Robert Mueller indicts 13 Russian nationals for interfering with U.S. election
In a court document, the U.S. government said Russian entities began meddling in the U.S. as early as 2014. The goal was to “sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election,” the indictment read.
The defendants allegedly posed as U.S. citizens and used bogus social media postings, groups and advertisements designed sway political opinion during the race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the indictment stated.
According to the department, “the indictment charges all of 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.”
The indictment said the defendants allegedly were “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump … and disparaging Hillary Clinton.”
The charges are the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling in the election.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters on Friday he was not yet familiar with U.S. indictments of Russian nationals accused of interfering with U.S. elections.
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