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Feds Announce Indictments of Russian Nationals for Attempting to Influence American Elections

Thirteen individuals and three companies accused of conspiracy against the U.S., wire fraud, and identity theft.

Rod RosensteinRod Rosenstein, DOJToday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced a pack of federal indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three companies, accusing them of a conspiracy against the United States, wire fraud, and identity theft in efforts to influence American politics, including the 2016 presidential election.

The 37-page indictment by Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller was released this afternoon and quickly followed by a press conference by Rosenstein.

Here's a quick summary of the most important points:

  • These Russians, through a St. Petersburg-based company named Internet Research Agency, put together a massive, expensive project to try to influence the outcome of U.S. elections beginning in 2014.
  • The Russian defendants came to the United States to gather intelligence on political and social issues in the United States, but misled the U.S. government about their reasons for being in the country.
  • They used both fabricated and stolen identities to set up personas, social media accounts, and bank accounts for the purpose of making it appear that they were politically engaged American grassroots activists.
  • They then bankrolled advertising campaigns and rallies to influence the election outcome. The indictment makes it clear they believe the Russian influence campaign was primarily about disparaging Hillary Clinton and supporting Donald Trump. But they also note that the Russian groups even bankrolled an anti-Trump rally on the same day as an anti-Clinton rally to help create discord.
  • But it wasn't all just Trump and Clinton: "They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump."
  • The Russian defendants were directed to create "political intensity through supporting radical groups, users dissatisfied with [the] social and economic situation and oppositional social movements."
  • In the back half of 2016 they launched a campaign to try to discourage minority groups from voting in the presidential election at all or to vote for third-party candidates.
  • The Russian defendants worked with U.S. people to magnify these messages and push these rallies while keeping their identities a secret. They even communicated with the Trump campaign, but both the indictment and Rosenstein's press conference today made it clear that they have no evidence that these Americans ever knew they were dealing with Russians.
  • By deliberately concealing that they were Russians, this fraud prevented federal agencies like the Federal Election Commission and Department of Justice from enforcing laws and disclosure requirements for foreign involvement in domestic issues.
  • There is nothing in these indictments related to any evidence or allegations of hacking into election systems. The charges are all related to misleading the federal government and engaging in fraud. No cyberwarfare.

Rosenstein said at the press conference that there is no evidence that any of this behavior actually altered the election outcome. Jacob Sullum previously looked at the social media data and came away deeply unimpressed at the Russian effort's reach. Likewise, Jesse Walker took note that Russia's efforts to foment an anti-immigrant rally in Idaho did not appear to actually amount to much.

The text of the indictment tends to affirm that what Russia was doing here was magnifying already extant cultural rifts in order to make them louder and appear more significant.

Watch Rosenstein's press conference below:

UPDATE: President Trump tweets a response:

Photo Credit: Justice Dept. press conference

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  • John||

    Sock puppets. Millions of dollars and months of hysteria and all they can come up with is some sock puppets. Someone needs to indict Mueller for wasting America's time.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Mueller is not nearly finished, you idiot.

  • John||

    LOLOLOLOLOL

    Tell us more about the evil Russian sock puppets. You make me laugh so hard I almost chocked.

  • 55||

    Trump was lying his ass off and practically risking his presidency to stop this "hilarious joke" of an investigation. Explain that.

  • John||

    I know. He made up all of this stuff about the FBI lying to get FISA warrants and spying on him.

  • 55||

    Trump wasn't spied upon you fool, that was Carter Page and there was good reason to monitor his communication with Russian agents.

  • TLBD||

    Do you know how FISA surveillance works?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Do you? FISC is a secret court so nobody outside the secret FBI departments that handle this unconstitutional BS know how secret surveillance works.

  • Michael Hihn||

    I know. He made up all of this stuff about the FBI lying to get FISA warrants and spying on him.

    That lie was actually exposed in the Nunes memo, final paragraph,
    Did Breitbart and Fox not report that?

  • TLBD||

    What exactly did he lie about, 55?

  • 55||

    That there "no contacts" between campagin officials and the Russian govt. They lied about the Trump tower meeting.

  • John||

    There wasn't.

  • Rebel Scum||

    There wasn't.

    Everything can be true if you just believe hard enough! //jk

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    There wasn't.

    You are full of shit. Uday (or Qusay) Trump met with the Russians at Trump Tower. The idiot son is implicated. Flynn and Manafort did too.

  • Rockabilly||

    Palin's Buttplug is right.

    Putin has photos of Trump humping a Russian prostitute which he used to make Trump his puppet.

    1 = Trump is Putin's puppet

    Then Putin hired some nerds to make internet bots to brainwash American's to vote for Trump.

    2- = I really wanted to vote for Hillary Clinton, but when I went to my Face Book account, I changed my mind. All these bots where chanting 'vote for Trump, vote for Trump.' I had no choice but to vote for Trump.

    Putin's campaign is successful.

    3 = Trump is president, even though the vast majority of polls said "Hillary in a landslide and Bill as first male first lady.

    And now Putin is controlling the USA because Trump is his puppet.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Your analysis is both brilliant and concise.

  • Toots shor||

    Trump humps the couch, so that ain't news!

  • BambiB||

    Seems their account of the meeting has been pretty consistent - and following Occam's Razor, acceptable. Hard to imagine how someone could be stupid enough to believe that an entire conspiracy to undermine a presidential election consisted of a single meeting that lasted, what? 45 minutes?

    As for getting "dirt" on Hitlery - that's in the interests of the America People. The People should know the negatives of those running for office. So if Trump 13 years ago said, being a celebrity is great because women let you "grab them by the pussies" - that's fair game. And if Hitlery committed treason by mishandling over 3300 classified emails immediately before the election, and engaged in a widespread and focused attempt to lie, obscure, mislead, deny, and obstruct to cover her criminality, that's fair game too.

    At this point, it appears that Trump may be one of the least criminally guilty presidents of recent times. I'm not aware of any other undergoing such a prolonged and intensive investigation and coming up clean.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Hard to imagine how someone could be stupid enough to believe that an entire conspiracy to undermine a presidential election consisted of a single meeting that lasted, what? 45 minutes?

    Even harder to believe anyone is stupid enough to believe that is the issue here.

  • Michael Hihn||

    I'm not aware of any other undergoing such a prolonged and intensive investigation and coming up clean.

    (snort) How would you know? It's kinda scary. The way he programs you people.

    HE told us YOU cannot be trusted, when HE said YOU would support him, even if he shot somebody to death, with witnesses. You actually tolerate him publicly insulting you ... saying that you are totally lacking in moral values.

    Scary.

  • TLBD||

    This is hilarious. Desperation.

  • 55||

    You're deluding yourself if you think this is the end of Mueller time.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Well this is pretty thin gruel so he must be whetting our appetites for the high crimes and misdemeanors to come.

  • ||

    That there "no contacts" between campagin officials and the Russian govt.

    "They even communicated with the Trump campaign, but both the indictment and Rosenstein's press conference today made it clear that they have no evidence that these Americans ever knew they were dealing with Russians."

  • 55||

    Nope, the Russians involved this conspiracy were working with unwitting Americans but it's literally borderline retardation to allege the same applies to the Trump tower meeting.

  • ||

    Nope, the Russians involved this conspiracy were working with unwitting Americans but it's literally borderline retardation to allege the same applies to the Trump tower meeting.

    And the goalposts go *whoosh*.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    This set of 13 Russian trolls were not the Putin KGBers that conspired with the Trump campaign anyway.

    Why do you Trumptards assume they were?

  • Rockabilly||

    PB is right = Trump is Putin's puppet.

    Trump supports the 2nd Amendment and now we know why!!!

    Adam Schiff: Russia 'Big Fans' Of U.S. 2nd Amendment - They Want Us To 'Kill Each Other'

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR_JW-8JnDY

  • TLBD||

    Yeah, the Russians wanted President Trump because:

    They love him opening up drilling and keeping oil prices low.

    They love him unleashing our military.

    They love an armed American populace.

    They hated Clinton who was just TOO EASY to corrupt.

    The KGB likes a challenge, don't you know.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Why did 10 million vote AGAINST Trump?
    Why is Trump TWICE as disliked as ANY President, in all but one year - SINCE EISENHOWER?
    Why did only 37% of Republicans support his nomination?
    Why did his LOSING vote include a RECORD NUMBER OF ANTI-OPPONENT VOTES? (voted against Hillary, NOT for him)
    Why did he win the Electoral Vote by a mere 29,000 votes in 3 states COMBINED?
    How much influence would Russia have needed to swing so tiny a margin?
    Why does Trump deny collusion, when the issue is CONSPIRACY -- which his son confessed to.
    And OBSTRUCTION, which HE confessed to?
    Why do voters prefer Democrats over Republicans by a massive 10% or more ... PER FOX AND GINGRICH.
    And why do FOX AND GINGRICH say a Democrat wave is coming unless the GOP changes NOW?
    Why are Trump's snowflakes as eager to be brainwashed as Berniebots ... and so totally contemptuous of "incon-veeeeeen-yent facts?
    Why are they as vacant-eyed as students at Berkeley?
    WHY IS HIS OWN BASE SHRINKING?

    *** WHEN THEY OFFER YOU THE KOOL-AID ... DO NOT DRINK IT!

    He did say his cult would support him, even if he shot somebody to death, with witnesses ... and they STILL supported him ... when he described them as mindless assholes, totally devoid of ANY moral sense. Because private mail server.

  • Mark22||

    I think it's pretty clear Hihn is a Russian troll.

  • Michael Hihn||

    I think it's pretty clear Hihn is a Russian troll.

    FOR POSTING FACTS, TRUMPTARD?

    Aggression The action or an act of attacking without provocation

    Verbal Aggressiveness ...A personality trait that predisposes persons to attack the self-concepts of other people instead of, or in addition to, their positions on topics of communication ... Verbal aggressiveness is thought to be mainly a destructive form of communication

    Cyberbullying The act of bullying someone through electronic means (as by posting mean or threatening messages about the person online)

    Stalker A person who harasses or persecutes someone with unwanted and obsessive attention

    psychopath A person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behaviour.
    a) The authoritarian left
    b) The authoritarian right

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    PB:

    "This set of 13 Russian trolls were not the Putin KGBers that conspired with the Trump campaign anyway.

    I'm looking forward to Trump paying for his crimes for colluding with a non-existent intelligence agency.

    Any day now.

  • El Oso||

    Forget the 'buttplug' part, you just seem to be a butt-hole....

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Butt has been a blown out sweat sock for some time now.

  • Michael Hihn||

    NOW YOU EVEN REFUSE TO ACCEPT THE INDICTMENTS?
    (Trumptards be as wacky as he is)

  • Eman||

    yeah a reasonable person would positively enjoy being investigated by the FBI, and ask if there were any more ways it could be used against them publicly. I can't believe people still take this guy seriously.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I almost chocked.

    That's exactly the kind of mistake I'd expect a Russian sockpuppet to make. I'M ONTO YOU, COMRADE!

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Exactly. By the time Mueller has concluded his investigation, he'll uncover something that will end Drumpf's presidency.

    MAGA = Mueller Ain't Going Away

  • John||

    Keep digging. there has to be a pony in there somewhere.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If you have to go digging for your pony, I got some bad news about your pony.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    What is that ? My little pony has been missing...

