Rosenstein: Mueller Probe Found No Americans Were Knowingly Involved, Meddling Didn’t Influence Election Outcome
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced 13 Russian nationals have been indicted for election meddling and other crimes, stating Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no American was a knowing participant in illegal activity.
Mr. Mueller allegedly uncovered a sophisticated plot to wage an “information warfare” within the U.S. and a “strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.” Further, the Department of Justice (DOJ) made clear that the indictment does not allege that any of the interference changed the outcome of the presidential race.
“There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity,” Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel probe, said at a Friday press conference. “There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”
President Donald Trump reacted to the indictments by seizing on Rosenstein’s comment that the election results were not impacted by the Russians’ activity.
“Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President,” President Trump tweeted. “The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!”
Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018
Indeed, the 37-page indictment (read below), which is signed by Special Counsel Mueller, said the actions detailed by prosecutors date back to 2014.
The three entities charged are Internet Research Agency LLC, Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering.
The 13 Russians charged are: Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin; Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov; Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik; Aleksandra Yuryevna Krylova; Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva; Sergey Pavlovich Polozov; Maria Anatolyrvna Bovda; Robert Sergetevich Bovda; Dzheykhun Nasimi Ogly; Vadim Vladimirovich Podkopaev; Gleb Igorevich Vasilchenko; Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina and Vladimir Venkov.
The investigation found that agitators supported the candidacies of Bernie Sanders and President Trump at some point during the process, but turned on him sometime around mid-2016. The evidence suggests that the goal was chaos in the electoral process, not the support of any one candidate.
“We have known that Russians meddled in the election, but these indictments detail the extent of the subterfuge,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said in a statement. “These Russians engaged in a sinister and systematic attack on our political system. It was a conspiracy to subvert the process, and take aim at democracy itself.”
The indicted claims they created group pages on Facebook and Instagram with names such as “Secured Borders,” “Blacktivist” (an anti-Trump page promoting Black Lives Matter movement) and “United Muslims of America” (anti-Trump).
But Democrats don’t want to accept the current conclusion of the investigation, which they had hoped would give them a precursor for impeach in the event they were to take back the House of Representatives after the 2018 midterm elections.
“It is imperative that the Special Counsel investigation be allowed to continue to follow the facts on the Trump-Russia scandal, unhindered by the White House or Republicans in Congress,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia’s interference in our election and the involvement of Trump officials.”
In a statement released shortly after Mr. Rosenstein held his press conference, President Trump said it’s time to “stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations,” and get to the people’s work. If not, the White House noted, we let the Russians win.
“We cannot allow those seeking to sow confusion, discord, and rancor to be successful,” he said in a statement. “It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions.”
“We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.”