13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities are accused of violating U.S. criminal laws in order to interfere with U.S. elections and political processes.
“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,” Mueller says.
The indictment says the conspiracy involved Russian nationals traveling to the US under false pretenses to conduct research as early as June 2014
My quick takes:
(1) Mueller’s team knows SO MUCH MORE than what we (including the media know)
(2) Contra everything Trump has said, the Russian involvement was NO HOAX. It confirms that that there was a Russian troll farm attempting to sway the 2016 election in favor of Trump and against Hillary, and that the Russians planned this as far back as 2014. Russians used fake persona, Paypal accounts, and on-the-ground “Americans” to spread memes, hold fake rallies, etc. They set up VPNs to hide their tracks.
(3) Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina(!) were the swing states targeted by Russia
(4) No allegations about Russian hacking, which makes sense (that would be a completely different operation)
(5) VERY lightly hints that the Trump campaign did not collude, but may have been unwittingly duped by Russians — prepare yourself for this possibility
Some paragraphs of note —
This one, we knew:
Some of the Russia political ads on social media include:
How about some sanctions now, Mr President?
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) February 16, 2018
Additional: Special Counsel announces guilty plea by Richard Pinedo, of Santa Paula, Calif., who pleads guilty to identity fraud https://t.co/NzBUy2cKT5
— Pwn All The Things (@pwnallthethings) February 16, 2018
The Pinedo plea (below) might have something to do with Count 2 of the indictment
Two of the entities in Mueller’s indictment — CONCORD MANAGEMENT and CONCORD CATERING — were added to a U.S. sanctions list in June 2017 for working against U.S. interests in Ukraine.https://t.co/OpFZr7S2p4 pic.twitter.com/Of6oVsKgGW
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 16, 2018
Wait…. something’s missing. Oh, right….
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018
White House reacts real fast to Mueller indictments (compared to school shooting) with press statement with NO COLLUSION in all caps, but tacitly admits (finally) that Russia involvement was not a hoax. pic.twitter.com/p9Svlwe9wK
— pɹoɟɥsɐ uǝʞ (@KenAshford) February 16, 2018