  • TLBD||

    PB.... This type of stuff is exactly what you have been crowing about with collusion the whole fucking time. Mueller and Rosenstein just said that the only people who talked to them were unwitting...

    So what are you moving on to next? The Russians had blackmail on Trump and forced him to run for and win the presidency against all odds?

  • Tony||

    Do you even believe it should be a crime for a presidential campaign to conspire with foreign agents to win an election? What if they're Democrats?

  • TLBD||

    Not really, and especially if they're "unwitting". I'm pretty sure that law does require intent... unlike others that magically require it...

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Now's a good time to make this all about hypotheticals, you Russian trollz!

  • BYODB||

    According to the level of proof put forward by your ilk, if Trump conspired with foreign agents than Hillary Clinton and Obama were actually guilty as well. As are every other Presidential, Senate, and Congresscritter in the United States of America.

    So I guess the question is, do you want to continue playing into Libertarian hands?

  • Rebel Scum||

    conspire with foreign agents

    I think this phrase means something different to normal people than it does to you.

  • Sevo||

    "...conspire with foreign agents to win an election?..."

    What a sack of shit.
    Would this include things like talking with those who you will be dealing with if elected? Talking with those who know something about your opponent? Being caught with a parking ticket that was 2 blocks from, oh, the British embassy?
    Doing anything that Tony doesn't like?
    Fuck off.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    " What if they're Democrats?" Um, the DNC paid for the Steele dossier prepared by a foreign agent, to win an election. They have not denied their collusion. Should that be a crime?

  • Cyto||

    George Soros - Hungarian citizen, also later carrying American citizenship - has spent more each election cycle than the Russians are accused of spending. All of it on the side of bringing power to team D and the Clinton machine.

    Soros has spent hundreds of millions around the world supporting far-left political causes. In many countries he is the largest political money source. He is only a citizen in two of them. In at least one case (Macedonia) the US government used Soros to funnel money to the left wing groups they wanted in power. So the US government under Obama colluded with Soros to interfere with the governments of other nations.

    Exactly where do we come down on Russia or Turkey or Kosovo indicting Soros and agents of the US government for interfering with their elections (far more directly than this FBI indictment alleges)?

  • 55||

    The Trump tower meeting was collusion with the Russian govt and there's no basis to claim the collusion was unwitting because it was all memorialized in writing.

  • John||

    You mean the meeting that the FBI bugged? The DOJ knows what was said at the meeting yet today says there was no collusion. They must just really like Trump or something.

  • Tony||

    This is probably not the last indictment John.

  • John||

    You can dream Tony. Face it.Trump isn't going to be impeached and stands an incumbents chance of being re-elected. You just need to get some therapy and deal with the real possibility that Trump is going to serve not just four but eight full years.

  • 55||

    There goes your credibility.

  • John||

    Yes 55, no one will share your delusion. Only you know the truth. God you people are funny.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They won't be laughing when Democrats lose more Congressional seats in 2018/2020 and Trump wins in 2020.

  • Sevo||

    "There goes your credibility."

    You're a real laugh riot!

  • TLBD||

    Not if they weren't aware that that lawyer lady was an agent of the Russian government. I'm not sure that has been proven true either.

    Regardless... Who actually got political dirt from Russian agents? Oh, that is right. Hillary did.

  • Tony||

    We're just gonna sit here and pretend that if Hillary were president and this was going on you'd be defending her ass like this?

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    I love hypotheticals!

  • Tony||

    Okay so posit one. I'm talking about obvious reality.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Exactly: Hillary Clinton is the Real President. This is known.

  • TLBD||

    If Hillary were president this would have died in the first news cycle and I wouldn't even need bother with it.

    Regardless, it looks like she and others tried to frame Trump for the exact things they were doing.

    Quickest gun in the west... accuse others of what you are doing before they get a chance to do so to you...

  • Tony||

    So Mueller is in on a conspiracy with the Clintons to make Trump president and then later indict him? Roundabout I must say.

  • TLBD||

    I'm not sure how you ended up at that conclusion, Tony.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    This wouldn't be going on if Hilary were president because the media would be too busy enjoying their tingling legs to cover it.

  • Calidissident||

    In the emails, Trump Jr. was told she was a "Russian government lawyer." According to the claims, she misrepresented herself, who knows what actually happened, but it's in writing that she was described to him as such before the meeting.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    This set of 13 Russian trolls were not the Putin KGBers that conspired with the Trump campaign anyway.

    Why do you Trumptards assume they were?

  • Rhywun||

    Oh, he's finished. He's a laughingstock.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Robert Mueller and Ashcroft went after Steven Hatfill for the Anthrax attacks. The US government eventually settled a lawsuit brought by Hatfill for $4.6 million in 2008.

    Mueller is the perfect joke for this "investigation".

  • Michael Hihn||

    MOAR CONSPIRACIES and bullshit .... from THE primo alt-right wacko

    loveconstitution1789|2.8.18 @ 3:08PM|#

    My retired father loves politics and we often discuss the nature of things.
    I cannot get him to openly discuss social security and medicare reform with cuts. He is just hoping to check out before our debt crushes the USA. Its selfish as shit.

    Alt-Right TROLL says more crushing debt is okay .. if it lines HIS pocket!

    loveconstitution (sic) Insults HIS OWN FATHER, "selfish as shit" ... but DEFENDS his own sucking at the gummint teat! (OMG) But HIS TROLLING claims that a multi-trillion debt increase is "giving my own money back " ... FROM WHERE TROLL?

    What kind of fiscal conservative DENIES federal debt is stealing from our future ... his own children?
    A brainwashed Republican goober ... as DANGEROUS as ... a brainwashed Bernie goober

    HE WOULD CUT HIS FATHER'S BENEFITS .. AND STEAL FROM HIS OWN KIDS ... TO INCREASE HIS OWN CASH, BECAUSE ... HE'S "ENTITLED."

    The NEW Entitlement Mentality. The Alt-Right, brainwashed goobers of today's GOP.

    Left - Right = Zero

  • DesigNate||

    Keeping more of the money I earn isn't selfish, or sucking at the government tit.

    Mike Hihn: Big government, high tax "libertarian".

  • Michael Hihn||

    designNate - Pathetic Liar (the New Entitlement Goobers)

    Keeping more of the money I earn isn't selfish, or sucking at the government tit.

    One more time for morally challenged goobers . Debt charged to your children is NOT money you've earned. It's sucking the government teat, goober.

    MORAL HYPOCRISY consists of pissing and moaning about entitlements creating a crushing debt for America .... while DEMANDING over $2 trillion in NEW "crushing debt" to enrich YOURSELF ... claiming YOU are "entitled."

    REAL fiscal conservatives oppose increasing $20 TRILLION in existing debt ... for ANY purpose.

    It's goobers, like DesigNate and lc1789 who are too fucking stupid to know they're increasing taxes on their own children and grandchildren. Or are they liars?

    Mike Hihn: Big government, high tax "libertarian".

    (sneer) at the psycho liar

  • Michael Hihn||

    MOAR CONSPIRACIES and bullshit .... from THE primo alt-right wacko

    loveconstitution1789|2.8.18 @ 3:08PM|#

    My retired father loves politics and we often discuss the nature of things.
    I cannot get him to openly discuss social security and medicare reform with cuts. He is just hoping to check out before our debt crushes the USA. Its selfish as shit.

    Alt-Right TROLL says more crushing debt is okay .. if it lines HIS pocket!

    loveconstitution (sic) Insults HIS OWN FATHER, "selfish as shit" ... but DEFENDS his own sucking at the gummint teat! (OMG) But HIS TROLLING claims that a multi-trillion debt increase is "giving my own money back " ... FROM WHERE TROLL?

    What kind of fiscal conservative DENIES federal debt is stealing from our future ... his own children?
    A brainwashed Republican goober ... as DANGEROUS as ... a brainwashed Bernie goober

    HE WOULD CUT HIS FATHER'S BENEFITS .. AND STEAL FROM HIS OWN KIDS ... TO INCREASE HIS OWN CASH, BECAUSE ... HE'S "ENTITLED."

    The NEW Entitlement Mentality. The Alt-Right, brainwashed goobers of today's GOP.

    Left - Right = Zero

  • MikeP2||

    Someone needs new meds.

  • Sevo||

    You think he'd understand that his rants are seen as either amusing or simply the pathetic keyboarding of an idiot. Apparently not.
    He still seems to think there is something of a point buried somewhere in that pile of bold-and-cap bullshit. I think the point is that Mike is not yet a danger to others, but might be a danger to himself.

  • Procyon Rotor||

    I'm not even sure I understand what he's arguing in favor of anymore. Cutting benefits is selfish and entitled because it hurts the elderly. And lower taxes is just "sucking at the gummint teat" and "stealing from (our) own kids". So we should have maximum government handouts and maximum taxation? And he thinks he's a libertarian? I'm glad I started drinking early tonight.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Which part of this confuses these three alt-right retards?

    loveconstitution (sic) Insults HIS OWN FATHER, "selfish as shit" ... but DEFENDS his own sucking at the gummint teat! (OMG) But HIS TROLLING claims that a multi-trillion debt increase is "giving my own money back " ... FROM WHERE TROLL?

    FROM WHERE, TROLL?

    Watch the troll LIE to justify his own teat-sucking.

    Cutting benefits is selfish and entitled because it hurts the elderly

    Fucking liar. I'll TRY to dumb down.

    Why do YOU want to cut benefits for your parents .. BECAUSE the debt is crushing our country

    But want a tax cut for YOU .... BECAUSE over 2 trillion in NEW DEBT is "giving you your own money back?" (BWAAAA HAAAA)

    And, like the proggies, you DENY that today's debt is tax on your own children,

    Boldface is
    (1) You LIED about what I said
    (2) Ridiculing your Entitlement Mentality.

    Behold the self-righteous (phonty conservative teat suckers)

  • Procyon Rotor||

    You misunderstand me, as always. I'm opposed to Social Security because it's a redistribution scheme, and redistribution is in principal immoral. Doesn't matter one whit whether it's crushing us under debt or not. Taxation is likewise immoral.

    But want a tax cut for YOU .... BECAUSE over 2 trillion in NEW DEBT is "giving you your own money back?" (BWAAAA HAAAA)

    Explain to me, O wise one, exactly how the money I earned is not my own fucking money to keep, regardless of what looter wants to take it from me. I'll listen.

  • Michael Hihn||

    RETARDS ON PARADE!!!

    you misunderstand me, as always

    You fucked up, as always.
    You were confused on lc1789, even lied about it.

    Explain to me, O wise one, exactly how the money I earned is not my own fucking money to keep, regardless of what looter wants to take it from me

    BECAUSE IT'S BORROWED FROM YOUR CHILDREN.

    Taxation is likewise immoral.

    Then even Ayn Rand says you're fucked up. And Thomas Jefferson, And our Founders,
    Only the authoritarian right DENIES Will of the People, Consent of the Governed and the fundamental right to form voluntary associations. Dumbfucks who DEMAND that 327 million American OBEY them.
    Fuck off, slaver. You claim some "right" to suck off the prosperity and liberty created and maintained by others. Be a man and emigrate. Pathetic,

  • Michael Hihn||

    Close your eyes. The universe DISAPPEARS! (lol)

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Double exposure to the HIHNFECTION!!!!! Run for your lives!!

