Special Counsel Mueller Indicts 13 Russians with Interfering in 2016 U.S. Election
Thirteen Russian nationals have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of interfering in the 2016 presidential election — including supporting Donald Trump's campaign and "disparaging" Hillary Clinton, special counsel Robert Mueller announced Friday.
The indictments — part of Mueller's ongoing investigation — are the first tied directly to Russian meddling in the race for the White House.
"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," the indictment says.
Some of those charged also "posted derogatory information" about candidates in the GOP primaries, including Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio — and, by the time of the general election, the Russians' efforts included "supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaging Hillary Clinton," the indictment states.
At a press conference, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the defendants allegedly "conducted what they called 'Information Warfare' against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general."
Some defendants traveled to America to collect intelligence and to reach a significant "number of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U.S. political system, including the presidential election of 2016," Mueller's office charged in the indictment.