The special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations on Friday with illegal use of social media platforms.
U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel, said that there was no allegation in the indictment that “any American…was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity.” This means that no one on the Trump campaign was involved in the indictments.
Rosenstein also noted that “there is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”
In a 37-page indictment filed in United States District Court, Mueller charged 13 Russians with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Five were charged with identity theft and three with wire and bank fraud.
The Russian operatives started the “Translator Project” in April 2014. They used three companies – the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management, and Concord Catering -to carry out the scheme of using fictitious online personas to sow discord on social media platforms.
At its peak, the project had a budget of more than $1.2 million a month and employed more than 80 people.
The goal of the project was “information warfare against the United States of America,” the indictment asserts.
President Donald Trump responded on Twitter on Friday afternoon.
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