  • Michael Hihn||

    Suck off your children, while celebrating the feeding of humans into a wood chipper .. a bigger thug than even campus lefties

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Maybe, after the IG report comes out next month, verifying elements of the Nunes memo.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    How's the Borsch, comrade?

  • Rebel Scum||

    Mueller for wasting America's time.

    I think the real fraud is Mueller spending god knows how much taxpayer money to uncover *gasp* internet trolls. Other than that, I don't really see the crime here. (I only skimmed this post, so point me to anything in particular that I may have missed)

  • Mitsima||

    *twitchy eye* *sputter* *rage face* *faces sky* BUT INTERNET TROOOOLLLLLLLLZZZZZZZ!! COLLUSION!!1!

    *shoulders slump* *grabs crayons, coloring book, teddy bear* *plods in direction of 'Safe Space' closet* YOU PEOPLE ARE FASCISTS!!1! *twitch* *twitch*

  • Azathoth!!||

    Could this news get any faker?

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Skimmed the indictment and read the parts that relate what the Russians actually did.

    It appears that the Russians are primarily guilty of engaging in propaganda and agitation, and might of committed some crimes related to these activities. The Russians have a very long history of propaganda and agitation, and it appears that they've adapted their techniques to exploit information technology and trends in social media ... which is pretty much what they did early in the 20th century with radio.

    Anybody who thinks that the US government doesn't do the same thing in Russia is incredibly naive. Back in the old days, US propaganda probably did some good. However, I seriously doubt that US propaganda and agitation could come close to what the Russians have accomplished with the help of the DNC, Hillary, Team Obama, the FBI, and the MSM.

  • Mitsima||

    Is it just me (a Cold War baby), or does this seem more like charges the Stasi would have brought against people "colluding" with Radio Free Europe/Voice of America?

  • CatoTheChipper||

    That's the way it seems to me.

    It's particularly absurd in that the indicted persons all seem to reside outside of the US. I imagine that the extent of their punishment is that they can't go to Disneyland even if they could afford it.

  • Cyto||

    There is a lot going on that I don't understand.

    I'm a child of the 60's/70's. I grew up watching things like Hogan's Heroes. We lampooned the evil empire's obsession with authorization and control. Remember the ubiquitous "show me your papers!" from depictions of Nazi and Soviet authorities?

    And there were always innocent journalists or students being arrested as spies, charged with crimes for giving people a copy of a book or talking with dissidents.

    We understood them as oppressive regimes because of these actions.

    How can anyone of my generation or earlier possibly tolerate the way things have gone? We make "show me your papers" look quaint, with our crotch checking at the airport. And here we are, arresting people around the world for their speech. Or for hosting a server in another country (Kim Dotcom).

    In the 70's and 80's, the mere allegation that something smacked of a national ID was enough to kill it off and cow any proponents into submission. Today we demand ever more intrusive national registries (databases).

    We have really lost our way on the freedom front.

  • ThomasD||

    Late to the party, but FWIW.

    This whole episode is part of the ongoing reaction to the disruptions caused by the internet. Thanks to the disintermediation former information gatekeepers no longer function 'as they should.'

    Which is an ongoing 'problem' for many.

    Add into that mix an upstart interloper like Trump - someone who does not fit neatly into the power hierarchy of either major party, nor pretty much any other recognized party.

    And this upstart interloper actually won. Against Hillary no less.

    Freaked a lot of them out and now they are spending our money at a furious pace attempting to stuff the genie back in the bottle.

    All those 'ideals' you thought mattered back in the 70's never really mattering to them and their ilk. Any more than they took the lessons of Schoolhouse Rock seriously.

  • Devastator||

    If Mueller isn't going to find out anything then why are all the Trumpette and Trump family squirming right now? We'll see, this ain't nearly over. If he doesn't find out anything then no harm no foul. I can't believe people support Russians attempting to influence the election, no matter what their leaning politically. It's like they don't want their Golden Goose Trump to go down in flames.

  • John||

    http://stream.org/astroturf-ou.....y-clinton/

    A significant portion of online support for Hillary Clinton is manufactured by paid "astroturf" trolls: a large team of supporters who spend long hours responding to negative news on the internet about her. The Clinton SuperPAC Correct the Record, which is affiliated with her campaign, acknowledged in an April press release that it was spending $1 million on project "Breaking Barriers" to pay people to respond to negative information about Clinton on social media sites like Facebook, Reddit, Instagram and Twitter. That amount has since increased to over $6 million. The trolls create a false impression that Clinton has more support than she really does, because one supporter will frequently create multiple anonymous accounts.

    Libby Watson of The Sunlight Foundation observed that the astroturf effort goes far beyond merely defending Clinton, to targeting and intimidating those who criticize her. She told The Daily Beast, "This seems to be going after essentially random individuals online."

    That seems rather inconvenient.

  • TLBD||

    I'd like to know if any of that work was outsourced.

  • John||

    That is a very good question.

  • Ra's al Gore||

    So foreign nationals can be charged with conspiracy for engaging in US politica? So Trump can arrest foreign born actors and comics, and anyone here illegally who agitates against immigration law?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Good. we can imprison all those pricks from Univision and La Rasa.

  • Calidissident||

    I'm not a lawyer, so take my attempt at trying to understand the charges with a grain of salt. I believe the criminal accusations are:

    1. Violating campaign finance laws (restrictions against foreign contributions/expenditures have been around for a while AFAIK)
    2. Failing to register as a foreign agents engaged in political activity (I'm not sure what exactly the requirement to meet that is. Do you have to be working on behalf of a foreign government?).
    3. Lying on immigration visas and forms.
    4. Identity theft, bank, and wire fraud to facilitate #1.

    The exact requirements for #2 are what I'm most curious about so far as how this could be applied to other people and groups.

  • John||

    All of those are very problematic. If you call posting on the internet as a "contribution" then every American who shills on the internet for a candidate is making a contribution and if they do so to a great enough extent that it is worth more than a $1,000, they are in violation of the law. Calling speech in-kind contribution to a campaign is not consistent with the 1st Amendment according to any court that has considered the matter.

    Failing to register as a foreign agent is less problematic but still a reach. Foreign nationals are free to engage in political discourse. How were these guys "foreign agents" any more than any other foreign national who speaks about politics? Unless they can prove they were working for the Russian government and sent here to do this, which I highly doubt they can, they were not foreign agents and nothing they did could constitute a crime.

    If they lied on their immigration form, that is a crime but not much of one.

    Identity theft requires some kind of harm to the person. Maybe they stole money. I don't know. But me pretending to be you on facebook and lauding the virtues of whatever politics I like is not "identity theft" in any sense I have ever seen it prosecuted.

    The whole thing is a complete joke.

  • Tony||

    Remember when you used to care about distinctions between Americans and foreigners trying to wreck America?

  • John||

    That is because I am a Russian sock puppet here to create havoc and attack all that is right and good. You are onto me Tony.

  • Tony||

    Needs more "Hillary is gonna cause WWIII!!" and "At least Trump isn't shrill."

    (He's totally shrill though.)

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Lock him up! Lock him up!

  • BYODB||

    Hillary Clinton actively advocated shooting down Russian aircraft over Syria during the campaign.

  • Tony||

    And Trump advocated for bombing the shit out of Muslims and taking their families with them, a campaign promise he's actually delivered upon. And how much do you care? Not even a shart.

    Turning people like you into mindless partisan gasbags is kind of what they were trying to accomplish. I'm sorry you're one of their victims.

  • ||

    Turning people like you into mindless partisan gasbags

    Physician, heal thyself.

  • Rebel Scum||

    And Trump advocated for bombing the shit out of Muslims

    The muslims that we were already militarily engaged with?

  • ||

    And Trump advocated for bombing the shit out of Muslims

    And thank God HRC would never advocate such a thing!

  • ||

    Hillary Clinton actively advocated shooting down Russian aircraft over Syria during the campaign.

    ^ This.

    She also vowed upon retaking Mosul to "push into Syria" to topple Assad's government and start a shooting war with Russia without even a passing reference to the notion of needing congressional approval to invade a foreign country with ground troops.

    Yet somehow every Progressive I know is 100% immune to the suggestion that HRC wasn't "The Peace and Love Candidate" standing up to that bully warmonger Trump (who advocated disengaging from Syria).

  • Tony||

    I'd hope that at the very least we'd stop using Russian BS in our posts.

  • ||

    I'd hope that at the very least we'd stop using Russian BS in our posts.

    Christ, you're an idiot.

    Do you remember the flap that was made (by Gary Johnson in particular) about Clinton not seeming to know how far Mosul is from Syria's border after Mosul was liberated from ISIS?

    Do you remember how that came up?

    Of course you don't. Google it before you start looking like a mindless partisan gasbag.

  • DesigNate||

    She said that IN A FUCKING TELEVISED DEBATE.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Was that the same debate where Trump asked Russia to hack Hillary's email sever ... WHICH THEY DID (as released by Wikileaks)?

    But "no collusion" - to the same goobers who would even defend Trump murdering a man ... in broad daylight ... on Fifth Avenue ... with witnesses.

    Even TRUMP says we cannot trust you!

  • Rebel Scum||

    That is because I am a Russian sock puppet here to create havoc and attack all that is right and good. You are onto me Tony.

    And you've been at it for years, way before the 2016 campaign. That's dedication, comrade. //sarc

    And Tony, eat shit.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Behold the Trumpian bully ... shouting down opposing views ... like a campus proggie.

    Left - Right = Zero

  • Calidissident||

    I'm not sure if they are saying Internet posts are contributions. I interpreted as they spent a bunch of money paying people to carry out political advocacy, thus violating the campaign finance laws. I don't think they're saying the mere act of a foreigner expressing advocacy violates the law by itself. But if you have something indicating otherwise, I'd be happy to see it.

    I have no idea about whether they have direct proof of Russian government involvement.

    Well there are accusations of bank/wire fraud, identity fraud there to conceal foreign involvement seems pretty clearly illegal. Again, I'm not sure if they are also saying anyone posting something on the social media or the Internet under someone else's name is illegal (am I going crazy or has that topic come up before on Reason in a domestic context?).

  • John||

    The problem with that theory is that they didn't seem to support any one candidate. I can see the theory that if you hire a bunch of people to shill for a candidate that could be called an in-kind contribution. But, which candidate when you are supporting several and just trying to stir things up? I don't think that falls within the meaning of support for a candidate. Remember, you can shill for issues all you want. Support for a candidate means something that supports that candidate and nothing else.

    Even if you buy it, all you have is the crime of hiring sock puppets in violation of the federal election laws. And that is so ridiculous it is hard to type with a straight face.

  • Calidissident||

    I'm not an expert on campaign finance laws, but do the restrictions against foreign expenditures only apply to direct campaign contributions? Even Americans have to comply with all the regulations around PACs which are organizations independent (legally, at least) of the campaign, so I think it seems plausible they could have violated some of those laws.

  • John||

    Foreign nationals cannot contribute to US campaigns. Now to put that rule into context, Obama's campaign disabled its internet tracing on its website making it impossible to tell if a contribution was from a foreign source and got millions of donations from the website. Not to slam on Obama. My point is, that rule is almost never enforced.

