Mueller Indicts 13 people

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That’s 13 Russians and 3 Russian entities.

The document filed in the US District Court for DC is HERE.

This appears to be a key but closely circumscribed moment in the Mueller investigation. No Americans are knowingly doing anything bad here. This is just the Russian campaign to manipulate social media etc. to shape an election, which we apparently believe they are continuing to do for 2018. This looks more or less like the end-game for that particular problem (though that does not mean that there won’t be more indictments.)

I have no idea, and I think this is generally the case, if an of these individuals or entities are in the US and/or can be actually arrested.

Some paraphrasing from the document, referring mainly to the first two counts, which are the big deal counts with all the jucy information in them, to give you an idea:

One of the entities is the “Internet Research Agency”, a Russian oranization engaged in political and election interference. They created fictitious bots and were highly organized. This organization carred out “information warfare against the USA” (in their own words) which included creating fictitious characters on social media, in order to spread disinformation.

The other defendants include a long list of Russians. They “knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and persons known and unknown to the grand jury) to defraud the US by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the US political and electoral process, including the presidential election of 2016”

A group called “Concord Management and Consulting” and “Concord Catering” appear to be the other entities involved. They are Russian entities with “various Russian government contacts.” Concord may have been mainly a funding source.

An example of an act: “on or about May 29, 2016 … [they] arranged for a real US person to stand in front of the White House in the District of COlumbia under false pretenses to hold a sign that read “Happy 55th Birthday Dear Boss.” The meaning of this is not clear to me.

The conspiracies are said to have started ca 2014, when these individuals and groups began to study and collect data on US social media sites. They traveled in some cases to the US under false pretenses to do some of this. They posed as US citizens and as such engaged with US poliical and social activists. For example, they duped a Texas based grassroots organization.

You really need to read through the papers. It is like a first draft of a Tom Clancy Op Center novel.

They bought into a fair amount of US based computer infrastructure in order to do this, servers in such. They used stolen ID’s.

Some of the hashtags they used were “#Trump2016, #TrumpTrain, #MAGA, #IWontProtectHillary, and #Hillary4Prison.

They created “March for Trump” (a Twitter site) and “Clinton FRAUDation” and “TrumpstersUnited” on Facebook.

They worked closely with unwitting members of the Trump campaigns in local outreach, and the Trump campaigners distributed the Russian’s material through their accounts.

They encouraged minority groups to not vote in the election, or to vote for a third party candidate. This involved the “Woke Blacks” account on Instagram posting “A particular hype and hatred for Trump is misleading the people and forcing Blacks to vote Killary. We cannot resort to the lesser of two devils. Then we’d surely be better off without voting AT ALL.”

Sound familiar?

I’m pretty sure a colleague of mine and I identified one of these operations back in October. See this.

They bought ads. The indictment provides this table of ads put on social media:

They staged political rallies.

These appeared to be grassroots rallies. This is illegal, by the way, because they were not properly registered.

This included a rally using the facebook group “United Muslims of America” to stage “Support Hillary. Save American Muslims” in DC (July).

They staged a bunch of march for Trump rallies as well.

After the election, they continued with the rallies, staging both pro and anti-Trump rallies.

The indictment provides a list of “Over acts” which begins with this:

… and continues on for several pages.

Have you encountered “Matt Skiber”? He’s a false persona they created.

Many of their acts involved linking Clinton to “saving Muslims” or otherwise supporting Muslims.

By the way, it should be clear that these Russian attackers were in no way “disrupting” the election. They were vigorously working towards a specific controlled outcome: Trump wins, Clinton loses.

All of the above is basically a summary of the first two counts. The remaining counts are more specific and detailed and have to do with specific financial acts that had to do with the above, but that involve specific laws. In other words, the “Capone” counts.

