Indictment: Russians ‘Engaged in Operations…to Support Bernie Sanders’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | February 16, 2018 | 4:29pm EST
Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Screen Capture)

( - The indictment released today by the grand jury in the investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller says that during the 2016 presidential campaign the alleged Russian conspirators in the case “engaged in operations…to support Bernie Sanders.”

They also engaged in operations to support Donald Trump, according to the indictment, while denigrating Hillary Clinton, Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio.

However, the statement put out by the Department of Justice when it released the statement notes that: “There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

This passage on page 17 of the indictment alleges that the Russians charged in it "engaged in operations" to denigrate Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, as well as Hillary Clinton, and support Bernie Sanders as well as Donald Trump:

The indictment also makes clear that when the Russians charged in the indictment communicated with persons associated with the Trump campaign, they did so in the guise of Americans and the persons associated with the Trump campaign were “unwitting.”

 “Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operated social medial pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences,” says the indictment.

“These groups and pages, which addressed divisive U.S. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by U.S. activists when, in fact, they were controlled by defendants,” it says.

“Some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities,” the indictment says.

The indictment indicates that during the 2016 campaign the alleged Russian conspirators did not solely support Trump or solely oppose Hillary Clinton.

They also supported Sen. Bernie Sanders. The indictment says:

“By 2016, defendants and their co-conspirators used their fictitious online personas to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election.  They engaged in operations primarily intended to communication 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.

  1. On or about February 10, 2016, defendants and their co-conspirators internally circulated an outline of themes for future content to be posted to organization-controlled social media accounts. Specialists were instructed to post content that focuses on ‘politics in the USA’ and to ‘use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them).’


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