    US citizens can donate to campaigns but the contribution must be recorded and under a $1000. If you call speech in-kind contributions, then yes these guys are guilty. But so is every other American who spoke in support of a candidate and didn't report it. That is why calling speech an in kind contribution is so problematic.

  • Calidissident||

    I'm not talking about contributions to campaigns, I'm talking about independent expenditures. I'm saying that it seems possible they violated laws around that. As I said earlier, there are a bunch of rules regulating independent expenditures, PACs, etc. and I'm saying that I can easily see them violating those laws.

  • Devastator||

    No the joke is people trying to cover for the Russians. I don't understand how any red blooded America sympathizes with those Commie Putin dick sucking assholes.

  • Michael Hihn||

    They sympathized with Trump. Trump's not the only goober who admires authoritarians
    He's got the authoritarian right.

  • ||

    Actually, considering "Rosenstein said at the press conference that there is no evidence that any of this behavior actually altered the election outcome." the standards for actually agitating are exceedingly low and given "fraud preventing federal agencies like the Federal Election Commission and Department of Justice from enforcing laws and disclosure requirements for foreign involvement in domestic issues" seems to be the rational for charges, it would seem that pretty much just being in the country without documentation would constitute a crime.

    Sounds like being in the country and perpetrating fraud against the DOJ or in a manner that inhibits the DOJ from enforcing the law are sufficient to render someone a criminal. Papiere, bitte.

  • John||

    The FBI couldn't be bothered with doing something about Cruz who was announcing to the world he was planning a mass murder, but damn it they are all over Russian sock puppets. What can you do except laugh?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Russians don't get free speech, big difference.

  • John||

    Yes, they do. The 1st Amendment protects everyone within the territory of the United States foreign national and American citizen alike. It only protects American Citizens outside of the US. Inside of the US, everyone has the same protections.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    DAMMIT, JOHN, IT'S A JOKE!

  • John||

    Sorry.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Russian trolls sometimes have trouble identifying humor. /sarc

  • EscherEnigma||

    I didn't realize Free Speech included identity theft, fraud, and circumventing election law.

  • John||

    Free speech includes supporting a candidate even when pretending to be someone you are not. And speech is not an in kind contribution. If it were, every newspaper in America that endorses a candidate would be guilty of campaign finance fraud.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    You're saying they're not?

  • EscherEnigma||

    ... so your defense of identity theft and fraud is that they shouldn't have had to commit identity theft and fraud to do X, wherein X is something that would be legal for an American to do.

    I hope you remember this argument next time you're complaining about "illegals".

  • John||

    I am not making a defense of identity theft. I am saying that you have to do some economic harm to someone or obtain some economic benefit to be guilty of the crime of identity theft.

    And illegal aliens steal people's SS numbers to work all of the time. And immigration advocates have convinced the IRS to accept their fake SS numbers. Anyone who is open borders needs to shut the fuck up about charging internet trolls with identity theft.

  • Brian||

    Ouch. Yeah, let's talk about identify theft as a huge problem. There's no way that's not an implicit endorsement of Trump immigration policy.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Oh, right, it's not like you got comment #1 on this article dismissing the whole thing as merely "sockpuppets" and keep trying to frame it as a free speech issue or anything. I can't imagine why anyone would possibly think you were trying to diminish or minimize the very real crimes committed.

    Most apologies good sir, I shall endeavor to never unfairly blemish your name again.

  • Brian||

    Let's just assume they were committing identity theft and fraud to live and work in the US illegally.

    Are you still upset?

  • EscherEnigma||

    @Brian
    Are you still upset?
    I don't know, are you still beating your wife?

    In case that wasn't clear, you baked a wrong assumption into your question, thus invalidating it.

  • Brian||

    Yawn. Boring quibbling is boring.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Boring? Sure.

    Quibbling? You assumed something about me that wasn't true and then asked a question that only made sense if the assumption was true. That's not quibbling, that's telling you flat-out that your question doesn't make sense.

  • Brian||

    Just keep avoiding any discussion of how serious a serious crime identity theft is.

    Instead, let's talk about... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz snort zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  • Michael Hihn||

    They broke federal law -- as foreigners trying to influence our elections. A law in place since the Cold War. (duh) (Trump ain't the only one desperately inventing LAME excuses)

  • Sam Haysom||

    Too bad the Russians weren't here illegally because you've already made clear your delight at their commiting identity fraud and other offenses.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Yeah... that's not actually a thing I've done.

  • BYODB||


    •But it wasn't all just Trump and Clinton: "They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump."


    Or, in other words, it was just an attempt to generally cause havoc and disruption which is pretty much what everyone that isn't a panicked sheep seems to be saying. Likely the exact same things the CIA does in Russia. They aren't so much pulling for any particular candidate so much as they're trying to disrupt things.


    Why else would they 'support' under-dog candidates that no one thought would win, likely including the actual Russians themselves.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    "it was just an attempt to generally cause havoc and disruption"

    It was actually an attempt to get the losers in the 2016 to cause havoc and disruption. It was incredibly successful.

  • JWatts||

    "It was actually an attempt to get the losers in the 2016 to cause havoc and disruption."

    The losers? Like Hillary Clinton? And all of her supporters in the State Department and apparently the FBI? Yes, very true.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The losers, as in whoever they turned out to be.

  • miketol||

    It wasn't about right versus left. It could have been about disruption but I think it was more likely about nationalism versus globalism.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Guess that means Bernie is out next election.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Oh? After Hillary, who's turn is it next?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump."

    Johnson couldn't even get Putin's interest enough to stir shit about the LP candiate?

  • John||

    Johnson was such a joke, even the Russians didn't take him seriously. Damn, that has to hurt.

  • colorblindkid||

    Yet somehow still less of a joke than Hillary and Trump.

  • John||

    Even the Russians disagreed.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    They even sent out messages on social media to encourage liberals to vote for Jill Stein after Hillary stole the nomination from Bernie.

    Yeah, that would hurt the LP if its leadership were sentient.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Turns out I threw my vote away and even the Russians don't give a shit.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Sad.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.

    Oh hee hee hee man

    The text of the indictment tends to affirm that what Russia was doing here was magnifying already extant cultural rifts in order to make them louder and appear more significant.

    Duh.

  • John||

    Looks like after spending most of his youth and early adulthood trying to be a Russian agent, Bernie finally got his wish. Good for him.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    It took him 70 years, but he finally rose to the level of a useful idiot.

  • John||

    I am totally stealing that. This the best thing I have read in a while. My compliments.

  • BYODB||

    I larfed.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You win the internet for the day.

  • Lachowsky||

    "try to discourage minority groups from voting in the presidential election at all or to vote for third-party candidates."

    Oh No! The Russians got to GayJay too.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    But they were pushing Jill Stein, not GayJay.

  • Lachowsky||

    "try to discourage minority groups from voting in the presidential election at all or to vote for third-party candidates."

    Oh No! The Russians got to GayJay too.

  • Lachowsky||

    The Russian defendants were directed to create "political intensity through supporting radical groups, users dissatisfied with [the] social and economic situation and oppositional social movements."

    All you dissidents on here better watch your backs. You best be posting under your real identity or Mueller is going to get you too.

  • John||

    Tony and Shreek have a list of 20 known Russian sock puppets who post on Hit and Run. And they are turning it over to the FBI. Beware you devious Ruskies. They are onto you!!

  • Lachowsky||

    Rufus, your name better be Rufus you Canuckistani agent.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Luckily for me my real name actually is Cynical Asshole.

  • Billy Bones||

    IDK, but those charges sound an awful lot like the charges EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD can claim about the US.

  • Tony||

    How quickly we become anarchists when our team is threatened with legal action.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You would know, eh comrade?

  • Rhywun||

    This is Spy vs. Spy level silliness. It's probably been going on underneath the radar for decades on both sides and the only reason we're hearing about it out in the open now is because nobody expected Trump to win and the Clinton hacks thought they could use it against him after the fact. What a joke.

  • John||

    Read my link above. It is established fact that Hillary hired people to sock puppet on the internet and put out her talking points. If a Russian doing that is a "fraud upon the United States", why isn't a Hillary employee or anyone else doing it a fraud as well?

    If they want to make lying about who you are on the internet a crime, they better just declare the entire country a prison right now, because no one who isn't living off the grid is going to be innocent of that.

  • Tony||

    It's so fun when you pretend to be obtuse in order to confuse people.

  • John||

    Tony your not understanding the point or not liking it but having nothing to say in response doesn't make the point obtuse. It just makes you stupid and dishonest.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony wallows in stupidity and dishonesty.

  • Tony||

    I'm not a lawyer but I can understand the difference between a campaign using campaign tactics and a foreign government interfering in our election. Back when you used to be a patriot instead of a Trump lapdog you would have cared too.

  • Rebel Scum||

    interfering in our election

    Again, I don't think this phrase means to normal people what it means to you.

  • Tony||

    If by normal you mean you, then it would mean the same thing if they helped Hillary win. Why don't you just try imagining that alternate scenario? Just to make sure you're being objective?

    I mean I realize Trump is like such a fucking fantastic president and all.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump is a pretty good president. Better than Obama, Booosh, Clinton, H.W. Bush, Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, JFK, and FDR and Wilson.

  • Tony||

    You're a joke of a human being.

  • Procyon Rotor||

    Trump is a pretty good president. Better than Obama, Booosh, Clinton, H.W. Bush, Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, JFK, and FDR and Wilson.

    You're not setting the bar very high. Two on that list appear on my top five worst presidents.

  • DesigNate||

    FDR and Wilson?

  • DesigNate||

    It's hard to imagine that alternative scenario because this would literally not be a story right now.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    It's not fraud when you're a major US political party. Only foreigners are the enemy.

    God: it's like you don't even know how this politician stuff works.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    I'm assuming this is only being prosecuted in order to actually show something on the "Russia hacked the election" narrative.

    I also assume that they've done exactly this in every election back to the 50s and that we've done exactly this in countries around the world for at least as long.

    Other than the identity theft there isn't anything here of significance. The rest of it could equally apply to illegal immigrants that worked phone banks during the campaign.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Also from the 1950s until the bitter end of the USSR, thousands of American voters paid attention to the endorsements and disinformation contained in the Daily Worker, The Daily World, and People's World. Anybody who thinks that these publications were free of USSR financing and disinformation is a knucklehead. At the same time, Russia and its satellites were beaming propaganda broadcasts to the US twenty-four hours a day.

    Russian involvement in the 2016 election is just the same old propaganda and agitation with new technology.

    The only truly novel aspect to the current chapter of Russian propaganda and agitation is the American losers in the election have decided to exploit it for their own advantage. Even Nixon did not do that in 1960.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    "from the 1950s until the bitter end of the USSR, thousands of American voters paid attention to the endorsements and disinformation contained in the Daily Worker, The Daily World, and People's World."
    And the effect on presidential elections was the same as "Russian Meddling" in 2016, none.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Sorry, Drumpf voters. This is the beginning of the end of your white nationalist dream. Russia's conspiracy to deny Hillary Clinton her rightful victory is finally being exposed, and its full extent will soon be proved by Mueller. And according to legal experts, Hillary can still become President.

    #TrumpRussia
    #Resist
    #StillWithHer

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Hmmm........not quite over the top enough. Try again.

