Federal Grand Jury Indicts “13 Russians And Three Russian Entities In Connection With The Attack On The 2016 Presidential Election”
The defendants are “accused of violating U.S. criminal laws in order to interfere with U.S. elections and political processes,” according to a statement from the special counsel’s office.
“The largest company indicted, the Internet Research Agency, was based in St. Petersburg, Russia, and..employed as many as 80 people focused on the sole project of disrupting and influencing U.S. elections…By September 2016, the company had a monthly budget of more than $1.25 million and was organized into multiple departments, including graphics, search engine optimization, information technology and finance.
The Russians also paid real Americans to work for them as part of their interference campaign. However, “the Americans did not know they were communicating with Russians,” according to the indictment.
Also according to the indictment, by the middle of 2016 the Internet Research Agency focused on “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaging Hillary Clinton,” and purchased “political advertisements on U.S. social media and other online sites. These ads were paid for using Russian bank accounts and registered in the names of fictitious U.S. residents.”