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48 thoughts on “Mueller Indicts 13 people

  1. It wasn’t just Clinton loses. They were attacking the most likely candidates to beat Hillary- Rubio and Cruz(Must hurt Jeb to know he wasn’t even good enough for the Russians to attack him). So they were going after the bombers.

    My feeling is this is all payback for the Kosovo War. Putin brought it up saying you can’t talk about illegal war in Iraq after you bombed there with Congress voting no.

    While the highlights are in the first few counts, the bigger crimes are later, stealing IDs, fake bank accounts, etc.

    I think this was a test run. The amount spent was relatively small, hundreds of thousands in Facebook ads.

  2. So the Russians got the candidate that they wanted. The St. Petersburg Candidate.
    The man who has had lots and lots of financial help from Russians over the years. The man who said that he believes that Putin didn’t interfere in the 2016 presidential election. The man who thinks Putin is a great leader but who thinks that American liberals are somehow the enemy. The man who thinks that not standing for his crappy speech is treasonous. The Russians got lucky and their candidate won….the candidate who hates and slanders the free press. The candidate who became the president who thinks that there were fine people marching for white supremacy in Charlottesville. The candidate who became the president who claims he is the least racist person you will ever know. The president who is corroding the base of American Science and helping make our schools bully friendly.

    I switched on FOX faux news for a few minutes just to see what their response was. The commentator was anxious to have a legal expert tell her that this would be the end of the collusion controversy.

    So the Koch’s support the NRA, as do the Russians, and Russian bots are spewing anti-gun control memes around the web. Russian bots are also spewing anti-minority memes.

    Russians seem to have very cleverly found the part of our population that is vulnerable to their subliminal control and are pounding their brains relentlessly.

    This will not end well.

    1. Trump’s policies have been hostile to Russia. They even fired on some Russian in Syria, against Trump’s own statements in the campaign.
      Drilling for fossil fuels is putting pain on Russia’s budget.
      More spending by NATO countries.

    2. It is interesting that Trump has not taken any action against Russia, and expressly refused to enforce the sanctions that were authorized. We can only imagine the furor that would have erupted had Obama similarly failed to act on sanctions. It’s odd that being upset at that type of action would have been justified, unlike all of their routine “the president is a n*****r” based anger.

    3. “Refused to enforce the sanctions that were authorized”

      This appears to be a popular talking point with liberals to go with their Russia narrative.
      However, this nonenforcement is just a detail having to do with some of the companies that are affected and the time of contracts, that it is unfair to them, and would cause problems with other countries. Many supporters of the sanctions, who do not like Trump, are OK with the postponement.

    4. Trump’s policies have been hostile to Russia.

      Huh?! You’re taking the piss, aren’t you?

      That’s a rhetorical question, by the way…

  3. Trump’s policies have been very helpful to Russia.

    Trump, by supporting fossil fuels over wind and solar, helps prop up the demand for fossil fuels, which would otherwise be diminishing as global knowledge of the hidden costs of fossil fuel driven climate change increases. Trump is Putin’s proxy, publically expressing Putin’s private views on climate, while Putin can pretend to support climate change efforts in public. Russia has a lot to gain as the climate gets warmer, once they deal with permafrost loss.

    Trump, by staffing his cabinet with science deniers, weakens the very scientific enlightenment foundations upon which the US was built. Trump, by vilifying liberals, and castigating anyone who isn’t white christo anglo, helps fracture our diverse nation, something Putin loves.

    And Trump has helped Russia by not imposing the additional sanctions that he was supposed to.

    Trump’s policies have been very helpful to Russia.

    1. Putin pretends to support climate change efforts, meaning he thinks its good for Russia for other countries to do these things, its why he pretends. Yet you say it is beneficial if Trump doesn’t fall for the pretense.

    2. “Russia has a lot to gain as the climate gets warmer,…”.
      I would like to see and understand evidence of this idea.
      Its quite at odds with my current understanding of likely AGW climate change effects, that are pretty much universally negative.
      Sea level rise fucks Russia too, as does species decline, crazy arse hot and cold weather in places unused to it due to amplitude changes in the path of high winds , increased bushfire risk etc etc.

