February 16, 2018 2:08 pm
Updated: February 16, 2018 7:19 pm

Robert Mueller indicts 13 Russian nationals for interfering with U.S. election

WATCH ABOVE: Thirteen Russian nationals and three groups have been indicted by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller as the Russia investigation into meddling in the 2016 U.S. election ramped up Friday.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups for allegedly interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections, U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.

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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.

READ MORE: Who has been questioned in Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe?

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.

READ MORE: Twitter suspends 1,062 accounts linked to Russian election-meddling campaign

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.
WATCH: Heads of US intelligence services unanimous in their opinion that Russia interfered in election


— With files from Reuters

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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