  • Kivlor||

    That was worth looking at for the keks my dude. Dear God, the left really is unhinged. "How Hillary Clinton can still become President in 2018". Beautiful. I hope they keep it up. Dems should openly campaign "We'll nullify the 2016 election and declare Hillary President" all this year. So I can watch them burn what's left of their party to the ground.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    KEEP HOPE ALIVE!

  • Tony||

    "Rosenstein said at the press conference that there is no evidence that any of this behavior actually altered the election outcome."

    Nope, that's not what he said. He said:

    "There is no allegation in this indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."

    See the difference?

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    "See the difference?"
    The one without a distinction?

  • SIV||

    So the Russkies supported GayJay?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It appears GayJay wasn't even an afterthought for them.

  • SIV||

    They encouraged minorities to vote third party.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    The indictment on names Jill Stein, not GayJay.

  • Rebel Scum||

    GayJay's running mate was doing enough to stir the pot with his shilling for Her Shrillness.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Let me get this straight. The only thing they did wrong was hail from Russia while doing those things? Because I'm not seeing anything on the list that isn't ordinarily done by Americans during election season.

  • John||

    Yes, that about sums it up.

  • EscherEnigma||

    They used both fabricated and stolen identities to set up personas, social media accounts, and bank accounts for the purpose of making it appear that they were politically engaged American grass-roots activists.


    The closest you got to "ordinarily done by Americans" is setting up "fake" social media accounts. But even then, most folks don't steal identities to do so. And certainly don't set-up bank accounts under aliases.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    All of which were crucial to changing the election outcome, and we have already known!

  • Rhywun||

    Stupid question - why would you need to "steal an identity" to join Facebook or Twitter? I don't recall them ever asking for my birth certificate.

  • EscherEnigma||

    The identity theft was probably for the other stuff.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They didn't want it to be immediately obvious that it was Russia doing this. They wanted Americans to think they were talking to Americans.

  • SIV||

    I'm a Russian 'bot !

  • Azathoth!!||

    Here, let's parse that so EE can understand--

    They used both fabricated and stolen identities to set up personas,


    They copied names or made up names--there's a reason why he's 'therealDonaldTrump'--because Russian spies are DonaldTrump, DonaldJTrump, donaldtrump , etc, etc, ad infinitum.

    This is a pastime for people from everywhere. Calling it 'identity theft' is grasping at single-use straws in California.
  • EscherEnigma||

    Yes. That is literally the least of what they did.

    It is not the most that they did.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Pretty much. Oh, and a bit of fraud and money laundering to pay for it.

    But mostly just stuff that would have been civil liberties if Americans did them.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Yea suddenly those lines on the map arent so imaginary.

  • ancestrialLocke||

    I thought (and feared) that I was the only one who noticed that.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Sockpuppeting and trolling are officially against the law now? Tulpa better watch his ass.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Prove to me you're really Cynical Asshole!

  • John||

    Where is the RICO indictment of Mary Stack or whoever the hell she is?

  • EscherEnigma||

    If you commit identity theft to do so, and use the "sockpuppet" to open a bank account? Yeah, that's illegal.

  • John||

    Sure. But that is a financial crime, not a political one.

  • Tony||

    WTF is a political crime?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Whenever you vote Tony.

  • Brian||

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Whenever the "wrong" person wins an election, duh.

    THERE STEELING R DEMOKRASSY!

  • EscherEnigma||

    They aren't being charged in political court, dude.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The lefties cannot even get a political witchhunt to go their way.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    The text of the indictment tends to affirm that what Russia was doing here was magnifying already extant cultural rifts in order to make them louder and appear more significant.

    My understanding is that that's a fairly common tactic in espionage anytime you're looking to manipulate a target country's population. Pretty sure the CIA has used it as well in all kinds of places all over the world.

  • Rhywun||

    Of course. And Russia's been doing it here too. This would have never seen the light of day under ordinary circumstances.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I've read the indictment from beginning to end. It states that the conspirators goal was, "spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general."

    To that end they mostly, but not exclusively, concentrated on attacking Hillary, and advancing Bernie, Stein, and Trump, at a time when everybody was assuming Hillary was going to win.

    Then Trump, surprisingly, won. And the conspiracy switched their emphasis to, again mostly but not exclusively, attacking Trump and encouraging the belief that the election had been stolen.

    The goal here wasn't to help Trump. It was to try to make the nation ungovernable regardless of who won.

  • John||

    Unless you want to say foreign nationals have no free speech rights, even if all of that is true, it is still not a crime. This is the sort of stuff that gets you kicked out of the country along with a few diplomats accompanied by a nasty diplomatic note. None of this was a crime or any worse or different than what the US does to other countries on a daily basis.

    The whole thing is a fucking joke.

  • Tony||

    Look at the big picture dude since the detail is apparently confusing you. The Russians' motive was to weaken America. And we're not the first country they've done this to. You would care if the president were a Democrat. Let's just not pretend like that's not the case.

  • Rhywun||

    Did you notice they started in 2014. None of this has anything to do with who the current president is.

  • Tony||

    I didn't say that, I said John's opinion on the matter has entirely to do with the letter after the president's name.

  • retiredfire||

    And, of course, yours doesn't?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Did you notice they started in 2014.

    You trolling Trump's crazy bullshit. (lol)
    In 2014, there were no candidates to pick, so they laid the plans ... then picked Trump and Bernie, a Russian ass-kisser and a socialist.

  • Rebel Scum||

    The Russians' motive was to weaken America.

    Irrelevant. But if they could "weaken America" with internet trolls, we don't deserve to be.

  • Tony||

    All elections are about persuasion.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I thought elections were about voting?

  • Michael Hihn||

    You actually said that IN PUBLIC?
    Trump ran all over America so he could VOTE?

  • Sam Haysom||

    This is what electoral panic looks like.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    It wouldn't be weakening America if Hillary, the DNC, the mainstream media, and trolls like Tony did not use the fact that the Russians are into agitation and propaganda as weapon against the real object of their hatred, Trump.

    If progressives would have been able to just let go of their seething hate of Trump and his supporters, the Russian conspiracy to "weaken America" would have come to naught.

  • Hank Phillips||

    All the Russians (and former buffer slaves) I know are out to weaken Socialism, now that the truth has leaked out. Orwell predicted this in Through a Glass Rosily. Orwells 4 Volumes of letters--with index Bowdlerized to omit numerous references to communist nuclear weapons in the letters themselves--are online in a Wordpress blog and at Australian Gutenberg.org

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I suppose Mueller has to make it look like he has something tangible to show for a year long investigation and millions of dollars spent.

  • John||

    That is really all that is going on here. He can now say "my investigation resulted in 13 indictments".

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I think you actually need to read the indictment. I'll wait, it wasn't all that long, just 37 pages.

    They committed fraud, money laundering, and identity theft. Even if they'd had a right to the speech this was financing, they'd be in legal trouble.

  • John||

    I read the indictment. And lots of people commit fraud and money laundering. That, however, has nothing to do with what Mueller was charged to investigate. The whole point of this thing was Russian involvement in the election. And all they have to show about that is a bunch of sock puppets. The fact that the sock puppets committed some financial crimes doesn't make Mueller and his team look any less ridiculous.

  • Tony||

    So when the rest of the indictments come down he'll stop looking ridiculous?

  • TLBD||

    Rest of what indictments? Don Jr is the only one that could conceivably be indicted at this point. And that is highly doubtful since what he did isn't illegal AND he gave full and open transparency on Trump Tower meeting.

  • Tony||

    "Chelsea is the only one who could conceivably be indicted at this point! What's the big deal man?"

    Get some perspective man. It's your government.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Is Hillary getting indicted then?

  • Tony||

    Wait... are you a Russian troll?? Like, from the "Be really stupid so the stupids will like you" team?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    It states that the conspirators goal was, "spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general."

    Mission accomplished, it seems. Sadly, even after finding out they've been manipulated most people will still keep up spewing the same horseshit as always.

  • Cyto||

    Nobody finds out that they were manipulated. Only the other guy is ever manipulated.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    I didn't know the Washington establishment was into conspiracy theories. I always assumed that was the domain of 50 year olds living in their bunker in sheboigan.

  • Deflator Mouse||

    I've read the indictment from beginning to end. It states that the conspirators goal was, "spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general."

    That distrust already existed a long time ago. Part of me thinks that this bullshit Russiagate investigation is intended to imply that anyone who distrusts the US government is a Russia sympathizer.

  • Procyon Rotor||

    "spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general."

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. These people don't deserve an indictment, they deserve a nice gift basket and a thank you card.

  • Sevo||

    Yep, those darn Russki socks sread the word about that miserable hag. And she's still PISSED! As are Tony and turd.

  • Michael Hihn||

    No act is too low for the Trumptards. America's facsists

    The parallels between fascism and alt-right Trumpism are many
    1) Nationalism
    2) Deutschland Uber Alles and America First (uber alles means above all).
    3) Hitler's master race and white supremacy.
    4) Anti-semitism and homophobia, Islamophobia.
    5) A strong-man leader and a strong-man leader.

    Both ONLY the alt-right fights to DEMAND a seat at the teat.

    I say that not for the labels, but WHY Trumpism is a severe threat to American values.
    Yes, Trump is not Hitler. But neither was Mussolini.

  • Michael Hihn||

    They're sowing the seeds of discord, not even colluding with anyone.

    You haven't been following the news for over a year?

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    All of you Russian trollz will rue the day you commented on the intertubes and Facesmash against our true president, Hillary Clinton!

  • Michael Hihn||

    Your time has expired, for LAME trolling.

  • ||

    So, legislation to further (inter)nationalize the internet, right?

    It makes for more publicity where social media ingratiates itself with truth and honesty both here and abroad, making sure Russians post as Russians and Americans post as Americans. It *both* justifies social media sharing data with the intelligence community as civic duty *and* proliferates endlessly the boogeymen botnets the NSA has to chase down and stamp out to prevent the illusion of election influencing.

    Sockpuppets will be OK as long as they're American sock puppets on American issues and Russian sock puppets on Russian ones (etc.). Internet passports soon to follow.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    So, legislation to further (inter)nationalize the internet, right?

    Oh, I'm sure some progtards will somehow try to tie Net Neutrality into this.

    "IF WE HAD NET NUETRALLITY NUN OF THIS WUD HAV HAPENNED!!111!111!!!!!11!!!!" /tards

  • Brian||

    Ok, all you vocal Hillary Clinton supports and Mueller fanboys. Your prize is: 16 Russian trolls!

    * massive applause, standing ovation *

  • 55||

    Damn, you don't even remember that Flynn (Trump's National Security Advisor), Manafort (Trump's Campaign Manager) and Papadopoulos (Trump foreign policy advisor) were indicted and two of them are working with Mueller.

  • John||

    Mueller has got the goods. He just hasn't leaked any of it even though he has leaked everything else out of kindness. That and he is playing 4D chess. It couldn't be that he doesn't have shit or anything. Nope. It must be true because it is what you want to believe is true.

  • 55||

    You're putting words in my mouth and then pretending like I actually said it. It's sad teally.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Where did this moron come from, John?

  • Michael Hihn||

    though he has leaked everything else out of kindness.

