 17, 2018

      I usually just skip posts that I find boring.

      This one I find very interesting.

  2. David

     /  February 17, 2018

    Still no Trump/Russia collusion, if only that was true for the Democrats and Hilary who seem to have gone either to ground or are keeping very quiet.
    Still no Democrat memo from Schiff so perhaps it was a political stunt to get Trump to suppress parts of it on purpose.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 17, 2018

      But Hillaryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy……

      Its taken a year for Russians to be indicted for their interference in US elections…. there’s so much circumstantial evidence suggesting collusion that it’s a very short step to confirming collusion…. and it’ll take only a couple of the rats deserting the sinking WH to help investigators make that step if they haven’t already done so.

      Let Mueller do his job without interference and see what comes of this.

      • MaureenW

         /  February 17, 2018

        Have a lie down, the fake Trump/Russia clown show is over. See if you can get a refund?

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  February 17, 2018

          Well then I guess there’s no reason not to let Mueller finish his investigation, right?

          By the way, 4 members of Trump’s campaign have been indicted, and now 3 are cooperating. One wore a wire to get more evidence.

          “My campaign did nothing wrong!”

          • David

             /  February 17, 2018

            Jill Stein is in trouble now….

            “Events were organised by Russians posing as Trump supporters and as groups opposed to Trump such as Black Lives Matter, according to prosecutors. One advertisement shortly before the election promoted the Green party candidate Jill Stein, who is blamed by some Clinton backers for splitting the anti-Trump vote.”

            Clearly she colluded with the Russians.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  February 17, 2018

              Stein has been under investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee for possible collusion since November last year…. do try and keep up…

            • David

               /  February 17, 2018

              She had dinner at the same table as Vlad! I’m amazed she has not been shot for treason! Joe, what’s going on here? Who is protecting her? This is clear evidence of shocking collusion.

              Who could be behind all this?!

      • David

         /  February 17, 2018

        Joe, when is Christopher Steele going to be charged?

    • That’s because there is none David

  3. MaureenW

     /  February 17, 2018

    That’s not entirely true. Clinton created and funded the fake Trump/Russia narrative in order to sway the election towards herself and/or to gain an impeachment against Trump in the unlikely event he would win the election.
    Hilarious, that Meullers partisan hack-team ends up “seeing nothing” when members of his own team were invoked in the Clinton collusion.
    https://www.google.co.nz/amp/www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2018/02/15/nolte-hate-fatigue-cnn-viewership-collapses-30/amp.

    Buzzfeed is suing the DNC for information over the alleged Russian hack and over issues involving the fake Russian dossier.

    At the same time I see CNN’s viewership has dropped 30% – all the liars, and squawkers of the fake Trump/Russia bullshit are going down.

    https://www.google.co.nz/amp/www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2018/02/15/nolte-hate-fatigue-cnn-viewership-collapses-30/amp/

    • MaureenW

       /  February 17, 2018

      Oops duplicated link –

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 17, 2018

      Buuuuuut Hillaryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…. dear gods why can’t you guys let the dead rest?

      All this evidence of interference and corruption in the present administration and you’re all running round in circles looking backwards over your shoulders so’s to avoid the ghastly reality of trumpian politics.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 17, 2018

        Too stupid, Joe. Mueller’s investigation is about Hillary’s election (failure). Trump’s admin/economy/foreign policy is doing just fine.

        • artcroft

           /  February 17, 2018

          I’m looking forward to him repealing Obamacare, building the wall, bringing peace to Syria (cos he knows more than the generals) and demonstrating his christian faith by not shagging the porn star in the neighbouring hotel room. And of course dealing with any financial crisis with real acumen and insight, not coat tailing on the Obama economy.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  February 17, 2018

            The wall is still progressing, he has had huge (Yuuuuuge!) military success in the middle east precisely because, unlike Obama, he DOES trust the generals…he’s a Christian? Maybe he just “loves thy neighbour” a little too often?
            Trump is rightfully getting a lot of credit for the current state of the economy – he has done significantly more than coat-tail Obama. That said, whether it is all built on a debt house of cards is yet to be determined, but Trump has a great deal to do with the current economic & employment growth.

