Mueller's Case of Russian Meddling in U.S. Election: Highlights
(Bloomberg) -- Special Counsel Robert Mueller outlined a well-funded, coordinated campaign to influence the U.S. election in 2016 in charging 13 Russians and three Russian businesses. None of the individuals are in U.S. custody, said Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller.
Broad strokes and highlights of the allegations are as follows and come from the 37-page indictment unveiled Friday in Washington.
- Twelve of the Russians worked in various capacities to carry out election and political interference operations targeting the U.S. -- "by impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful function of the government through fraud and deceit."
- The campaign started in 2014, ran through the presidential election of 2016, and continued after that.
- "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."
- An American with a Texas-based grass-roots organization suggested to the Russians that they should focus their activities on "purple states like Colorado, Virginia and Florida.” After the exchange, the Russians commonly referred to targeting those states.
- Their financing was provided by the 13th defendant, Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and companies which he allegedly controlled.
Mueller Accuses Russians of Pro-Trump, Anti-Clinton Meddling
- The Russians posed as Americans, created fake personas, and ran social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences, including on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They also used stolen identities of real Americans to post on those accounts.
- The goal was "to sow discord in the U.S. political system," including the presidential election, by supporting the Trump campaign and disparaging his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, with ads and rallies.
- They’re charged with failing to disclose those expenditures, failing to register as foreign agents and obtaining visas through false and fraudulent statements.
- The program was run from St. Petersburg, Russia.
- It employed hundreds of individuals for its online operations
- The organization, with an annual budget equivalent to millions of U.S. dollars, aimed to carry out "information warfare" against the U.S.
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