    3. Dunno nothing about wheat or potatoes or other russian staples , but im guessing extreme hot or cold at some critical time in its growth cycle for a day or 2 can fuck it up majorly.
      Such extremes are increasingly likely.

  4. >They staged political rallies. These appeared to be grassroots rallies. This is illegal, by the way, because they were not properly registered.

    Then why weren’t they charged with that?

    1. I see that the rules have been mentioned, that this is illegal activity, in the introduction, but not that they were charged with being unregistered in the counts.

  5. The Russian chaos op continues, and this time the unwitting agent is Robert Mueller, and the liberals who speak of collusion.

    1. EH?! You think that the revealing of the Russian information war is in some way bad? Perhaps you think that Mueller shouldn’t say anything, and that the Russians should be allowed to continue to run US politics, just so that there’s no “chaos”?

      Your last name doesn’t happen to end in ‘-ov’ or ‘-ski’ or -‘oy’, does it?

    2. Revealing of Russian information war is good, though perhaps it makes it more difficult to fight in the future.
      However, talk of Trump is a Russian agent just adds to the Russian goal of chaos in the American system.
      Yes it hurts them a little because I think this talk has prevented Trump from being more friendly towards Russia. He possibly vetoes the sanctions bill, and the veto gets sustained if there was no talk of Russia.

  6. I see that our local RussBot/RussSymp/RussPup is going nuts trying to engage someone with his spew. My advice is to not engage. His job here is to engage and waste your time.

    LiD- Note that I didn’t say that Russia had a lot to lose. Everybody has a lot to lose. What Russia has, worst case scenario, is a lot of temperate habitable land while the lower latitudes get fried.

    And all such arguments are academic anyway as many if not most of us will be long gone by the time the really big climate shit hits the really big climate fan. That is a show that we don’t have tickets for. What we are watching today is Pigzilla and the Republicans vs the best qualities of American democracy.

  7. The question that remains is did Mueller bring this indictment now to distract from FBI mistakes in the school shooting or to distract from the stories coming out about their surveillance of Trump? The Flynn sentencing has been delayed after the judge demanded Mueller hand over all evidence.

    1. “The question that remains is did Mueller bring this indictment now to distract from FBI mistakes in the school shooting”

      Yeah, right. That’s hilarious. Psst … the CA cybercrime dude pled guilty on Monday, before the school shooting. Apparently you believe he has superpowers, which on further consideration, should make you worry …

    2. FFS you’re a stupid unit.

      Or perhaps it’s just because you’re a Russian sympathiser, and all you see is horrible conspiring blues under the bed…

    3. Yes I’m aware that Mueller requested the sentencing delay. No reason was given for this delay though. I attribute it to this request for more info from the judge. Mueller has since filed another motion requiring all evidence turned over to be sealed and not used in other cases. Mueller’s bulldog Weissman has been busted in the past for not providing evidence to the defense, against some mafia folks. In the Enron case, one person pleaded guilty and the judge threw it out because he could not see a crime in what the person was pleading guilty. This particular judge was the judge for Sen Ted Stevens that got thrown out after it was discovered the prosecution withheld evidence, and Eric Holder dropped the case when he became attorney general. So he is a bit particular about prosecutor misbehavior. Mueller should drop Weissman from his team forthwith.

    4. The Mueller team and Flynn’s lawyers submitted a joint court filing Wednesday, saying both parties are not ready to schedule a sentencing hearing for Flynn.

      “Due to the status of the Special Counsel’s investigation, the parties do not believe that this matter is ready to be scheduled for a sentencing hearing at this time,” said the document, signed by Mueller, two senior assistants, and Flynn attorneys Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony.

      They said they will give another joint status report in 90 days.