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  February 17, 2018

          At best, Trump’s claim that today’s indictments are good for him is bad spin. At worst, it is a total delusion. Trump can’t dance his way out of the Russia scandal and his tactic of trying to pick out one sentence and use it to exonerate himself is well worn out.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  February 17, 2018

            The reports do say that any contact with the Trump campaign was “unwitting”. So as far as these indictments go, there definitely is no collusion.

            • Joe Bloggs

               /  February 17, 2018

              You can make all the assertions you like but you still can’t rule out collusion. The tight righties have been desperately spinning that fake “proof of no collusion” for the past 12 hours. Here’s why they’re almost certainly wrong:

              First, the indictment makes clear that some Trump campaign workers unwittingly worked with the Russian conspirators advancing this scheme, which is already a disturbing development. It also says that on repeated occasions the indicted individuals conspired with “persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury,” explicitly leaving open the possibility that others were involved.

              More to the point, as elaborate as the charged scheme was, it is limited to one particular disinformation operation. The indictment does not even address many of the areas in which knowing cooperation between the Trump campaign and Russia would most likely have occurred if it did occur. For instance, the indictment does not address the hacking of accounts belonging to the Democratic National Committee and others, nor does it address those who participated in the now infamous summer 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, apparently set up to obtain negative information about Hillary Clinton. The steady stream of pleas and indictments we have seen so far makes it only logical to conclude that there is more to come. We don’t know yet where it will all lead, but the trajectory seems to be closer and closer to the Trump campaign.

              https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/16/mueller-russia-indictments-not-playing-around-217014?lo=ap_c1

      • David

         /  February 17, 2018

        “Buuuuuut Hillaryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…. dear gods why can’t you guys let the dead rest?”

        Bit harsh Joe. I know she looks dead, but she still has a pulse I’m told.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 17, 2018

    I don’t like money laundering charges being deployed as an easy option to escalate trivial offences. Seems a gross corruption of law and justice to me.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 17, 2018

      Haha you really get me laughing Wilkinson… charges of money laundering are gross corruptions of law? What a load of utter drivel.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 17, 2018

        Time for the guys in white coats to take you away, Joe. You are completely off your head today.

    • Mefrostate

       /  February 17, 2018

      I don’t understand your point here. Conspiracy to defraud the United States is not at all a trivial offence, it’s massive and is literally what Mueller’s investigation was set up to expose.

      Money laundering and identity theft are also pretty significant crimes, and worth including as well. They’re also often easier to prove, given the hard paper trail they generate. Al Capone was eventually done for tax evasion.

      • David

         /  February 17, 2018

        “Conspiracy to defraud the United States is not at all a trivial offence, it’s massive and is literally what Mueller’s investigation was set up to expose.”

        That is not true. It was setup to investigate collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. That is not part of the indictments that have just been laid.

        As I note elsewhere, there is a significant case against Christopher Steele, why has he not been charged?

      • Mefrostate

         /  February 17, 2018

        Cough Cough

  5. Zedd

     /  February 17, 2018

    Sounds like all the oligarchs (on both sides) are ‘standing shoulder to shoulders’ 😀

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 17, 2018

      I see they were supporting Sanders against Clinton, Zedd. Another oligarch?

      • Zedd

         /  February 17, 2018

        I think you mean Col. Sanders, AW.. not Bernie ?

        • You’re mixing up the Labour Party’s cuisine of choice with the maligned, screwed over Dems candidate. You know the one with merit, without baggage and who wasn’t a Clinton.

  6. David

     /  February 17, 2018

    So these Ruskies started in 2014 way before Trump was serious about standing, they also shilled for Bernie so either they were just trying to disrupt the elections for the sport or Bernie is a fellow colluder. Joe,s head must be about to explode.

    • David

       /  February 17, 2018

      They where significant supporters of Black Lives Matter.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 17, 2018

      Joe’s head exploded some time earlier today. We have been experiencing the fallout leakage at high levels. Sensitive souls should stay indoors.

  7. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 17, 2018

    Hehe, say what you like David but there is no way in the wide world that trump can fire Mueller now.

    If he did fire Mueller it would be a clear-as-day obstruction of justice.

    Smart move by Mueller. Very smart. He’s running rings around old trumpy…

    • Sadly for you and your ilk it’s only Hilary and co who’ll be looking like chimps here.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  February 17, 2018

        Dear Lord yet more Hillaryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy….

