Special counsel Robert Mueller has officially filed conspiracy and fraud charges against thirteen Russian nationals and three organizations. The group is being charged with defrauding the United States as part of a campaign to influence the US election.
It appears that from the defendants size, twelve of them were allegedly employed by the Internet Research Agency, a “troll farm” funded by the Russian government for disinformation efforts. “Defendants, posing as US persons and creating false US personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract US audiences,” the indictment reads. “They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate 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.”
Prosecutors apparently have had access to internal communications within the Internet Research Agency. Filing notes that in one instance on September 14, an IRA employee managing the “Secured Borders” Facebook group criticized for having too few posts critiquing Hillary Clinton. According to the indictment, a supervisor apparently told him “it is imperative to intensify criticizing Hillary Clinton” in the future posts of the Facebook group.
Not all activities by the Internet Research Agency and other groups were pro-Trump either. After the election, the group allegedly used many false accounts under their control to “organize and coordinate US political rallies in support of president-elect rump, while simultaneously using other false US Personas to organize and coordinate US political rallies protesting the results of the 2016 presidential election.”