      “The parties shall file a joint status report by no later than May 1, 2018, stating whether the matter should be scheduled for sentencing or whether a deadline should be set for filing another joint status report,” said a related order signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.

      James Trusty, a former high-ranking Justice Department official under the Bush and Obama administrations, told Fox News that “this is very, very common for a cooperating defendant.”

      Trusty said Flynn would be “a better witness” if still facing sentencing. Flynn faces up to five years in prison for making false statements to the FBI.

      “They don’t want to tell the judge to sentence Flynn until they can tell the judge that he helped in the case,” he added.

      “The judge wanted more information” — that’s the asinine comment you get from people who have no regard for facts — just like the line of shit below.

      “However, this nonenforcement is just a detail having to do with some of the companies that are affected and the time of contracts, that it is unfair to them, and would cause problems with other countries. “

  8. H.R. McMaster:

    President Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said on Saturday that Russia’s meddling in the election is now ‘beyond dispute’, conceding the results of Robert Mueller’s probe and directly contradicting the US Russian foreign minister who labeled them ‘just babble’ moments earlier.

    ‘As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain.’

    Interesting. Wait, there’s more?

    Laughing off the notion that the US could work with the Kremlin on the issue of cyber security in the future, he said:

    ‘I’m surprised there are any Russian cyber experts available based on how active most of them have been undermining our democracies in the West.

    ‘We would love to have a cyber dialogue when Russia is sincere about curtailing its sophisticated form of espionage.’

    Apparently the conspiracy MikeN refers to has reached McMaster. (Or, more likely, McMaster prefers reality to mythology.)

    1. So now collusion with Russia conspiracy theory is not about Trump and Russia it is about Russian actors affecting the US election? That is some major goal shifting. I’m sure some people will at least come back with money laundering and some other items soon.

      All these things for which the Russians are blamed(and I agree they did it), is also things the US does regularly. Though of course it is not a US crime for Americans to interfere in other elections.
      Obama essentially sent his campaign team to work against Netanyahu. Strangely, his adviser was also a top adviser for the Conservatives in England.
      Putin is particularly angry about US meddling in Ukraine elections and the coup that took out his puppet.

    2. “So now collusion with Russia conspiracy theory is not about Trump and Russia it is about Russian actors affecting the US election? ”

      Justice was very careful to use the phrase “this indictment”, rather than “our investigation”. When will you learn the basics of reading comprehension?

    3. That was a reply to the comment above, that said I am including McMaster in the conspiracy. I may have gotten his meaning wrong, but I am not assuming that Mueller has cleared Trump. However, this also doesn’t declare Trump guilty, which lots of liberals are claiming with these indictments.

    4. >Apparently the conspiracy MikeN refers to has reached McMaster. (Or, more likely, McMaster prefers reality to mythology.)

      Former CIA chief said the claim of a hoax is in tatters. All this is moving the goalposts bigly. Russian interference in the election is not the same as collusion.

  9. they were foreign citizens; they tried to influence an election; and they neither registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act nor reported their funding to the Federal Elections Commission.

    When will we indict Chris Steele?

    1. “When will we indict Chris Steele?”

      When will you learn even the most basic bits of criminal law?

    2. “However, Chris Steele has done the same, and his influence on the election was more.”

      No, he hasn’t done the same. Read the indictment, dipshit.

    3. “However, Chris Steele has done the same, and his influence on the election was more.”

      Wow. Whether motivated by conspiracy theories or a simple lack of comprehension, that’s an amazing statement (admittedly plucked from a clickbait “legal” website).

    4. It’s a matter of degree.

      Russians spent millions thru all their election campaigns around the world. Reading the indictment it is possible they actually made money from their US interference, because all these websites they were making and getting followers for were also selling ads.

    5. Telling someone online you oppose a candidate for President is not a crime. Foreigners spending money for some Facebook ads to influence a US election is not unique to this campaign or these Russians.

