Skip Nav

Mueller Charges Russians With 2016 Election Interference

13 Russians Charged With Interfering in the 2016 Election

Amid an investigation that's been ongoing for the better part of a year, on Feb. 16, the first Russian charges were brought in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into meddling in the 2016 election. The 37-page indictment was filed against 13 Russian individuals as well as three Russian entities; while all involved are being indicted with conspiracy to defraud the US, several individuals were also indicted on counts of wire and bank fraud as well as aggravated identity theft.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a press conference that the individuals involved in the elaborate plot to sway the election "conducted what they called 'Information Warfare' against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general." He also noted that the indictment did not mark the conclusion of Mueller's investigation.

Shortly after charges were announced, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to suggest that these charges were evidence of "no collusion!" between Russia and the Trump campaign staff.

However, it's just not that simple. While no charges to date have explicitly linked Trump and Russia, the indictment outlines an active effort by the defendants to boost Trump's visibility and viability as a candidate while at the same time inflicting damage on those running against him. "Specialists were instructed to post content that focused on 'politics in the USA,'" one section of the document reads, adding that those involved with the interference were told to "use any opportunity to criticise Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).'"

The 13 individuals and three entities indicted on Feb. 16 join the four former members of the Trump campaign — George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn — who have already faced charges and plead guilty on charges relating to Mueller's Russia investigation.

Image Source: Getty / Saul Loeb
More from POPSUGAR
From Our Partners
Watch Lizzo's 2020 Campaign Speech For Joe Biden | Video
Young Americans Interviewed About the 2020 Election
Donald Trump Lies About Excess Deaths During COVID-19
Trump Debate Quotes on Children Separated at the Border
How Twitter's Temporary Retweet Election Update Works
Democratic Proposals to Change the Supreme Court, Explained
Where Do Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Stand on Fracking?
How to Get Involved in the 2020 Election If You Can't Vote
What to Know If You're Considering Stocking Up on Plan B
Why Voter Suppression Matters in the 2020 Election
Op-Ed on Amy Coney Barrett and Feminism
How to Get Started Phone Banking or Text Banking
Latest News