    Is it "kindness" that forces you to post bullshit like that?
    Or desperation?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Of course I remember it. Manafort got caught laundering money he'd gotten before he joined the Trump campaign, and Flynn was sucked into a perjury trap of the sort that explains why, if an FBI agents asks you the time of day, you say, "Talk to my lawyer!".

    No question Manafort is guilty of something. But if they went after everybody in D.C. who was guilty of the same kind of offenses, they'd solve that traffic problem.

    And the only reason Flynn pled guilty is that they were bankrupting him with legal expenses.

  • Michael Hihn||

    And the only reason Flynn pled guilty is that they were bankrupting him with legal expenses.

    (lol) Do you have ANY shame? Any at all? Never knew how they used his son's guilt to get him?

  • Eeyore||

    They uncovered that a social media marketing firm was engaged in social media marketing?

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Truth hurts, biatches!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    In Mother Russia the marketing engages you!

  • John||

    But it was a Russian social media marketing firm. It was Russian. Don't you see what is going on here!

  • ||

    You either see what's going on here or their plan worked.

  • Michael Hihn||

    They uncovered that a social media marketing firm was engaged in social media marketing?

    You cannot be THAT silly.

    The firm was created to promote Trump. Don;t forget, he won the electoral college by a mere 29,000 switched votes.
    Oh? You never knew that?

  • 55||

    Who fucking knows, but it sure seems like this indictment sets the table for indictments relating to the collusion during the Trump Tower meeting. In that case the Americans were not unwitting participants. They were told the Russian govt wanted to help. They accepted the offer and then they lied about it and tried to obstruct an investigation into it all.

  • 55||

    The adoption language was a cover for relief from sanctions. Flynn may be the key to it all if he has knowledge of some agreement to lift those sanctions. We'll see. How exactly are Flynn and Papadopoulos cooperating?

  • Sam Haysom||

    Wish upon that star all you want but just know reality is a comin and it isn't going to use lube.

  • Michael Hihn||

    The adoption language was a cover for relief from sanctions.

    And the President lied about it. himself/

  • Tony||

    From Bloomberg News:

    "Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his prosecutors haven't concluded their investigation into whether President Donald Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election, according to a person with knowledge of the probe.

    "Friday's indictment of a St. Petersburg-based "troll farm" and 13 Russian nationals should be seen as a limited slice of a comprehensive investigation, the person said. Mueller's work is expected to continue for months and also includes examining potential obstruction of justice by Trump, said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss an investigation that is largely confidential."

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I have a hot air popcorn-popper at my house, which i imagine will be getting some use in the coming months.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Smoker. I want chicken wings.

  • John||

    It is going to be more pathetic than entertaining. But if you find that stuff entertaining, more power to you.

  • 55||

    Yeah, that seems pretty obvious.

  • John||

    Obstruction!! You people's delusion and misery are so entertaining. Don't stop believing man. Don't stop. Whatever you do, don't bother to give anyone a reason to ever vote Democrat again. Just keep dreaming you are going to indict Trump.

  • 55||

    Flynn's indictment and cooperation is all a dream.

  • Tony||

    I have a burning need to know what you were up to during the Lewinsky saga.

  • Procyon Rotor||

    Can't speak for John, but I was watching the president commit felony perjury on national television. Bit of a different animal from what's going on now.

  • Tony||

    Now, now, Mr. Clinton was acquitted.

  • Michael Hihn||

    "Former President Clinton was never convicted of perjury, but this isn't to say he escaped unscathed by lying. He was cited for contempt of court, including a $90,000 fine, and he later agreed to a plea bargain with the Office of the Independent Counsel under which his Arkansas law license was suspended for five years."

  • Michael Hihn||

    Bit of a different animal from what's going on now.

    Only about 1% as severe.

  • Brian||

    OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Of course they haven't concluded it. Until they can get somebody currently in the administration on SOMETHING, even if it's illegal double parking, they're going to keep it up.

    Besides, as long as the investigation is active, they can construe any personnel changes Trump tries to make at the DOJ or FBI as "obstruction of justice", and so partially keep the prior administration in power.

  • Mark22||

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his prosecutors haven't concluded their investigation into whether President Donald Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election, according to a person with knowledge of the probe.

    They may find that Hillary "why aren't I 50 points ahead" Clinton colluded with the Russians to help Trump win the primary, on the mistaken belief that she would easily win against him.

    (Gosh, Hillary is annoying. Just not having to listen to that whiny, self-righteous, lying jerk day in and day out is a blessing.)

  • Michael Hihn||

    MOAR TRUMPIAN CONSPIRACIES!
    IT WAS REPUBLICANS WHO FINANCED THE ORIGINAL DOSSIER, LATER SOLD (AGAIN) TO THE HILLARY CAMPAIGN

  • John C. Randolph||

    Are any of these people in the USA currently and likely to appear at a trial?

    -jcr

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That is someone else's problem, not Mueller's.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Are any of these people in the USA currently and likely to appear at a trial?

    All but 4 or 5.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Welp there is always 2024 cosmos.

  • Tony||

    I gather from these comments that not only is Trump the Libertarian President, he's so great that libertarians have to desperately grasp at straws to play down this investigation on his behalf.

    Is that what it is to be a libertarian? I'm only asking because I'm interested.

  • TLBD||

    Trump is alright, but the thing that I love about this whole thing is how fucking corrupt, juvenile, and bush league the big bad government is.

    Trillions of dollars and the best they could come up with is a fucking rehashed Cold War propaganda tactic? Meanwhile, all they really did is show their asses.

  • Tony||

    But they're not close to being done, or aren't you paying the slightest fucking attention to anything?

    And how is Trump not the government?

  • TLBD||

    OH, I know it isn't done yet. It just isn't going to go the way you think it will. FISA abuse, spying on incoming administration, spying on current president, based off a phony opposition dossier... And if Obama was willing to do this for Hillary, what did he do for himself in 2012? There is still plenty of investigating to be done.

  • Tony||

    Do America a favor and start reading consuming news and not the rightwing propaganda crap you've been snacking on.

  • TLBD||

    You're the one who thinks Trump, a 1990s Democrat, is an existential threat to the republic. You think a multi-billionaire is so stupid that he'll push a nuclear button by accident. You think that Trump simultaneously never wanted to be president and he colluded with Russians to win. You think said multi-billionaire with all the money in the world would use Russian bots to steal an election, when he could have easily just started his own "Correct the Record".

    Who has been feeding on propaganda? Try not being such a fucking tool, Tony.

    The FISA abuse, the Steele Dossier circle jerk, those things are real, documented and available to the public. All you have is CNN propaganda that doesn't even make any fucking sense.

  • Tony||

    I just can't get to "Bob Mueller is in on the conspiracy." And Trump doesn't have any billions of dollars.

  • TLBD||

    Bob Mueller does not have to be in on any conspiracy, I'm not sure why you think that. He very well could just be a boy scout trying to do his job.

    Also, if you think Trump is actually broke, please provide proof. Pretty much every source on the planet says he is worth billions. Even if he weren't one of his many PACs could have, which is how CTR works, I believe.

  • Cyto||

    I just can't get to "Bob Mueller is in on the conspiracy." And Trump doesn't have any billions of dollars.

    The allegation isn't that Trump doesn't have billions. It is that he isn't worth anywhere close to his claimed ten billion. Estimates seem to run around 2-3. That's plenty enough to be able to buy whatever you might want, presumably even an election. And yet he spent less than half of what the Democrats spent trying to put their candidate in the White House.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Sounds to me like the Ruskie back home were getting pranked, too.

    Getting paid to muster controversy between SJWs and Trump supporters is like getting paid to teach fish how to swim.

    All those fish you see swimming in the ocean, yeah, well I taught them how to do that--while I wasn't busy tricking anti-fa and the alt-right into hating each other.

    . . . now give me my fucking paycheck.

  • retiredfire||

    The commies have been doing stuff to fuck up America for decades, usually by getting their useful idiots into the streets and watching the equally idiotic media act as though they are the voice of real America.
    Remember the Vietnam protests, that were really orchestrated by communist sympathizers?
    That resulted in the waste of tens of thousands of American lives and allowed the commies to wreak havoc throughout Southeast Asia.
    This stuff ain't shit compared to that.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Remember the Vietnam protests, that were really orchestrated by communist sympathizers?

    You're full of shit, sonny.

    That resulted in the waste of tens of thousands of American lives and allowed the commies to wreak havoc throughout Southeast Asia.

    And hopelessly naive.

  • Sevo||

    "I gather from these comments that not only is Trump the Libertarian President, he's so great that libertarians have to desperately grasp at straws to play down this investigation on his behalf."

    I gather from your comments you're a loser and a fucking lefty imbecile who never saw met a strawman he woulndn't beat up in order to avoid admitting that he IS a fucking lefty imbecile.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Do not confuse 90% of the commentariat here with libertarians. They'e alt-right, which is fascist.

    The parallels between fascism and alt-right Trumpism are many
    1) Nationalism
    2) Deutschland Uber Alles and America First (uber alles means above all).
    3) Hitler's master race and white supremacy.
    4) Anti-semitism and homophobia, Islamophobia.
    5) A strong-man leader

    I say that not for the labels, but WHY Trumpism is a severe threat to American values.
    Yes, Trump is not Hitler. But neither was Mussolini.

  • retiredfire||

    Don't confuse yourself with the idea that you are anything but a complete nutjob.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Don't confuse yourself with the idea that you are anything but a complete nutjob.

    As the fascist proves me correct!

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Fascist" means "anything but communist" in modern leftist parlance. It's becoming almost as meaningless as "racist".

  • Michael Hihn||

    What do leftists have to do with this?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Those aren't libertarians. They're the authoritarian right.
    Many are from Ron Paul's cult -- Ron being the spiritual godfather of the alt-right

  • Ken Shultz||

    The charge of trying to influence a campaign doesn't really impress me. I've been trying to influence the outcome of campaigns all my life.

    Also, can you imagine how the people of Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia, Russia, Iraq, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Argentina, Iran, and elsewhere feel about listening to the U.S. complain about outsiders trying to influence our elections.

    Jesus Christ, we're hypocrites.

    "Identity theft" usually refers to credit fraud. If anything like that happened, I hope the criminals are brought to justice, but I'm not sure pretending to be somebody else amounts to "identity theft" of and by itself.

    Is it "identity theft" if Chelsea Clinton pretends to be someone named Diane Reynolds?

    Sounds to me like they were pranking political operatives, which if it weren't the subject of a special counsel investigation might be funny under other circumstances.

    If this is all the special prosecutor has uncovered, I suggest he return whatever fees he's already accepted for his services and go bury his head in a hole.

  • Tony||

    Presumably in your own warped way you, a citizen, were trying to influence American elections for the good of America. See if you can spot the distinctions.

    We're hypocrites, so let's just not have any laws why don't we?

    "Just a prank!" sounds good. I like it. Pretty slim pickings on the pathetic apologetics buffet.

  • TLBD||

    We're hypocrites because we probably spend BILLIONS of dollars influencing other elections, while some Russian social media company spent what, 180k?

  • Michael Hihn||

    while some Russian social media company spent what, 180k?
    (snort) $1.25 million per month.
  • Ken Shultz||

    Actually, I want the government to fire half its staff tomorrow and leave them to walk around in circles, useless as they are until they starve to death.

    I want Barack Obama charged with violating the Fourth Amendment rights of 300 million Americans.

