WASHINGTON - Thirteen Russians and three Russian entities were charged Friday with an elaborate plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, federal prosecutors announced Friday.
The indictment , brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, alleges that Russians used bogus social media postings and advertisements fraudulently purchased in the name of Americans to sway political opinion during the race between Republican Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, his Democratic opponent.
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The defendants are accused of violating U.S. criminal laws to interfere with American elections and the political process.
The complaint lists the defendants as:
- Internet Research Agency LLC, aka Mediasintez LLC, aka Glavset LLC, aka Mixinfo LLC, aka Azimut LL, aka Novinfo LLC
- Concord Management and Consulting LLC
- Concord Catering
- Yegeniy Viktorovich Prigohzhin
- Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov
- Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik, aka Mikhail Abramov
- Aleksandra Yuryevna Krylova
- Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva
- Sergey Pavlovich Polozov
- Maria Anatolyevna Bovda, aka Maria Anatolyevna Belyaeva
- Robert Sergeyevich Bovda
- Dzheykhun Nasimi Ogly Aslanov, aka Jayhoon Aslanov, aka Jay Aslanov
- Vadim Vladimirovich Podkopaev
- Gleb Igorevich Vasilchenko
- Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina
- Vladimir Venkov
The charges are the most direct allegation to date of illegal Russian meddling in the election.
The goal, the indictment says, was to "sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election."
Charges include conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The charges arise from Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the election and whether there was improper coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
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
Before Friday, four people, including Trump's former national security adviser and former campaign chairman, had been charged in Mueller's investigation.
The White House had no immediate response to the indictment.
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