Robert Mueller is a man after my democratic heart. On Friday, the special counsel’s office announced indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities on charges pertaining to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The charges include conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, as well as conspiracy to defraud the United States. There is nothing in the indictment however that alleges an American citizen participated knowingly in any of these activities or that these acts conclusively swayed the election. *Eye roll.*
The indictment said, “Some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.” Further, the indictment alleges that a Russian organization by the name of Internet Research Agency has a “strategic goal to sow discord in the US political system” including the 2016 presidential election.
The Internet Research Agency is said to have launched its efforts as early as 2014. Russians posted “derogatory information about a number of candidates.” By mid-2016, their strategy moved more definitively to support Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton, but buying ads and enlisting the help of “unwitting” individuals associated with the Trump campaign. It’s worth noting that the President still contends the Russians did not meddle in the elections at all, so it will be interesting to see what he tweets out in reaction to this development.