Today, Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for meddling with the 2016 election. They “posed as politically and socially active Americans, advocating for and against particular candidates. They established social media pages and groups to communicate with unwitting Americans.”
Rosenstein: "The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States with the stated call of spreading distrust toward the candidates and the political system in general." (via ABC) pic.twitter.com/9khzP5RQeR— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 16, 2018
Here’s the gist of the allegations:
— These Russian nationals, often posing as Americans (and fraudulently using the identities of U.S. citizens) began a campaign to sow discord in our elections beginning in 2014.
Beginning in at least 2016, the defendants and their co-conspirators used the social security numbers, home addresses and birth dates of real U.S. persons without their knowledge or consent to open accounts at U.S. banks. https://t.co/5TILxBvYpC pic.twitter.com/646kYsoOFH— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) February 16, 2018
— These organizations, which had numerous employees and spent millions of dollars, used social media to highlight issues that were divisive to Americans.
More than $1.25 million a month. That’s how much this Russian group was spending near the end of the campaign to influence the election.— Sara Murray (@SaraMurray) February 16, 2018
— Beginning in 2016, these organization began a campaign to promote Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, while denigrating Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and others.
— The organizations also sought to promote Jill Stein as an alternative to Hillary Clinton.
See No. 46 in this indictment - big aspect of the Russian meddling was encouraging voting for a third party candidate, such as Stein. Trump campaign advisers also talked up Stein frequently. https://t.co/QFDsHTHoyX— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 16, 2018
— These organization worked with unwitting Trump campaign employees at, the very least, the local level.
— These organization also organized and paid to promote several Trump rallies, and even paid Americans to participate in these rallies.
Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities…Some Defendants communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign…" pic.twitter.com/JCL6xO5bHZ— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) February 16, 2018
— The organizations also sought actively to suppress the minority vote, often endeavoring to turn black voters against “Killary” on social media.
— They paid individuals to impersonate Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform locked up in a cage.
Russians PAID an American to wear a costume portraying Clinton in a prison uniform, indictment says (if you're a reporter that covered 2016 campaign, you likely saw such costume on the road)— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) February 16, 2018
Deputy AG Rosenstein makes clear that this indictment includes no allegations that Americans wittingly participated, or that these activities changed the outcome of the election. However, Pajiba Publisher Dustin Rowles would like to note the razor-thin margin of victory (in addition to the fact that Hillary won the popular vote) and assert with complete confidence that the Russian efforts — which Trump continues to deny — in all likelihood did enough to encourage enough Trump voters and suppress enough Hillary voters to change the outcome of the election.
It's impossible for any prosecutor to declare in any indictment that anything other then actual vote-hacking, which is not alleged by anyone, "changed the outcome" of the election. Also worth remembering this election was decided by fewer than 100,000 votes out of 137 million.— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 16, 2018
The indictment is not proof that Donald Trump is an illegitimate President, but it is awfully powerful evidence. You can read it in its entirety here.