    I want Bush Jr. tried for torture and war crimes.

    I want the income tax, the corporate tax, and the capital gains tax all abolished tomorrow, and I want to phase out social security, food stamps, and rent subsidies.

    Because Washington isn't in flames because of rioting government employees, who know they're useless and would never be hired by anyone in their right minds--and have been permanently laid off--we know that the true source of our problems isn't really being addressed.

    When welfare queens become to afraid to have children for fear that they can't clothe, house, feed, or educate them, then we'll know we're making progress.

    You're right. I am advocating for what's best for this country.

  • Tony||

    Maybe "warped" wasn't strong enough.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony hates America and Americans.

    What is the KGB up to these days, Tony? Or should I say Putin?

  • Tony||

    Do you have any idea what's going on? I mean, like, in the immediate vicinity of your face?

  • Michael Hihn||

    ls1789 is a massive goober. The Authoritarian Right. He just defended the blatant statism of Ken Shulz, shitting (again) on the most fundamental concepts of individual liberty -- consent of the governed and will of the people.

    Calls his own father a "selfish shit" for not connecting Social Security and Medicare to America's "crushing debt" ... but defends over $2 trillion in NEW debt, to enrich himself .. paid for by debt on his own children and grandchildren.

    Another phony who CLAIMS to love the Constitution ... and to be libertarian .. while arguing to cut his father's benefits AND saddle his own kids with massive debt .. BOTH to enrich himself. It's the NEW Entitlement Mentality .. even more irresponsible than your hard-core left (who rob "only" your children and grandchildren, not your own parents)

    And they're SO self-righteous. To be pitied, scorned or ridiculed?.

  • Mark22||

    Presumably in your own warped way you, a citizen, were trying to influence American elections for the good of America. See if you can spot the distinctions.

    No, I can't spot the distinctions. For example, the best people to warn Americans against the dangers of socialism and fascism are obviously not Americans but people who have experienced socialism and fascism first hand.

    The First Amendment doesn't just protect the ability of Americans to speak on issues, it also protects the ability of Americans to hear a large variety of viewpoints, including foreign viewpoints.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Says the fascist with admirable candor.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    MR KISSOF,

    Were you or were you not in fact a Russian in October 2016, and did you or did you not troll the comment section of said Huffington Post on November 27, 2016?!! YES OR NO!

  • Definitely Not Tulpa||

    "The Russian defendants came to the United States to gather intelligence on political and social issues in the United States, but misled the U.S. government about their reasons for being in the country."

    Why the fuck did they need to bother coming to the US just to troll on the internet?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just like government employees everywhere, you don't justify your budget by doing nothing and telling your boss that your efforts are worthless.

    If it wasn't for the Ruskies, we'd all think Hillary Clinton wasn't a crook and hasn't been since her days in Arkansas. If it wasn't for the Ruskies, the white, blue collar, middle class would have no idea that both Hillary Clinton and the SJWs hate them for being white, blue collar, middle class, deplorables--why can't you see that?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Why the fuck did they need to bother coming to the US just to troll on the internet?

    Even Tulpa never asked anything THAT dumb.

    Read the story on this page and get back to us.

  • TLBD||

    So what is the legal difference between an illegal immigrant making signs for DACA legislation and a Russian coming to the US to hand out signs?

  • Calidissident||

    As far as I understand, the charge isn't that it's illegal for a Russian to comment on an election on the Internet. It's that they spent money on this operation in violation of campaign finance laws (not that difficult to believe, even post-Citizens United there are a lot of regulations around PACs and independent expenditures that I'm sure they didn't comply with), failing to register as foreign agents (this I admit I'm not sure on the exact requirements), lying on immigration forms, and committing identity theft and bank/wire fraud to facilitate the funding and conceal the Russian origin.

  • Deflator Mouse||

    Most of those charges look like bullshit. Giving false answers on a Twitter account form is not fraud. Fraud requires an exchange of value to have taken place.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Most of those charges look like bullshit.

    As you then expose your own bullshit!

    Giving false answers on a Twitter account form is not fraud

    (snort) Did anyone say it was?

    Was it easy for you to IGNORE everything he said ...and float such blatant bullshit?
    Why are all Trumpsters so dishonest? And/or so easily brainwashed?

  • Sevo||

    "...It's that they spent money on this operation in violation of campaign finance laws..."

    Why, it's almost as if Mueller is grasping at straws to justify his continued employment!
    Well, maybe more than "almost".

  • Michael Hihn||

    Only Sevo could call so many indictments ... by a grand jury .. straws! (lol)
    (Severe denial is a mental disorder)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Did Mueller mention the end game? Why would the Russians want Trump? Or anyone else?

    Americans politics can be very unpredictable as Trump beating Hillary proves.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Did Mueller mention the end game? Why would the Russians want Trump?

    Because they own him. His entire fortune, after bankruptcy, was financed by Deutsche Bank, a proven money-launderer of Russian money -- because US banks refused to finance him.

    And he PUBLICLY asked Russia to hack Hillary's emails, which they did, as the source for the Wikileaks releases.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    They didn't "want Trump", they were promoting Trump at a time everybody thought he was going to lose.

    They just wanted whoever won to be hobbled by the losers refusing to accept the result of the election.

  • Michael Hihn||

    They didn't "want Trump", they were promoting Trump

    Oh.

  • Mark22||

    And he PUBLICLY asked Russia to hack Hillary's emails, which they did, as the source for the Wikileaks releases.

    The Russians broke into Democratic E-mail accounts on March 19, 2016. Trump joked about Russia breaking into Hillary's servers on July 27, 2016. Separately, Hillary had been subject to foreign hacking since at least 2011, again since long before Trump joked about anything. So your timeline is bullshit.

    Furthermore, I see nothing wrong with the release of those E-mails: they establish clearly that Democrats were incompetent when it came to protecting sensitive information, and that they were lying repeatedly to the American people; both are legitimate reasons for Hillary to have lost. Whether it was the Russians, the Norwegians, or the Easter Bunny who released that information is immaterial to the truth of that material.

  • Michael Hihn||

    And he PUBLICLY asked Russia to hack Hillary's emails, which they did, as the source for the Wikileaks releases.

    The Russians broke into Democratic E-mail accounts on March 19, 2016. Trump joked about Russia breaking into Hillary's servers on July 27, 2016.

    (sneer)

  • Deflator Mouse||

    It's obvious why they didn't want Hillary -- she had promised to continue the Obama admin's very anti-Russian foreign policy.

  • Michael Hihn||

    And that justifies Russian interference ... how? When Trump owes his entire fortune to Russians>

    Don't forget, despite Trump's crazy bullshit of an "Electoral College landslide", Hillary would have won if a mere 29,000 votes were switched, in three states combined.

    As Republicans REFUSE to deal with Russian influence in this years' election. How shameful, that it's now REPUBLICANS who align with the Rooskies.

    Left-Right=Zero
    Power corrupts.

  • Sevo||

    "And that justifies Russian interference ... how? When Trump owes his entire fortune to Russians>"
    I'm sure a fucking idiot like MIke has evidence of this which every other TDS sufferer has missed, right fucking idiot?

    "Don't forget, despite Trump's crazy bullshit of an "Electoral College landslide", Hillary would have won if a mere 29,000 votes were switched, in three states combined."
    Gee, Mike, you forgot to include her votes for 'Worst Golfer' at the Little Rock CC and several other irrelevant numbers. How did you get so stupid?

    "As Republicans REFUSE to deal with Russian influence in this years' election. How shameful, that it's now REPUBLICANS who align with the Rooskies."
    Yep, a dozen Russki sock-puppets turned the US against that hag! You heard it here, uh, the 500th time from one more loser.

    "Left-Right=Zero"
    All ONE! All ONE!

    "Power corrupts."
    Keep throwing shit at the wall, Mike. You finally got something to stick.
    Fucking idiot....

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yep, a dozen Russki sock-puppets

    (snort) Spending $1.25 million per month.
    "sock puppets" (lol)

  • Sevo||

    "(snort) Spending $1.25 million per month.
    "sock puppets" (lol)"

    Uh, Mike, do you have any cite which shows that number to be real AND that the number means anything to someone not suffering TDS?
    I've looked around and not found anything to suggest it's other than a result of your mental issues.

  • Michael Hihn||

    ANOTHER SEVO FUCKUP!!! Bully falls on his puss AGAIN

    Sevo, doesn't follow the news -- so claims it never happened. Like closing his eyes and YELLING there is no universe.

    It's in the fucking indictments ... dipshit ... the money spent by the Russians to influence our election ... $1.25 million per MONTH .... what YOU called sock puppets. ... in your latest aggression HERE! (BWAAAAA HAAAAA)

    THIS LINK IS THE RESULTS OF A GOOGLE SEARCH ... SHOWING ALL THE NEWS STORIES WHICH DEFINE THE EXTENT OF YOUR NEVER-ENDING IGNORANCE, GOOBER

    Do you slurp while sucking Trump's cock, you pathetic LOSER.

  • Michael Hihn||

    I REALLY feel guilty ... making fun of the mentally handicapped.
    But ... it's self-defense ... from his non-stop aggression.

    Aggression The action or an act of attacking without provocation

    Verbal hostility, or in other words, verbal harassment or abuse is basically a negative defining statement told to or about you or withholding a response and pretending the abuse is not happening.

    Defense capability of resisting attack

    Cyberbullying The act of bullying someone through electronic means (as by posting mean or threatening messages about the person online)

    Stalker A person who harasses or persecutes someone with unwanted and obsessive attention

    psychopath
    1. A person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behaviour.
    2. The Authoritarian Left
    3. The Authoritarian Right

    Left - Right = Zero

  • Mark22||

    Did Mueller mention the end game? Why would the Russians want Trump? Or anyone else?

    The Russians wanted to create political instability by propping up what people universally believed to be joke candidates like Trump and Sanders.

    Hillary doubtlessly liked foreign governments propping up Trump, because she believed that Trump would be the easiest candidate to run against. So, it wouldn't be surprising if Mueller finds collusion between Hillary's campaign and the Russians, at least during the primaries.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Hillary doubtlessly liked foreign governments propping up Trump, because she believed that Trump would be the easiest candidate to run against

    FAKE NEWS! Your timeline sucks

  • Rossami||

    This will not end well. To be blunt, the US has unclean hands. We interfere with other countries' elections all the time. And sometimes, frankly we should. Even if it's dismissed, the mere filing of this case is going to create a precedent that will hurt the US far more than it can possibly help.

  • Tony||

    How?

    "The US does it too!"

    Sounds like something a Russian would say.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Sounds like something a Russian would say.

    Or a Trumpster (same thing)

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Sounds like something anybody who wasn't ignorant of international relations would say. Take a look sometime at the efforts Obama made to try to defeat Netanyahu.

    On a larger scale than the Russian effort, per capita. In violation of Israel's laws. And Israel is an ally!

    What Russian was doing might be illegal under US law, but it's nothing new, and we DO do it, too. Even to our nominal friends.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (lol) The same Netanyahu, who's about to be indicted for bribery and breach of trust?
    Your link doesn't back up your assertion. The money was to a group to support Israel-Palestine peace negotiations, which is probably why the Washington Times used so dishonest a headline. And why you trolled it.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    What a F*cking Joke!

