NYT: 13 Russians Indicted as Mueller Reveals Effort to Aid Trump Campaign
The indictment does not allege collusion but reveals in painstaking detail how Russians posed as American activists to boost Mr. Trump’s campaign.
Another indictment from Robert Mueller was issued, but this one was to Russians who posed as American activists to influence the 2016 election.
13 Russians who worked at the organization Internet Research Agency LLC are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the US, bank fraud, and identity theft. It’s likely they’ll never be arrested or brought to justice. But the point is to reveal Russian intent to influence the election, and establish that it is very real.
I’ve read the indictment. Here are some interesting highlights (and where in the indictment you can find them):
- Fake Twitter accounts were used to poison public discourse. Donald Trump Jr, Kellyanne Conway, and Michael Flynn retweeted the fake Twitter account Tennesee GOP group more than a couple times. The Gateway Pundit and Infowars occasionally quoted them. (36)
- Russian operatives didn’t just support Trump. They also supported Bernie Sanders. (43)
- Russian operatives also tried to suppress minority voting, and they actively encouraged third-party voting. (46)
- Russian-bought social media ads were largely anti-Hillary, but also aimed at keeping minority voting low. There’s also a pro-Second Amendment ad in there. (50)
- Russian operatives also organized rallies in Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York, communicating with Trump campaign staff, purchasing ads, contacting grassroots orgs, paying people to show up in costumes portraying Clinton in a prison jumpsuit. (55)
- Russian operatives also organized “Not My President” and other anti-Trump rallies. (57)
- Russian operatives also tried to organize…flash mobs? (69-70)
The Russian organization, Internet Research Agency LLC, had a graphics department, an SEO department, and a data analysis department. They analyzed which posts and events were the most impactful, which ones got the most likes and the most engagement. They analyzed whether their posts would be perceived as coming from America or whether they needed to modify wording.
This is scary stuff, and it shows just how organized the plot to corrupt the American electoral system really is.