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.”
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.