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yes. But he IS President.
    And his Veep is the American Taliban.

  • Deflator Mouse||

    Mueller is possibly the world's giantest douchebag, but I have to admit this is diabolical genius. They aren't able to actually try any of these indictments as the defendants are in Russia, so the indictments will just float out there in the land of leftist talking points, without any requirement to present evidence. And the indictments provide a retort to the question of what Mueller has produced with his year-and-counting investigation.

  • Michael Hihn||

    as the defendants are in Russia,

    And the moon is made out of green cheese! (lol)

  • Mark22||

    so the indictments will just float out there in the land of leftist talking points, without any requirement to present evidence

    Worse yet, without any First Amendment challenge going all the way up to SCOTUS.

    This indictment basically makes political speech that the US government doesn't like or that the government perceives to "sow discord and undermine the public's trust in democracy" a "conspiracy to defraud the United States". The fact that the defendants are foreigners is immaterial. Any small government conservative and any libertarian might be found guilty of "sowing discord and undermining the public's trust in democracy". This is chilling.

    Note that the indictment switches between various mentions of violations of election law by foreign agents to a "conspiracy to defraud the United States", which is a completely different statute.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Hey, Trumpster Troll. Federal law forbids foreigners from influencing our elections, (Congress is not as stupid as Trump and his trolls)

    "Federal election law specifically forbids foreign governments and foreign political parties, corporations, associations, and individuals from contributing, donating, or spending funds in connection with any local, state, or federal election in the United States. The prohibition includes either direct or indirect contributions. In addition, it is unlawful to assist foreign nationals in violating the ban or to solicit, receive, or accept contribution or donations from them. As an exception, an immigrant who has a "green card" indicating lawful permanent residence in the United States can make contributions."

    Anything else?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Excellent! I'll look for verse and chapter and on that basis try to get resident aliens to donate to the one political party that espouses neither religious nor lay socialism. Meanwhile, please, let the calico and gingham fly!

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Americans need to be protected from foreign ideas!
    We need to build a Great Big Beautiful Internet Wall, to keep them from corrupting our precious bodily fluids!"

  • buybuydandavis||

    When are we going to investigate the interference of Mexican foreign nationals in our elections?

  • Michael Hihn||

    (vomits in laughter)

  • ancestrialLocke||

    If you had to sum of Mueller's indictments they would basically be the federal government charged someone for engaging in their first amendment rights because these russians might have been foreigners but the first amendment applies to citizens and non-citizens alike. Russian citizens who have came here as legal immigrants under visas have the right to participate in our elections and political process just like illegal immigrants who participate in rallies to promote illegal immigration.

    One might say that these were people acting under the command of another government but if that was the case why weren't they charged espionage. They weren't because Mueller can't prove they were working under the direct control of the russian government and that means that these were private russian citizens expressing their right to speak freely in this country which is something I thought everyone would agree with in this country.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Locke is puking in his grave.
    So is Jefferson.

    You have no clue what evidence Mueller has. Sad!

  • Rockabilly||

    Mueller's evidence will show that Trump is Putin's puppet.

    Trump will be impeached.

    Hillary Clinton will become the first womyn president because Trump cheated.

    Bill Clinton will become the first male First Lady.

    And the climate will be controlled

    and so will the guns

    health care will be a right

    and the sun will sleep at night

    knowing that America is just all right

  • Michael Hihn||

    And psychos will have drool dripping off their chins.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Whataboutism = the moral bankruptcy of the alt-right. American fascism.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Hillary is the Vice President! Who knew?

    Actually, we'd get Pence. And the Christian Taliban. The real thing that Congressional Republicans fear most.

  • Mark22||

    the first amendment applies to citizens and non-citizens alike.

    The First Amendment doesn't "apply to" citizens or non-citizens, it applies to government. The First Amendment doesn't give you a right to free speech, the First Amendment prohibits the US government from interfering with free speech. As such, it prohibits the the US government from interfering with free speech from anybody: Americans, Russians, parrots. And as such, the First Amendment is as much about Americans being able to hear different views as it is about Americans being able to publish them. But that's not the same as a "free speech right": Russians don't magically acquire a "right to free speech" just because the US has a First Amendment.

    One might say that these were people acting under the command of another government but if that was the case why weren't they charged espionage.

    I don't see why that should make a difference; foreign governments interfere in US elections through speech and money all the time. A large part of Europe's leading politicians and academics spoke out in favor of Hillary and against Trump during the election. Several European governments gave massive amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation. Are you going to indict those people too?

    For that matter, the US government interferes in pretty much every important foreign election, through government propaganda, spending, and even threats of violence.

  • Michael Hihn||

    MOAR bullshit from Trumpster Troll
    Federal law forbids foreign infuence in our elections,
    (Congress is not as stupid as Trump and his trolls)

    "Federal election law specifically forbids foreign governments and foreign political parties, corporations, associations, and individuals from contributing, donating, or spending funds in connection with any local, state, or federal election in the United States. The prohibition includes either direct or indirect contributions. In addition, it is unlawful to assist foreign nationals in violating the ban or to solicit, receive, or accept contribution or donations from them. As an exception, an immigrant who has a "green card" indicating lawful permanent residence in the United States can make contributions."

    I don't see why that should make a difference; foreign governments interfere in US elections through speech and money all the time

    ENROLL TODAY: Babbling Blowhards for Trump

  • ScottyBoman||

    1. Should it be a crime to speak out on policies within a country other than your own?

    2. Should it be a crime to use ones natural right to free expression to influence the opinion of people in countries other than your own?

    3.Should it be a crime to use foreign journalists as a way to get around domestic censorship?

    4. Do you believe the first Amendment only applies to United States of America citizens, and that the words of foreigners visiting or residing in this country legally are subject to government censorship?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Trumptards have NO pride ... NO shame ... and NO conscience.
    Just like Trump, whiner.
    (It was fraud, chump)

  • Mark22||

    4. Do you believe the first Amendment only applies to United States of America citizens, and that the words of foreigners visiting or residing in this country legally are subject to government censorship?

    The First Amendment doesn't "apply to citizens" at all, it applies to government. It says is "government shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech". That is as much about people being able to listen to and read something as it is about being able to publish something.

    It is a bad idea to translate Constitutional guarantees into "rights of X", but if you tried to, at a minimum, you'd have to say "Americans have the right to speak, publish, read, and listen to any written and spoken materials they choose, including foreign and domestic materials, without government interference." But that doesn't capture the entirety, because the US government also does not have the power to regulate what Americans say to people abroad, even though it does not actually guarantee a right of people abroad to hear what Americans have to say.

  • Devastator||

    1. Nope, but they weren't speaking out they were lying through their fucking teeth
    2. Yes when you are a paid shill from a dictatorship
    3. Don't know about this one, haven't read much about it.
    4. Again it's not censorship if you are breaking election laws and lying through your fucking teeth while being paid by a dictator.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Hey Trumpster Trolls (and other gasbags)
    Federal law forbids ANY foreign influence in our elections! DUH

    (Congress is dumb, but not nearly as dumb as Trump and his cult of brainwashed trolls)

    "Federal election law specifically forbids foreign governments and foreign political parties, corporations, associations, and individuals from contributing, donating, or spending funds in connection with any local, state, or federal election in the United States. The prohibition includes either direct or indirect contributions. In addition, it is unlawful to assist foreign nationals in violating the ban or to solicit, receive, or accept contribution or donations from them. As an exception, an immigrant who has a "green card" indicating lawful permanent residence in the United States can make contributions."

    Anything else?
    (Obama is NOT Kenyan)

  • Peter Verkooijen||

    Trump has again been exposed as politically clueless, a tragedy for America.

    But can we now also look into the role the Russians played in undermining America's efforts in the Middle East after 9/11?

    The spread of 9/11 "truther" conspiracy theories via RT (Russia Today) and other channels?

    And ultimately the election of their longtime agent Barack Obama, using then innovative social media tactics, who would outsource much of US foreign policy to the Russians, in Syria, Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

  • Michael Hihn||

    PSYCHO TIME!!

  • BillBrennan||

    According to news reports the Russkis spent $25 million on this effort. HRC spent $1.4 billion and lost the election. What possible effect could $25 million have had on our election. Mueller will probably spend more than that on his investigation.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Do the math. A mere 29,000 switched votes cost hre the electoral vote.
    So how much damage NEEDED to be done by
    1) Comey
    2) The Russian hacking demanded by Trump and released by Wikileaks
    3) The blatant interference you sneer at?

    29,000 votes. Little more than the bleachers in a major sports stadium ,., but in three states combined.

  • Mark22||

    If you think that the number of votes switched is somehow related to the money spent, then you're the kind of person who views voters as mindless sheep, the view progressives, Marxists, and fascists have of voters.

  • Michael Hihn||

    f you think that the number of votes switched is somehow related to the money spent,

    (sneer) That's not what I said, psycho. HOW DID YOU MISS POINTS 1 AND 2?
    THAT;S WHY IN NUMBETRED THEM!
    AND WHY I NEED TO SHOUT NOW

    then you're the kind of person who views voters as mindless sheep,

    ((snort) I've just show YOU to be a mindless sheep!!
    Like, you say money has NO effect on votes!!! (Plus #1 and #2)
    AN ENTIRE CENTURY OF POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS are not as brilliant as you. A nobody.

    (EVERY tine he stalks me, for all these many months, he makes a public fool of himself ... then seeks revenge on me ... HIS VICTIM, Typical Authoritarian Right, french-kissing Trump's ass

  • NEESHU||

  • Mark22||

    They used both fabricated and stolen identities to set up personas, social media accounts, and bank accounts for the purpose of making it appear that they were politically engaged American grassroots activists.

    People engaging in free speech using pseudonyms! Oh the horror of it all!

  • Michael Hihn||

    People engaging in free speech using pseudonyms! Oh the horror of it all!

    IT'S A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW ... Trumpian puppet.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Kind've like holding plant leaves?

  • ThomasD||

    Hey, remember when candidate Obama de-activated the credit card verification function, effectively allowing unrestricted donations from foreign contributors?

    Anyone ever asked Mueller if that was legal?

  • Michael Hihn||

    It can be dangerous to drool on your keyboard, Trumpster.

    You done been brainwashed

    Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor's identity, campaign officials confirmed.

    Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.

    The Obama organization said its extensive review has ensured that the campaign has refunded any improper contributions, and noted that Federal Election Commission rules do not require front-end screening of donations.

    All the WACKO alt-right web sites spread the same lie as you.
    (As a webmaster for over 25 years, I know how costly it can be to do full security checking. But since they weren't selling anything, there were no losses to avoid, eh?)

    Your hero will be in jail. (Hopefully in a cell adjacent to Hillary) Deal with it now, to minimize heartbreak later.
    Left - Right = Zero

  • Hank Phillips||

    Every one of the bullet points translates straightforwardly as Thoughtcrime straight out or Orwell's 1984. But the dog-bites-man switcheroo is remarkable. When I joined the Libertarian Defense Caucus, both US and Soviet agents did all of these things all over the world. Non-communist Russia remembers the nightmare it finally escaped--a nightmare monolingual gringos who've never left Kansas cannot imagine. Russians know it would be dereliction to stand by and let the Altrurian Econazi watermelon ideology transform These States into the pathetic slum that was Russia in 1982.

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