Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday released a surprise indictment of 13 Russian individuals along with three Russian entities alleged to have sown discord through “information warfare” in then-candidate Donald Trump’s favor during the 2016 presidential election.
The 37-page document outlines specific ways in which Russia, through numerous individuals along with organizations, sought to influence the election — by abroad, online along with on U.S. soil.
Here are some of the most important quotes:
- The so-called Internet Research Agency, a Russian corporate entity registered in July 2013, “sought, in part, to conduct what the item called ‘information warfare against the United States of America’ through fictitious U.S. personas on social media platforms along with different Internet-based media.'”
- The Internet Research Agency “focused on the U.S. population along with conducted operations on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram along with Twitter.”
- “By in or around May 2014, the organization’s strategy included interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with the stated goal of ‘spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates along with the political system in general.'”
- The Russian entity “had a strategic goal to sow discord inside U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about several candidates, along with by early to mid-2016, Defendants’ operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (‘Trump Campaign’) along with disparaging Hillary Clinton.”
- The defendants sought disruption by staging events for along with against Trump after the election: “After the election of Donald Trump in or around November 2016, Defendants along with their co-conspirators used false U.S. personas to organize along with coordinate U.S. political rallies in support of then president-elect Trump, while simultaneously using different false U.S. personas to organize along with coordinate U.S. political rallies protesting the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”
- the item goes on: “For example, in or around November 2016, Defendants along with their co-conspirators organized a rally in brand-new York through one organization-controlled group designed to ‘show your support for President-Elect Donald Trump’ held on or about November 12, 2016. At the same time, Defendants along with their co-conspirators, through another organization-controlled group, organized a rally in brand-new York called ‘Trump is actually NOT my President’ held on or about November 12, 2016. Similarly, Defendants along with their co-conspirators organized a rally entitled ‘Charlotte Against Trump’ in Charlotte, North Carolina, held on or about November 19, 2016.”
- The defendants attempted to discourage African-American turnout inside election: “In or around the latter half of 2016, Defendants along with their co-conspirators, through their organization-controlled personas, began to encourage U.S. minority groups not to vote inside 2016 U.S. presidential election or to vote for a third-party U.S. presidential candidate.”
- The entity allegedly used an account on Instagram called “Woke Blacks” to post: “‘[A] particular hype along with hatred for Trump is actually misleading the people along with forcing Blacks to vote Killary. We cannot resort to the lesser of two devils. Then we’d surely be better off without voting AT ALL.'”
- The defendants allegedly stole Americans’ identities to open online payment accounts — an allegation appearing to connect the Russians with the actions of Richard Pinedo, who was also indicted separately by the special counsel on Friday. “Defendants along with their co-conspirators also used, without lawful authority, the social security numbers, home addresses, along with birth dates of real U.S. persons to open accounts at PayPal, a digital payments company…[they] purchased credit card along with bank account numbers by online sellers for the unlawful purpose of evading security measures at PayPal…”
- They also allegedly used cryptocurrency exchanges to maintain their accounts: “Additionally, along with in order to maintain their accounts at PayPal along with elsewhere, including online cryptocurrency exchanges, Defendants along with their co-conspirators purchased along with obtained false identification documents, including fake U.S. driver’s licenses.”
- The indictment describes Trump campaign officials who communicated with the Russians as “unwitting” inside defendants’ plans: “Some defendants, posing as U.S. persons along with without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign along with with different political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.”