Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is announcing Friday the indictment of Russian nationals and entities accused of breaking U.S. laws to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, CBS News’ Paula Reid reports.
On Friday, a D.C. federal grand jury returned an indictment against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities that accuses them of violating U.S. criminal laws to meddle in U.S. elections and political processes. According to a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, the indictment charges all of the defendants with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., as well as “three defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft.”
Deputy AG Rosenstein: “There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the [Russians’] conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.” https://t.co/oShWvKYDRW pic.twitter.com/IPXvuJDudg
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 16, 2018
From Breitbart: The group is alleged to have spent years, back to at least 2014, building a social media following of hundreds of thousands by playing off of existing divisions and sympathies in the American political landscape. When 2016 rolled around, the groups operatives are alleged to have disparaged Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio, and used its influence to support Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
As Rosenstein explained, the goal of the alleged conspiracy is not as simple as supporting one candidate. The conspirators are alleged to have held rallies for and against president-elect Donald Trump on the same day in November, 2016.
“After the election, the defendants allegedly staged rallies to support the president-elect, while simultaneously staging rallies to protest his election,” Rosenstein told reporters. “For example, the defendant organized one rally to support the president-elect and another rally to oppose him, both in New York, on the same day.”
The indictment may be read at the link below.