        Lest we forget, this is Mueller’s first indictments with a direct connection to his central mandate: a conspiracy by Russia to interfere with the 2016 US election.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  February 17, 2018

          Is “Hilaaaarty”, who has proven connections to funding false dossiers somehow worse than your constant “Truuuuuump” calls, which so far have precisely zero evidence of collusion so far?

        • David

           /  February 17, 2018

          “Lest we forget, this is Mueller’s first indictments with a direct connection to his central mandate: a conspiracy by Russia to interfere with the 2016 US election.”

          This is not his central mandate. The investigation is into;

          “any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,”

          None of the indictments are in any way this. They are individuals promoting certain political positions, often that are not even clearly election related i.e. Black Lives Matter and Muslims of America.

          • Joe Bloggs

             /  February 17, 2018

            Read the order appointing Mueller here

            https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/967231/download

            Mueller’s appointment is made “to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election”

            The line you’re referring to is just one part of Mueller’s investigation, and was included because Rosenstein (a trump appointee) had sufficient and genuine concern about possible collusion.

    • David

       /  February 17, 2018

      Trump doesnt want to fire Mueller, why would he when his ongoing investigation alongside the congressional one is uncovering Democrat/Hilary collusion and while his opponents are spending their lives flogging this dead horse his approval levels keep rising. Winners keep on winning Joe losers are still trying to figure out “what happened” .

  8. David

     /  February 17, 2018

    10 Key points from The Guardian;

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/16/russians-indictment-mueller-charges-fbi-investigation-what-are-they

    “The indictment provided powerful new evidence that a Russian election-tampering plot, which Trump has repeatedly denied, not only took place but involved an elaborate conspiracy going back to at least 2014.”

    Trump has never ‘denied’ the Russians meddled in the US election. The fact it pre-dates Trump standing for election seems to simply reinforce this.

    “The indictment supports the US intelligence community assessment that the Russian plot was substantial and is ongoing, and not Trump’s contention last May that “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.”

    There is no evidence of a Trump and Russia story, if anything, this supports Trump’s contention.

    “The indictment does not name any US citizens as alleged co-conspirators, or assert that any Americans knew of the plot. But the indictment does document contacts by the conspirators with “unwitting members, volunteers and supporters of the Trump campaign.”

    This seems to completely exonerate Trump doesn’t it? The accusation was collusion, this is officially saying there was no collusion.

    “The indictment identifies the Internet Research Agency, a St Petersburg-based group to which millions of impostor social media accounts have been traced, as a primary offender. The indictment additionally charges Russian individuals who funded the alleged election tampering conspiracy or who otherwise took part.”

    No evidence of Russian Government involvement.

    “Charges include alleged violations of election laws forbidding foreign nationals from making certain expenditures in US elections and requiring foreign agents to register as such.”

    Foreign agents doing what foreign agents do. Where are the charges against Christopher Steele?

    “Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates,” the indictment says, “and by early to mid-2016, defendants’ operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J Trump (“Trump campaign”) and disparaging Hillary Clinton.”

    Russia doesn’t like Hillary? Well, that Reset button of her’s didn’t work out too well did it?

    “The indictment does not contend that Russian tampering swayed the 2016 presidential election, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein said in a news conference following the publication of the document.”

    Bang goes the central premise of the whole thing. Trump didn’t win because of the nasty Russians.

    “The indictment alleges espionage-style conduct by Russian suspects including clandestine trips to the United States under false pretenses in which Russian agents “posed as US persons and and contacted US social and political activists.”

    Russian spies are Russian spies and do Russian spy things.

    “The indictment says Russian impostors on social media used election-related hashtags including “#TrumpTrain” “#Trump2016” “MAGA” and “Hillary4Prison.”

    It would be interesting to see the full list of hashtags, are these just the cherry picked 4 out of thousands?

    “The indictment alleges violations of computer fraud laws in which the perpetrators purchased space on computer servers located in the United States in order to hide their Russian affiliation.”

    Wow, I bet no one else has ever used a server to hide their ‘affiliations’, and they defiantly wouldn’t have kept it in the broom closet…….

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 17, 2018

      And Rosenstein making the announcement also made it much more difficult for trump to fire him as well.

      These indictments are a smart move by both Mueller and Rosenstein.

      And coming up next is the latest flipper Rick Gates who has just completed his “Queen for a Day” testimony to Mueller in exchange for a plea deal.

  9. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 17, 2018

    July 2017 – “Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..”

    Ya might wanna rethink that, Donny…