      It is a matter of degree, where the Russians sent people throughout the country, were organizing rallies, and distributing signs, as well as Facebook and other social media posts, and using fake IDs and bank accounts to hide what they were doing.

    6. Telling someone online you oppose a candidate for President is not a crime.

      It is if you’re a foreign country antagonistic to the USA, and you’re doing it surreptitiously.

      However, Chris Steele has done the same, and his influence on the election was more [sic].

      No, he didn’t – and your Rusglish is showing…

  10. Li D: One way climate change is likely to help Russia is to open up the Arctic Ocean for oil exploration. That’s a short-term advantage at best; but when so much of Russia’s economy depends on fossil fuels, it’s a compelling one.

  11. > Telling someone online you oppose a candidate for President is not a crime.
    >It is if you’re a foreign country antagonistic to the USA, and you’re doing it surreptitiously.

    No it isn’t. By your logic every foreigner who posts an objection to Trump is committing a crime, including some commenters here one of whom is from Australia I think.

  12. Wisconsin ad spend- $1979, only $54 after the primary.
    Pennsylvania- $300
    Michigan- $823

    Most of the Facebook money was spent AFTER the election, not before.
    Three most heavily targeted stated- Missouri, Maryland, New York.

    I thought John Kerry was foolish for leaving $10 million in the bank, but this is even dumber than that.

    People need to realize the goal was not electing Trump. It might have just been trying to get readers to sell ads.
    It’s how the company was founded.

  13. It is the case most of the money was spent after the election (56% to 44%) –but spending of $thousands per month began in 2015. Spending continued after the election

    Further, Mueller points out clearly, without question, that paid ads were only one component: the fake facebook groups (“United Muslims of America,” “Blacktivist,” and “Army of Jesus.”, etc.) and posts were equally as big. Primary targets of the groups and posts were aimed at convincing people (typically minorities and elderly) not to vote and pushing fake stories of rampant voter fraud. it is pointed out that the facebook efforts alone reached roughly 130 million people.

    The indictment also states, clearly, that the one of the Russians’ primary goals was to

    spread distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general

    And, despite claims by some, that is precisely how major news outlets have reported what the indictment says. However, information obtained in the investigation shows that they also wanted to

    interfere with US political and electoral processes, including the 2016 US presidential election,

    The Russians fully expected HRC would win and wanted to weaken her position after she took office. One of the efforts they aimed at (this comes from a memo circulated to the Russians involved in the work) was that posts and fake groups should

    Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them

    Saying that the intent was not to influence the election runs counter to everything known, and saying the efforts didn’t favor Trump also runs counter to what is known. Saying otherwise is dishonest.

    1. The efforts are very consistent with not a group spending money, but a group spending money to make money. This is a troll farm, that then turned around and sold ads to all the people attracted by their posts.
      The company started when he realized that he could make more money promoting other people’s companies than promoting his own food business.
      It’s why they could target randomly, spend more money in DC than swing states, etc., even after the indictment says they learned to target purple states.
      They were jumping in with targeting pro-Trump, anti-Hillary, and a whole bunch of other movements. They support Sanders and Trump because that’s where the money is, lots of eyeballs. It makes sense now why they didn’t bother supporting Rubio and Cruz who were the biggest threats to Hillary(though many in her campaign were expecting Jeb). Bernie would have been hard for Trump to beat, though it’s reasonable for a pro-Trump campaign to support Bernie against Hillary; later in that video Ann Coulter tells Bill Maher that Bernie Sanders is toughest opponent.

  14. I saw Hilary Clinton speak at UCSC many years ago. I’ve been smitten ever since. I’d love to see her wearing a vinyl, skin tight, order me to bake cookies in the kitchen, helping me massage the dough with a whip handle. I’d just explode into a puddle of unbridled emotion… hmmmm, this is probably not relevant to anyone but my therapist. Nevermind. Better get back to thinking about Godwin and Saddam as Hitler or whatever we’re supposed to be opining about.

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