Published 6:04p.m. EST 2/17/2018
On Wednesday February 15, 2018 Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced in a press conference, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals, and 3 Russian companies who were attempting to interfere with the 2016 Presidential election in order to sow discord, and confusion, and further divisions in the United States. The 13 defendants were indicted on charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
The defendants whom were indicted, arrived in the United States in 2014, exactly one year before Donald Trump announced his bid to run for the President of the United States in the 2016 election. The defendants were employed for the Internet Research Agency, which is reported to have connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin. the defendants set up multiple social media accounts, posing as political activists, and set up multiple servers to hide their point of origin.
The defendants are thought to have spread several derogatory comments about multiple candidates in the 2016 election on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The candidates include, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. The defendants also would employ tactics by switching from supporting Donald Trump to supporting Hillary Clinton, and vice versa. The defendants began intelligence gathering of several politically active social media accounts on Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram. the defendants also targeted "Purple States" engaging in "Information warfare".
The defendants also organized rallies in Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York, for and against Trump, offering to pay real Americans money to organize these rallies, and these Americans including those in the Trump Campaign are reported to not have known they were talking to Russians. The defendants also used fake identifications, and fake bank records to hide their point of origin. in November 19, 2016 the defendants organized a pro-trump rally, and an anti-trump rally both on the same day.
The defendants through the Internet Research Agency, are reported to have employed 100's of employees for their operation, receiving funds up to several millions of dollars for their operation.
President Trump was briefed on the indictments by FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and told the President that the indictments did not allege collusion with Russia.
President Trump reacted by tweeting, "Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong - no collusion!"